The World Needs Another Quentin Crisp
I first met Quentin Crisp on the recommended videos section on YouTube while watching a Maya Angelou poetry performance. I can’t really recall what it was that made me jump to the video and click. I guess the loud make up, the wrinkles that told a story and a captivating sharp look in the thumbnail of the image. Soon enough after that first video, I dived into a world of what his admirers refer to as ‘Crisperanto’. I don’t think I will ever be able to leave it. Or if I would want to.
Born on Christmas day in the year 1908, Denis Pratt known to the world as Quentin Crisp, had a rough childhood growing up in a rigorously homophobic society. In his early 20s he changed his name as a part of a process of reinvention. Despite of being suppressed and mocked by the society, he was always true to himself. He expressed himself by dying his hair and polishing his nails the brightest he could.
After being rejected by the British Army Medical Board who determined him to be suffering from sexual perversion, he continued onward with several jobs including engineer’s tracer, a male prostitute, life model and eventually an author. The world took notice of Quentin Crisp in 1968 when, at almost 60 years old, his autobiography, The Naked Civil Servant, was published. His life became the subject of Sting’s An Englishman In New York. He died in 1999, having published 14 books and starred in more than 20 films.
Revered and feared for both his razor-sharp wit and awe-inspiring courage of living authentically, Quentin did influence the world in his own way.
Here is a compilation of some quirky and witty and fabulous Quentin wisdom.
To watch Quentin in his element during a Q & A post his show, dive in here: An Evening with Quentin