Hear Laverne Cox Slay ‘Sweet Transvestite’ for Fox’s Rocky Horror

Werk. Photo: Steve Wilkie/FOX

As you shiver with antici ........... pation for Fox's Rocky Horror Picture Show remake next Friday, calm your nerves for just a moment to drink in Laverne Cox's white-hot take on "Sweet Transvestite." For her introductory song stepping into Tim Curry's heels as Dr. Frank-N-Furter, she's put on quite the horn-y show; don't you panic, it's superb. What isn't equally fabulous, however, is that all-important word in the song's title that's now regarded by most queer people as a slur. Cox, who's famous just as much for her transgender-rights activism as she is for acting, tells Vanity Fair that she and director Kenny Ortega talked early on about potentially doing away with the word transvestite. But ultimately, they agreed that omission would be unfaithful to the original show. Still, Cox would like to make it very clear that, while she may sing the word here, she's still firmly against its use: "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.”