Bülent Ersoy, Turkey’s Most Popular Transgender

Bülent Ersoy is born 9 June 1952 as Bülent Erkoç. She is a transgender Turkish Ottoman Music singer. She is known as one of the greatest singers of Turkish music and fans called her as “Diva” or “Abla (means “elder sister” in Turkish)”.

Over the years, Ersoy has become a symbol for the increased tolerance for  LGBT figures in Turkey.

She began her career as a male singer in the genre of  Turkish Classical Music and became a movie actor early on. Already one of Turkey’s most popular male singers and actors, Bülent Ersoy gained international notoriety in 1981 after having sex reassignment surgery. Ersoy kept the name “Bülent” even though it is a male name.

After the operation, Bülent found herself in opposition to the regime. In a crackdown on “social deviance,” Ersoy’s public performances were banned in Turkey along with those of other transsexual and transgendered people.Bülent Ersoy moved to Germany and continued her career along with some albums and movies.

In 1988, the Turkish civil Code was revised so that those who completed sex reassignment surgery could apply for a pink or blue (pink for female, blue for male) identity card by which they were legally recognized in their new sex. Ersoy soon returned to singing and acting, becoming more popular as a woman than she had been as a man.

In the recent past, her serving as a jury member in the American Idol’s Turkish version Popstar Alaturka made her more popular than ever. She has married with much much younger guys than herself. Her latest album AŞKTAN SABIKALI which was released in 2011 was a great success.

Allthough she’s one of the biggest gay icons of Turkey, she has never obviously supported LGBTT individuals. Even about transgender people she never said a word to defend them in any case because in her words “she was always a woman, never a man” That’s really shameful for her but we must appreciate and respect her standing tall and struggling against to all barriers and becoming one of the richest singers in the world.

Altthough you don’t like us much we do love you BÜLENT ABLA!

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