Adam Lambert thinks Frank N. Furter (Rocky Horror) is a transgender character. Did you?

He says this in this interview. I always thought Frank was a gay male drag queen type character; I honestly don’t remember any indication of Frank self-identifying as female, and being a “Sweet Transvestite” doesn’t say anything about this either way.

Am I the only one who believes/believed this?

ETA: Believe it or not, “Further” isn’t an autocorrect error; it was just my fingers typing without my mind.

Not gay, though. Definitely bi.

Right, I forgot about that bit with Janet. “Queer,” then.

I think saying you are a transvestite is a declaration of being cis. Well, unless you’re trans and sometimes crossdress “back” to the your birth-assigned gender, I guess.

Using nomenclature not in popular use at the time of “Rocky Horror”, he’s genderqueer rather than transgender. Although the transgender people would not disavow him as one of theirs (the wide umbrella definition of transgender is “anyone whose gender identity is other than what it would have been assigned by others at birth”) he doesn’t seem to me to be M2F or F2M so much as genderfluid or demiboyish. Those latter are subcategories used by folks who identify as genderqueer.

Which sub-population of Transylvania does he mention being from? :wink:

I think he’s pansexual, but I always saw him as definitely identifying as a dude. Just a dude who feels really at home in lingerie and feather boas and stuff.

I think e’s definitely non-mainstream in es sexuality, but given both the little we see of em on screen (two hours of a movie isn’t really enough time to actually get to know someone), and given the prevailing attitudes of the time which made little distinction between various ways of being outside of the mainstream, it’s impossible to say in any more detail.

EDIT: By “non-mainstream”, of course I mean Earth’s and America’s mainstream. He may or may not be mainstream by the standards of Planet Transylvania.

I always thought it was pretty clear he was a bisexual man who liked wearing women’s clothing.

I’m pretty sure he’s just a sexy bit of ass that enjoys a sexy bit of ass.

Ooh, ooh, I’ll play! He’s just a sweet transvestite transsexual from Transylvania! (Huh hah!)

Given that “transsexual” was the usual word used in the seventies, not “transgender,” the script’s intent seems clear. What’s less clear to me is whether the portrayal is intended as a mockery of transsexual people, or whether it’s intended as a campy celebration of transsexual people. I’m kind of interested in what folks think.

Another vote for genderqueer/gender fluid, pansexual also sounds good … but agreed that’s all using identity language that wasn’t available to the producers of Rocky Horror.

I never saw the character as transgender, though – I don’t think think he identified as a woman. The appeal to the character seemed to be more about the performance shock value of being a man in women’s clothing, and less about actually being female-identified. The film, being of its time, doesn’t do any real exploration of any intersection between performance and identity.

Apparently not. When Riff Raff took over, he said that Transylvania had decided Frank’s “lifestyle’s too extreme”.

Interesting article about the reboot by a trans woman who loves the original and is nervous about what the reboot will mean for conversations about trans folk.

Close but no. He was a sweet transvestite from transsexual Transylvania.


He’s an alien from another planet. For all we know, they replicate with spores like fungi. So if taking on human form can be considered transgender, then he probably is.

I think you can think of Frank N. Furter as an extreme case of thatStar Trek episode where aliens take on human form and find that the body has an enormous influence on the mind.

No, he’s a “sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania”. Transsexual is a location on the planet Transylvania, not a population segment.

Then again, maybe it’s like Russian Poland, or American Samoa?

I always took it to be an adjective referring to the whole country. As in, my (possibly metaphorical) homeland is a gender-bending kind of place, baby.