RIP: PJ Torokvei

PJ Torokvei was the head writer for WKRP in Cincinnati and also co-wrote Real Genius. Sorry to see you go, PJ, and I’m sorry you didn’t get very much life in after transition. She died on July 3rd from liver failure about a decade after transitioning at 50.

Here’s a lovely photo of her from her FB page, but otherwise, she became reclusive — but not without, the story has it, selling off her new virginity:

We talked many times that year as PJ decided to retreat into the privacy of her home and then eventually move up to a farm in Victoria, a return to her native Canada. Most of the correspondences from that point were via e-mail, her rapier wit still ever-present, even as they became fewer and farther apart. There were rumors that her friend Martin Short had put together a collection to auction off her newfound virginity. That could have been an urban myth — perhaps even fostered by Ms. Torokvei.

It sounds like she had a sense of humor but there was a lot of sad there, too. A few friends stood by her:

While I could never hope to understand the pain and sadness PJ experienced, I learned that friendship can come in any shape, size or color. And that my friend PJ was no different than my friend Peter.

There is a part of me that wishes, very much so, to have heard her describe transition. It’s only the comedians, after all, who tell the whole truth.