Miss Shangay Lily (March 1, 1963 - April 11, 2016) was best known for being one of Spain's most popular drag queens. He was also a writer, actor and director.


A radical feminist intellectual, Miss Shangay Lily became a pioneer Queer activist and social agitator in Spain's incipient gay rights movement, combining entertainment and politics in a unique Tea Dance that swiftly became the toast of Madrid's then-blooming gay liberation movement. He soon cemented his credentials as a unique LGBT activist by creating Spain's first free gay magazine, Shangay Express, a mixture of humor and politics.

He immediately became visible on television with his witty statements and some unprecedented and infamous appearances in A-list events. His uniqueness was due to the sociological fact that until he appeared, the only transgender presence in the country, besides transsexuals and transvestites, were female impersonators who did not take a major part in politics. This could explain why his mixture of activism and entertainment came to the fore in the 90s Spanish gay scene. His subversive performances helped collect a sense of community in Madrid, centering on Chueca, the city's well-known gay neighborhood.

Another moment was his hosting the Spanish premiere of The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, riding in an exact replica of the film's lavender bus to pick up the movie's director Stephan Elliott, then riding across the city, performing on its amazed streets, and hosting its first ever drag party. This event provoked a media frenzy.

From this visibility stemmed his role in one of Spain's "new comedy" films, Boca a boca (Mouth to Mouth) (1995), with Javier Bardem.

Becoming the first openly gay personality on national television, where he promoted his anti-heteronormative politics during an increasingly conservative era under the Partido Popular, he came under attacks that hampered his ascent. But, although he was viewed more and more as an alternative culture or underground performer, he worked on some of the most important primetime shows and soon became a mainstream household name.

He then turned to literature and confirmed his maverick position by publishing four books with some of Spain's major publishing houses, an unheard-of feat for a drag queen. His works include the non-fiction books Hombres... y otros animales de compañia ("Men and other pets") and Mari, ¿me pasas el poppers? ("Sis', could you pass me the poppers?") and the novels Escuela de glamour ("Glamour school") and Machistófeles ("Machistophele"). His fifth book is on its way: a new novel about his years in Queer New York and the Crystal Meth crisis.

His work in television continued with his own television show, an indie talk show about literature and art called Shangay Café, that run for four seasons in a small TV network; he also worked in the theatre. He came to TV prominence once again by taking part in a very popularreality television show in Spain: "La Granja de los famosos".

In 2005 he directed his first feature film, Santa Miguel de Molina, a portrait of the rise and decadence of the Spanish homosexual community, the corruption of some gay lobby groups, and the stigmatization of queers by the conservative urban gay elite. It was premiered in Spain's 2005 LesGaiCineMad (Madrid's Lesbian and Gay film festival).

In 2006 he started his vlog to cover a different point of view with irony, humour and an assortment of characters that reflect the gay community in a pecliar news report called "Teledivario: news from the other side of the street" .

In October 2007 he premiered in Madrid, Spain, his new theater act: "Burgayses". A show with music about the rising new class in the gay community, the bourGAYsies, set in a gay cruise.

In February 2008 he unsuccesfully applied to represent Spain at the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest with the song HiperSuperMegaDiva.

In November 2010 he burst in drag into a conference by the PP leader Mariano Rajoy, protesting against homophobia.

In April 11 of 2016 he passed away from a pancreatic cancer, which was detected around 2014.


"Transsexual identity in Spain has been brought to the forefront by an over-the-top personality known as Miss Shangay Lily. She is a post-modern feminist diva and the author of a trilogy of smart and spunky novels she calls Trilogy of the Escape: Deconstruction of the Homosexual Reality from a Neo-Feminist Perspective. The second book in the series is Machistófeles (2002), an anti-patriarchal lesbian tale that uses innovative narrative techniques to turn gender on its head. Miss Shangay Lily also hosts a weekly literary talk show on television and posts an online blog."

- Lesbian poet Tatiana de la Tierra, in the lesbian magazine Curve


TV Works



  • Monólogos feministas para una diva (2002)
  • Mari, ¿me pasas el poppers? (la dis-función) (2003)
  • Uterolandia (2005)
  • Burgayses (2007)
  • Movilizarse no es hablar por el móvil (2010)
  • Masculino singular (2011)
  • La vida en rosa, rojo y violeta (2014)

External links

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