Gary Dickinson (Retired)

Since he began his drag king career in May 2006 as a sleazy, motorcycle riding, beer drinking, and dope smoking headbanger, Gary Dickinson has evolved into a multifaceted dude. He is now known to embody everything from classy, suave and sensitive masculinity to outdoorsy woodsman-like rigour to freaky and outlandish genderfuck. He’s still a joker but a kind-spirited one who’s always willing to help a buddy fix his car, or help a preggo cross the street. He’s nice to kids and cats. Dogs and assholes . . . not so much.


Gary was born sometime in 2004. His female alter-ego, Nancy, had wanted to be a boy since childhood and started occasionally dressing in drag, including facial hair and boxer shorts. When a contest was announced at the Meow Mix for aspiring Drag Kings in May 2006, she jumped at the chance and Gary made his first on-stage appearance with a lip-sync of Iron Maiden’s Number of the Beast. He won the contest, much to his surprise (because the other acts were damn good too) and immediately got hooked. That night, he made the acquaintance of the famous Mambo Kings (two of their members were the judges of the contest), the also-famous Nat King Pole and other newbies including Dirk Van Dyk, an honorary Dukes of Drag member who had to leave us for a promising career in Calgary, Alberta. In the fall of 2006, he networked with some of these people to create an electronic mailing list for both experienced and aspiring Drag Kings. This core group would eventually form King Size and King Size would eventually become The Dukes of Drag.

Why “Gary Dickinson”?

Nancy always liked the name “Gary.” The first Gary she met was a rugged carpenter friend of her Dad’s. This guy was friendly but mischievous, strong but soft . . . like her dad, who she adored. So it was an automatic choice for her Drag King persona. The name Dickinson is an homage to Bruce Dickinson (aka the Ultimate Deity of Love, Lust and Light, or UDLLL), lead singer and front man of the legendary heavy metal band, Iron Maiden . Ultimately, it’s a great name because it doesn’t mean anything specific – Dickinson is just a regular last name. Therefore, it doesn’t limit Gary to performing any particular type of performance. The reference to “dick” in the name doesn’t hurt either 😉

What else does Gary do?

Gary’s alter ego Jacky, formerly known as Nancy, has a life offstage! He’s a mom to a beautiful and happy little boy who, unsurprisingly, loves to play pretend! When this queer franglophone isn’t busy teaching anthropology at a local college or tackling and tickling his little guy, he is active in the fight for the recognition of queers and Aboriginal peoples. His future projects include getting a PhD in anthropology, getting published, getting more tattoos, learning 4 Aboriginal languages, brushing up on his German, adopting a 10 year old child and combining academic knowledge with theatre to promote social justice.

*Newsflash* Gary Retired at the Meow Mix on December 6, 2008