Playwright, actor, film- and video maker. Once called by The Toronto Sun “a 6-foot, hairy-chested 220-pound drag queen,” Gilbert founded in 1979 Toronto’s indispensable institution of queer culture Buddies in Bad Time Theatre. In 1994 the organization moved into its spiffy Alexander St. space, and in 1997 Gilbert passed on the reins as artistic director. Gilbert occasionally brought his universe of histrionic excess, social marginality and explosive sex/gender subversion to the large and small screen: his best known work as filmmaker is his 1992 adaptation of My Addiction (1994), a zany ronde of scenes by an assortment of “addicted” characters, from a hustler complaining about his fucked-up johns, to his obsessed and closeted john (played by longstanding collaborator Daniel MacIvor), to the latter’s neurotically co-dependent wife. I Am the Camera Dying (1998, 30) offered a gender‑warped tale of Marvette, a recently deceased heroin addict, who returns to this world as a gorgeous gay sailor who just wants to cruise boys but keeps encountering weird Toronto heterosexuals. Gilbert also lent his legendary performance talent to other queer film and video projects from Mike Hoolboom’s Kanada (1993) to Cynthia Roberts’s Bubbles Galore (1996).
Norwich , CT
Toronto , ON