Rushton Journal of Undergraduate Humanities Research


This essay examines the cultural conditions surrounding The Rocky Horror Picture Show to examine its ties to the LGBTQ+ community by tracing the post-war growth of queer communities in cities like New York and San Francisco to the boiling-point of the Stonewall Riot. The film’s queer themes, aesthetic motifs, and LGBTQ+ representation are detailed to understand what made it a hit amongst working-class queer audiences of the 1970s and 1980s. This paper explores how the film spawned phenomena such as shadowcasting and continues to create space for working-class queer sexual liberation and individuality decades after its release.