Turkey Drag Queen

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Turkey Drag Queen

Photographer: Sedat Suna



Transgender rights activist, actress, and drag queen, Seyhan Arman (39) was born in Adana, Turkey. She left her family home when she was 15 years old and began working as a DJ at a local radio station. She became interested in theatre and first took to the stage in a charity play supporting the disabled community, before performing as a clown on the streets of Adana. In 2000 she moved to Istanbul to work as a singer in a number of underground night clubs.

During these years she became involved with the political LGBT community “Lambda Istanbul”. At this time she took to the stage as drag queen ‘Matmazel Coco’ (Mademoiselle Coco) performing at nightclubs and entertainment events and in 2014 she began her professional acting career. She was nominated for ‘best actress’ for her performance in the theatrical drama ‘Küründen Kabare’ (Cabaret of Sham) which she wrote and produced over two seasons, telling the story of her life as an LGBT individual.

After this success, she starred in several tv series and movies and most recently she has been working dubbing the voice of black drag queen character Electra in the Netflix series “Pose”. When asked about her sexuality Seyhan said: ‘I have discovered something different about me just before the primary school period. I couldn't name it during that time. I didn't know any other transsexual or homosexual beside me, and I was thinking that I am the only one around the world. I thought that there had been a mistake! I really don't care for the physical transformation of me. No matter what I have long or short hair. My breast prosthesis, hormonal support or surgical operations doesn't matter to me. The important thing is my soul; that has never changed. This is the only thing that I care about.'

In Turkey, pride week has been banned for the last four years. According to The Trans Murder Monitoring (TMM) report, Turkey has been ranked first in transsexual murder for the past ten years in Europe. Approximately 60 transsexuals have been killed in the last ten years in Turkey. Turkey’s Pride Week is scheduled for June 24-30, 2019 and is expected to be banned by authorities for the fifth year.