Back to the Rocky Horror episode and why so many people are upset about it. I will admit, that despite my supergayness, I had never ever seen the movie. In my defense, I am a total nerd, and where I went to university, all the cool kids went to Rocky Horror. I simply assumed it couldn’t be very good if it was so very fashionable. How wrong I was!
But I digress. I just wanted to make it clear that I’m not overly familiar with the show, although I have now watched it (and loved it!).
First, there’s the issue of the use of the word “Tranny”. I have to admit, I was pretty shocked when I heard Mike say it. I mean, even if he was quoting his parents, there were adults in that scene who could have contextualised the comment.
Second, there’s the issue of removing the word “Transsexual” from the show. There was no good reason for this. Since when is “transsexual” a bad word?
I had no problem with Mercedes playing Frank (just as I have no problem when Ugly Betty cast a woman to play a trans woman), but they basically changed the character from a transvestite to a ciswoman and removed all references to “transsexual” while allowing a character to use a slur in another scene.
This is part of a very worrying trend that I see in Glee.
In “Blame it on the Alcohol”, Kurt is talking to Rachel and uses the term “hag” while carefully avoiding the use of the rest of that expression “fag”.
Now, in the Rocky Horror episode, they’re allowing slurs against trans people.
The show has 3 writers, all men. And while the work they’re doing in raising awareness and confronting important issues like the use of the word “fag” and bullying is brilliant, they’re missing the brass ring when they allow women and trans people to be insulted in the show without anyone protesting.
Transforming Media has an interesting post bout Ryan Murphy’s past and trans issues.