Myron Breckinridge flies to Copenhagen to get a sex-change operation, becoming the beautiful Myra. Returning to America, Myra goes to her uncle Buck Loner’s acting school, where she pretends to be her own widow and claims that it was Myron’s will that she receive half the school, or $500,000; when Loner demurs, she asks that she be given a teaching job there to provide for herself. Buck reluctantly agrees, while launching an investigation into the veracity of Myra’s claims.
Although she is ostensibly assigned an etiquette class, Myra instead philosophizes about the semiotics of the Golden Age of Hollywood while also introducing concepts of femdom into the curriculum. In debates with Myron—who physically manifests to Myra to discuss their plan—it is revealed that Myra has come to the academy with the intention of “the destruction of the last vestigial traces of traditional manhood in the race in order to realign the sexes, thus reducing population while increasing human happiness and preparing for its next stage.”
On campus, Myra becomes obsessed with a pair of young lovers named Rusty and Mary Ann, whom she believes embody all the traits of American gender norms. One night, on the pretext of arranging for him to undergo a physical exam, Myra ties Rusty to a table and anally rapes him with a strap on. The assault causes Rusty to abandon Mary Ann. Myra uses the pair’s breakup to move in on Mary Ann herself, encouraging her to experiment with bisexuality. Myra’s pursuit of Rusty and Mary Ann is paralleled with the life of Leticia van Allen, a female casting agent who habitually seduces the young men who come to her for auditions. Leticia and Myra briefly cross paths when Leticia comes to the school scouting for talent. Following her assault of Rusty, Myra sends him to Leticia, who claims Rusty as her own lover.
Buck continues his investigation, ultimately uncovering evidence that Myron never died and that no death certificate exists for him. Confronted with the truth, Myra admits to the truth and strips naked before a horrified Buck; Buck’s response indicates that Myra did not have her testes removed during her sex change.
Myra continues her pursuit of Mary Ann, who turns her down, telling her that she wishes she were a man. The next day, the manifestation of Myron—claiming that Myra has become too ambitious—runs her down in a car.
Myron awakens in the hospital from the beginning of the film, where it’s indicated he has been admitted for a car accident, not gender reassignment; his nurse is Mary Ann. Looking at his bedside table, Myron sees a magazine featuring an article on Raquel Welch.