I can’t say how many times I in delighted in the antics of the WKRP crew. Being a native of Ohio it gave me something to laugh about in our otherwise flat and boring state. WKRP was unique, warm, endearingly daringly transcending racial and gender boundaries long before it was cool to do so. That was also long before I came to terms with my gender identity, long before doing so was a possibility in that ultra conservative state.
Or so I thought.
But not to PJ. She transitioned long before it was acceptable to do so. Long before the surgical operations were perfected. Long before HRT dosing became a science and she paid for it with her life suffering liver failure and complications from her SRS only 10 years after transitioning.
But there is an amazing tribute to PJ Torokvei, at The Hollywood Reporter which was penned by Stan Brooks, a writer, director and Emmy-winning producer who was one of Torokvei’s closest friends and collaborators.
PJ came out in a birthday letter to her friends at age 50. Brooks like many of PJ’s friends was expecting a punchline after this news from his old friend but none came. Brooks was cool with it but PJ’s life was forever changed, lessened by the loss of so many of her friends who couldn’t understand.
Now I know why I loved WKRP so much so long before I knew who I was.
R.I.P. PJ Torokvei.