Laverne Cox Releases her “Sweet Transvestite” Cover before the “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” Premiere

Posted on October 14, 2016

Laverne Cox attends the premiere of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” held at the Roxy in Los Angeles, California.









Pose your ass off, mama.

The dress fits like a dream and the color looks amazing. You just don’t see many sparkly navy blue dresses on the red carpet. We like the hairstyle too, although her wigline is a bit too prominent. But at least this style gets her slightly away from the too-literal Beyonce look she tends to sport most of the time.

We would’ve told her to ditch the bracelet, though. It’s not the right sleeve for it.




We’re not Rocky Horror purists, believe it or not. Once Glee sunk its claws into the classic, its days as an untouchable iconic cultural artifact were numbered. This rendition isn’t bad. It’s better than we expected, to be honest, given that she has no singing experience.

We admit, however, to being a bit confused about her casting. Regardless of whether you think Frank should only be a cisgender pansexual man who cross-dresses (as Tim Curry portrayed the character in the original, and which Laverne clearly is not), the fact of the matter is, a transvestite and a transgender woman are very different from each other and we’ve always been told not to use the former term to describe the latter. It doesn’t help that Laverne herself cautions people not to use the term.

“I had a conversation [with director] Kenny [Ortega]. We talked about the word ‘transvestite,’ ” the Emmy nominee recalls. That term was once an acceptable way to describe a transgender person who had not completed their medical transition; now, Cox says, it is an “antiquated term that trans folks certainly don’t use” anymore. Despite being part of the L.G.B.T. community’s lexicon through the 70s, when Rocky Horror is set, she was worried that identifying as “a sweet transvestite” would confuse audiences today. So to be clear: “Historically, the terms have changed [and] it doesn’t mean the same thing today that it meant in the 70s,” she says. “It’s not appropriate to refer to trans people as a transvestite [today], but it is [used here as] the character in that specific moment in history.”


Obviously, it’s not our place to decide what the correct terminology should be, but at the very least, the message here is a little muddled. Then again, if they’d change the lyrics to “I’m a sweet transgender from Transylvania,” there most likely would have been an epic outcry against it, both from RHPS purists and from the transgender community.


Style Credits:
Custom Prabal Gurung Long-Sleeve Dress
Butani Earrings
Pasquale Bruni Bracelet
Orme Rome Ring
Yeprem Ring
Judith Leiber Clutch
Eleanor Anukam Shoes


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