Drag Queen: History in the Entertainment Industry

Drag queen is the name given to the people who perform the stage art where entertainment and theater are intertwined. Exaggerated make-up and hair are in the foreground in these shows, where usually men wear women’s clothes. These performances, which are not only based on appearance, are performed with a scathing humor. Although it is called zenne in Turkish, drag queen is a broader profession.

Are drag queen and zenne the same thing?


Taking the feminine attitude in its extreme dimensions, drag queens combine criticism with comedy. They don’t just dance. Long and curved eyelashes, often strikingly colored hair and eye-catching accessories are among the must-haves for drag queens. With great stage talent, drag queens have more than just a straight laugh.

Is drag queening the new entertainment trend?

drag queen

In fact, drag queen shows, which are not new at all, began to take their place on the stage in 1883. Before this date, the word queen was a homophobic expression. Over time, it started to be adopted in the show and entertainment industry. There are several pictures of drag queens in women’s clothing from the 1800s and 1900s. Although these nostalgic photos are few in number, they show us that these shows are old.

What does drag queen mean?

drag queen

The women’s clothing worn by male artists in the Victorian era reached down to the floor. The word drag, which means to drag in English, takes its name from this style of clothing. The queen, which means queen, began to be called by this name with the revolts of the drag queens in the Stonewall riots.

What role did drag queens play in the Stonewall Uprising?

Stonewall ayaklanması

On June 27, 1969, a bar frequented by gays was raided by the police. In this homophobic and discriminatory attack, many homosexuals were subjected to violence. After the raid on this bar called Stonewall Inn in New York, drag queens took the lead in the struggle for rights.

The oppressive system of homosexuals has faced brave resistance. Drag queens openly showed their courage to continue the rebellion against this controlling order. This event, which is seen as a cornerstone in the struggle for rights of homosexuals, had a great historical repercussion.

Can only transsexuals be drag queens?

transeksüeller mi drag queen olur

Drag queening; It contains dance, song, comedy and many entertainment elements belonging to stage shows. Although mostly performed by gays, straight men can also be a drag queen performer. Likewise, a woman can be a drag queen.

It would be a mistake to think that drag queens are all transgender . This theatrical performance, which is a profession, does not mean that people adopt the same clothing style in their daily lives. Likewise, their perceived sexual identity on stage does not necessarily reflect their actual sexual orientation.

How many types of drag performers are there?

drag king

Apart from the drag queen we know, there are three other types of drag. These:

1) Women pretending to be men (drag king)

2) Women pretending to be drag queens (faux queens)

3) Men pretending to be drag kings (faux kings)

Do Köçek and canton have anything to do with being a drag queen?


The Köçek culture of Anatolia means a dancing man in a female costume. Kanto is a stage show where women dressed as drag queens dance and sing. Despite the culturally different designations, the common goal is to entertain. Köçek air, which also existed in the Ottoman period, has a very old history.

When we say Kanto, Nurhan Damcıoğlu has been the single most important representative in our country. These performing arts, which are much older than we think, are also known by various names in our country from past to present. Although not directly related to drag queenship, artistic creation is similar.

Are there any names that come to mind when it comes to drag queens in Turkey?

Huysuz Virjin

Seyfi Dursunoğlu, aka Huysuz Virgin, achieved great success with his shows that were watched with great interest. From the 1970s to the 2010s, it reached a wide audience with its entertainment programs. The artist, who died at the age of 87, is remembered as the most famous drag queen ever in Turkey.

Extending into the present, we can mention Mademoiselle Coco. She is both a talented drag queen and an activist. Mademoiselle Coco, who has signed many popular works, grew up with the theater. In addition to the films for which he received awards, his one-man cabarets are also worth watching.

Rose Yule is also one of our country’s most successful drag queens. Showcasing this culture in the best way, Rose takes her place at the forefront with her modeling career. His theatrical talent in the video clips he starred in is very effective in reflecting the emotion to the audience. She is also a makeup artist.

Gia Androgyny is a drag queen who stands out with her own distinct style. Gia, who has been in this sector for 8 years; He is an expert in many fields such as dance, costume design, modeling, make-up artist. Besides styling in serials, she is also interested in stage decorations.

Who are the famous drag queens in the world?


When we talk about drag queening, it’s hard not to mention RuPaul. He became very popular with RuPaul’s Drag Race. This show, which is also broadcast on Netflix, is among the most watched. RuPaul brought the drag queen culture that is normally showcased in entertainment clubs to the screens in a way that everyone can reach. Considered the most famous drag queen in the entire world, the American actor has received numerous awards.

Violet Chachki is another popular name known for RuPauls’ show. Standing out with her pin-up style, Violet is both a model and a burlesque artist. Trixie Mattel is one of those who achieved fame with RuPauls’ show again. A drag queen, both a singer and a comedian. Trixie, who has more than 2 million followers on Instagram, is also a Youtuber. Katya Zamolodchikova is one of the drag queens who stand out with her different humor. Katya, whom we know from RuPauls’ show, makes the audience laugh with her use of English with a Russian accent. He is also a writer.

Do all drag queens perform the same?

drag queen

Drag queenship actually divides into many branches. Modeling is one of them. On the other hand, there are those who take the stage only by singing. Besides those who are comedians, there are also those who stand out with the art of make-up. Although all of them are different, the number of drag queens performing them all together is also quite high.

What do drag queens have in common?

drag queen

The concept of drag queen is much more than making you laugh and entertain. Against social pressure; They have strong, self-confident and creative personalities. Their quick wit and sarcastic humor are always a big factor in attracting attention. They are not just a glittery and flamboyant costume. We have many acquaintances who like to make people around them laugh. It is also courage to do this by going beyond the standard norms of the society. His acting skills are quite strong and assertive. While it is a profession that has always been referred to as extravagant, portraying the extreme is no easy task.

Can drag queens earn enough money?

maddi kazanç

Due to social and economic conditions, the drag industry is progressing slowly in our country. Social media is a source of income for many people. Famous names do not give much space to drag performers on their social media. The more they become known, the more likely they are to make a living. In this case, the support of some phenomenon or popular person is needed. The essence of the matter is that we can say that they could not earn the required financial gain.

Are there any social problems that drag queens experience?

drag queen

People outside the norms are discriminated against at a global level, beyond society. Where differences are not accepted, we can see the traces of hatred. Non-heterosexual individuals continue their struggle for rights today. Drag queens, like any other person who is not considered “normal”, can be subjected to various kinds of bullying. There are many drag performers who feel threatened, harassed and abused.

We hope to see days when no one is sabotaged because of their sexual orientation and lifestyle…

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Kategoriler: Art, Culture

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