Newcastle Drag Legend Glenda Jackson Passes Away

Newcastle Drag Legend Glenda Jackson Passes Away
Image: Newcastle's Glenda Jackson. Images: Glenda Jackson / Facebook

Newcastle LGBTQI+ community icon and drag legend Glenda (Glen) Jackson has sadly passed away.

The news was confirmed by Glen’s friends via her social media. Ian Tufrey posted to Glenda’s Facebook page that Glend passed away in his sleep, surrounded by friends at 7:50am on May 27 at Mater Hospice.

“This is Ian Tufrey writing this message to let everyone know that Glen/Glenda has left us.

“He passed away at 7.50am this morning in his sleep at the Mater Hospice surrounded by a number of very close friends including Heinz, Doris, Laurie, Diane, Philip and his brother-in-law Duffy.”

Newcastle community icon Glenda Jackson

Glenda Jackson was a local drag legend, who first made her mark on stage in the 1970s in Newcastle.

Glenda told Star Observer in 2018 that her “first time in ‘full’ drag and doing a number on stage was in 1971 or ’72, at Merewether Leagues Club, near Newcastle on the NSW, North Coast. I was the youngest in the show, which meant all eyes were on me”.

“I loved the look, the glitz, and all the glamour, plus the feeling of being a woman. When I first started I was extremely slim and girly, so it all came very natural to me,” she told us.

She continued to delight local crowds for decades,  lipsyncing to her favourites –’I’m Every Woman’ by Whitney Houston, ‘Chain Reaction’ by Diana Ross, and ‘Friends’ by Bette Midler. Jackson told Star Observer she “always [does] songs with vocals I understand and have a connection with”.

She was also well known for hosting local bingo events such as BIG BALLS bingo.

Memorial for Glenda Jackson to come

Tufrey told Jackson’s friends and family that a memorial for the beloved local icon is being organised at her local, the Carrington Bowling Club, where she delighted local audiences for countless years.

“I will be in contact about a Celebration of Life for Glenn/Glenda in the near future aiming for an event at Carrington Bowling Club the afternoon of Sunday, 23rd June. Rest in peace our dear, dear friend ❤️”, wrote Tufrey.

Vale, Glenda Jackson.

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