Did you know that there is a Turkish drag show that predates Netflix , RuPaul and even those fabulous guys from Queer Eye ? 🏳️🌈 Meet Huysuz Virjin (Grumpy Virgin), one of the most revered Turkish TV personalities of all time.
Seyfi Dursunoglu started performing in drag in Istanbul night clubs as early as 70s. But it was his TV show that earned him a spot in public eye, in early 90s. Here’s an excerpt from the article published by the Guardian after his passing:
For decades in Turkey, there was no higher honour than being made fun of by Huysuz Virjin (Grumpy Virgin), the country’s first drag queen, beloved for her glamorous outfits and outrageous sense of humour. Two days after the then Turkish president, Turgut Özal, appeared as a guest at her Istanbul show in the early 1990s, she was joined by Rauf Denktaş, the leader at the time of Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus. “Will all presidents be short and stocky? Are there any thinner and leaner ones?” she asked with a coy smile, drawing howls of laughter from both the politician and the audience.
Following the 2013 Gezi protests in Istanbul, an autocratic rule increasingly took over the country and its free media, with Grumpy Virgin and his legacy slowly pushed out of the public eye. When he passed away a couple of years ago, he was even denied a proper goodbye. But that doesn’t mean we can’t show our gratitude which is exactly what I’m doing with this piece. I’m telling the whole world his story, the way it deserves to be told. 🌎
Join me in paying justice to this wonderful man’s memory and SHARE this post to share his story with as many people as possible. Who knows, perhaps he’ll inspire others the way he inspired the 13 year old me to come out of my shell. 🌈
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