Rockhampton boy living a double life as a drag queen
BY DAY Dylan Bendall is a Brisbane hairdresser, but by night he transforms into the ever-extraordinary Gayleen Tuckwood.
"When I first met David we were 16 and he had started to do the whole drag thing... he would put me in drag and we would sit in his bedroom behind a camera and play around with it for YouTube," he said.
"But I didn't start it properly until two years ago...I didn't think I would be doing it because I moved to Brisbane for work opportunities.
"It has all just snowed out of control so fast."
Gayleen is now one of the newest and most promising drag queens in Brisbane and was the Miss Sportsman Hotel runner-up last year. She will appear alongside ShuShu in a special hometown performance at ClubRok on Saturday night.
Her success on the scene is fresh and Dylan says he loves the creativity of drag the best.
"For me, I love all the work behind the scenes," he said.
"I sew and I style hair so it's like a creative outlet for me and I like to be my own model."
Back in his school days, Dylan attended The Cathedral College where he came across a few hurdles with his sexuality.
"When I was open and honest with everyone they were cool with it," he said.
"I still played football for two years and they were all accepting.
"The younger generation are of course more open but even all the teachers were pretty cool with it. It was just me."
While he was full of praise for TCC, Dylan said it would have been helpful to have a program such as Safe Schools operating within the education system.
But he wouldn't make it optional.
"I was lucky, but I hear a lot of stories about people having not so positive experiences," Dylan said.
"I think a lot of my research and a lot of me accepting who I was, it was done by myself through the internet. I think it would be better if kids at school had someone to talk to and figure that out.
"And when we did sex-ed no one ever touched on same sex relationships and that is such a hugely important thing."
Dylan was sewing his outfits for tomorrow night. With a Disney themed night it is sure to be a fabulous affair.
- Celebrate ClubRok's 9th Birthday at Flamingo's on Quay dressed as your favourite Disney character.
- Performances by special guests from Brisbane - ShuShu Funtanna (Miss Sportsman Hotel 2015) and Gayleen Tuckwood (Miss Sportsman Hotel r/u 2015) , Biloela gal Felisha Coppaload and Veronica Darling.
- Doors open 9pm on Saturday, March 12, shows at 10:30pm and midnight. $5 cover charge.