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What?! Kings of Joy T-shirts!

block 13 drag king kings of joy kings of joy all-stars lgbtqia+ making a difference queer the king coach Aug 16, 2022

This Thurs 18th August is our inaugural, never been done before night of Drag Kingdom, bringing together the groups of Kings of Joy in an epic night of boi bands.

And as another first, we are releasing our very first, brand new Kings of Joy t-shirts designed by King of Joy, Toby aka Martin Van Tasmal @trashgirlarts.

"By day, my nine-to-five job is a storyboard artist at a lovely local Sydney studio. So I basically work behind the scenes of a lot of TV animation. But I've always had a soft spot for fashion and merchandising."

"When Danica expressed interest in starting up Drag Kingdom and getting Kings of Joy into a self-funding status... the idea of merchandise was just so exciting to me. And I really wanted to give back to a community that had already given me so much just coming here to Sydney. It was a really great excuse, getting into t-shirt design and the stickers coming out and just getting to interpret the big unidentifiable feelings of like, joy and gender affirmation as well as exploration and transformation. And somehow put all of those absurd, I guess, elements into physical merchandise has been a very cool experience."

It has been thrilling to collaborate with Toby @trashgirlarts and co-create a surrealism-pop design. I really wanted to provide a platform for art. And having art splashed across a t-shirt is a great way to do it. You can listen to my podcast interview with Toby about all things merch here.

In Toby's words, "The t-shirt design is basically a stone-like bust in a very like Romanesque statue style, of a very gender nonconforming looking person with a golden crown melting on their head as their stone body breaks away to reveal this glowing, massive red heart in the center and all kinds of vines and stars being torn away as it just bursts with all kinds of queer affirmation and love."

"Honestly, that was so fun to draw. I don't think I do many anatomical or like body horror kind of stuff in my time. But there's something so nice about drawing, like, the contrast of something so stylized, but also so fleshy. And it's very gorgeous. I was really happy with the shading on it. And so I don't know, again, hitting on that like old school, religious or like, Royal iconography and using it for our little gay community. So happy with it."

Bonus - we also made stickers!!

The design of the stickers features this beautiful unravelling of binding tape - a key tool in both drag and gender-affirming communities. Add some scissors and a little crown that says Kings of Joy and we have a backdrop. The final and most important layer is the bold statement made by one of our Kings of Joy, JSTARS, "Kings That Tape Together Stay Together" in true Kings of Joy style. One of the other things that we really value is representation. So we decided to do a few different variations of color, and skin colors and background colors.

We're releasing our merch at Drag Kingdom this Thursday 18th August at The Red Rattler, Marrickville, NSW, Australia. Save yourself the postage fee and take your merch home with you at Drag Kingdom. Otherwise, go to and order online.

You can connect with Toby @trashgirlartson on Instagram and discover more of their beautiful artwork. You can also follow their Drag King persona Martin Van Tasmal @martin.vantasmal on Instagram. "All pronouns are good pronouns. You're welcome to leave a comment or a message anytime." Toby

If you're interested in any of our merch, go to And if you want to grab yourself a t-shirt or some stickers, just know that 10% of all merchandise goes to our LGBTQIA friends who are refugees living in Kakuma in Block 13. Making a difference as well as making art in the world.



The King Coach

Wanna be a Drag King? Do it in a group with Kings of Joy. Click here to join the waiting list.



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