⭐️Long-listed for the Polari First Book Prize 2017 ⭐️

Rufius TONY
Tony Leonard as Rufius – Marlborough Theatre, Brighton Oct 2016

Meet Rufius, flamboyant hedonist with perfect eyebrows. Rufius is a cinaedus, Latin for an effeminate buggeree. Far from the hard, muscular Roman ideal, cinaedi wore make-up, curled their hair, plucked and painted on their eyebrows. They could be thought of as an ancient Roman version of transgender. The laws that condemned these men to public burning became more severe under the Christian Emperors, but Rufius is having none of it. He’s not ashamed of wearing his mother’s cameo brooches on his toga, and he’s not going to stop talking with a lisp because of a bunch of jumped up bishops!

Rufius –  by Mariana de Oliveira
rufius cartoon_B&W_jpgI first had the idea for RUFIUS in 2004. He’s the first cinaedus who’s dared to be the main character in a novel. One of my aims was to create a character as memorable as the Scarlet Pimpernel (one of my favourite literary characters), so I was chuffed when the novelists who read the novel in progress thought Rufius was one of the best characters in literature in the past ten years. He may be the most un-PC, utterly despicable ancient Roman, but I love him – I hope you do too.
  Thanks to Cartoonist Mariana de Oliveira who has penned this fabulous impression 
Follow Rufius on Twitter @Rufius1

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