rocky horror is the worst and is also transmisogynistic can we please finally get over this shit movie
ok but like the writer is transgender nonbinary and the language used in the play was the preferred language by trans people of that time can we not deny parts of our history because we’ve evolved since then thanks
So fucking much this.
PS, youth of today: you’ll be saying the same damn thing about art from this time before too long, for good or for ill. Terminology will, in fact, change. Definitions will, in fact, shift. It always does, they always do.
PPS, it is pretty much impossible to overstate how life-alteringly important this movie was to kids who didn’t conform to standard expectations of gender and sexuality, back in the day. Especially when back in the day was the mid-to-late 1980s, when the only queers you saw on TV were neutered AIDS tragedies, Bowie was playing straight, and even Elton John was married to a woman, and midnight showing of RHPS were pretty much the only place that felt like home. It was mental life raft for a lot of people.
I was one of them.
rocky horror was a lifeline.
y’all have NO IDEA how isolated we were before the internet, before mobile phones. imagine never having an unsupervised conversation with your friends. literally never. you were at school, or you were on the landline in the same room with your parents. imagine never having access to reading material that wasn’t mainstream-published. imagine never seeing a video that wasn’t network tv or hollywood. imagine every single bit of information you had access to being thoroughly filtered and vetted by the majority-mainstream. imagine all this under ronald reagan and margaret thatcher and the ussr and a divided germany, the cold war still threatening to go nuclear and violent religious extremists rising in the middle east, a bunch of dirty little wars festering in central and south america, china gutting mongolia, north korea defiantly starving to death…
it felt like the literal end of the world, and you were completely fucking alone.
and then there was this cultural phenomenon. this unapologetically senseless movie, morbid and silly and full of genderweird and catchy songs and cheesy tropes. the places that did the midnight showings were financially unimportant, out of the way, under the radar, and it was safe to be weird there. you could convince your parents to let you go because you’d go in a group, and since it was at a theater or college cultural center they knew you wouldn’t be drinking and doing drugs and having sex (Just Say No!) and you were technically under adult supervision – but the theater employees were generally college students and didn’t give a fuck as long as you didn’t wreck the place or get arrested.
you could dress up, you could be loud, you could play with gender, you could camp it up and let your hair down. you could be free. and for just one night of the week, you could forget that it was the end of the world.
too lazy; didn’t read: you’re talking out your ass and you need to clench up.
i went to a very open and sexually liberal performing arts highschool in the aughts like twenty years later, and RHPS was still a wonderful thing to experience as a teenager sorting out gender and sexuality issues. i was surrounded by girls trading yaoi comics and boys trading yuri comics and theater kids that had every line of RENT memorized. and i saw RHPS in ninth grade, i think, and made sure to go to showings nearly every year thereafter, at older friend’s parties and at college media screenings and outdoor park showings and in independent theaters. i still go when i can. i think everyone over fourteen or fifteen should. it’s a piece of history and it’s a very vibrantly alive and relevant cultural tradition, and the atmosphere is so weird and so welcoming, and the movie is so profoundly silly. it’s absurd to me that anyone could say we’re done with it.
Bolded, above. I was in uni just as the internet became a way to connect. It was still so new, not yet a part of our lives as fully as it is now.
RHPS was freedom. It was your neighbour’s roommate in gold hot pants and no apologies, being able to kiss your girlfriend in the middle of a crowd and not be attacked, it was corsets on DMABs and three-piece suits on DFABs, and everyfuckingthing was queered. Right there, on stage, in living colour.
It was amazing.
Don’t sneer at the old guard, kidlets. Every generation forges the media it needs at the time.
Always reblog this. Especially now at the 40th anniversary.
Reminder: I grew up in *Manhattan.* My parents, in the grand scheme of things, were pretty liberal and open and accepting.
I still desperately needed RHPS as my place to be weird and discover myself.
It was important, and that importance should not be discounted.