Laverne Cox Will Play Dr. Frank N. Furter In FOX’s Live “Rocky Horror”

Remember in April, when FOX announced that they’d be reimagining “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” for a live television event, and we were all, “OH GOD NO”? We take it back. This is going to be sexy and amazing, because Laverne Cox is going to be playing the lead as Dr. Frank N. Furter.

Yes, that’s right, a black transgender woman, the first transgender person ever to receive an Emmy nomination, is going to be playing a character best known for singing the lyrics, “I’m just a sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania.” I LIVE. This is going to just slaughter all television for the rest of eternity.

If my experience is any indication, I have no doubt at all that “Rocky Horror” was an entree into gender-bending and queerness for a good deal of cross-dressers, drag queens, and trans and non-binary folks. FOX and Cox have handed us something beautiful: A member of our own community playing the role that opened our consciousness to trans-gendering.

It’s still a live TV broadcast on a major network, so I doubt very much that FOX will be engaging with the sexual boundary-crossing that characterized the original movie. But casting Cox is the right move. Most trans characters in filmic history have been played by cis actors, and now that there are at least a few prominent out trans actors, it’s great to see them being cast in trans roles and bringing their own experiences to the characters that they’re playing.

FOX’s “Rocky Horror” is still a year away – probably October, 2016 – but I am ready in body and soul.

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