So today I heard someone call The Rocky Horror Picture Show transphobic. And I wanted to make a short post about that because that is so very incredibly not true that it hurts. Not only is Rocky Horror a pretty popular movie among LGBT groups, but the creator is himself part of the LGBT community. I wrote a report about Richard O’Brien a few years ago; here’s a segment from an interview with him:
So a decade ago, he started taking the female hormone oestrogen - and is happy with the results.
“It takes the edge off the masculine, testosterone-driven side of me and I like that very much. I think I’ve become a nicer person in some ways, slightly softer. For the first time in my life, I’ve started to put on a little bit of weight, which I like.”
He has also developed small breasts. But O'Brien is not intending to go further and have sex reassignment surgery.
“I don’t want to pretend to be something that I’m not. Anton Rodgers, the actor, said ‘you’re the third sex’. And I thought that’s quite nice. I quite like that position.
"It’s my belief that we are on a continuum between male and female. There are people who are hardwired male and there are people who are hardwired female, but most of us are on that continuum and I believe myself probably to be about 70% male, 30% female.”
Rocky Horror was the first movie I ever saw that depicted the LGBT community in a way that wasn’t a depressing trudge. It was fun, and entertaining, and the people I’ve met through going to showings of this movie are all amazing people. Some of the terminology in the community has changed in the years since this movie came out, and that puts it in a different light today. But don’t ever say that this movie was insulting the LGBT community, because it 100% is not.