Indigiqueer king Mx. Wolverine is politicizing and sexifying stages with a mix of drag and burlesque
Tkaronto's midnight tease, trickster and shapeshifter has used drag to find themselves
Mx. Wolverine is just one of the many fabulous subjects featured in Canada's a Drag, a docu-series from CBC Arts that showcases drag artists from across the true North strong and fierce. You can watch all three seasons here.
Mx. Wolverine has only been been performing since 2018, but their rise to prominence in Toronto's drag and burlesque communities has been nothing less than meteoric. Amalgamating traditional drag with a self-described mix of "draglesque, shapeshifting genderfuckery, Indigenous political resistance and and sensual rockstar," there's no one else quite like them.
"There really aren't that many Indigenous drag kings out there, so that in itself makes it unique," says the two-spirit performer, who also goes by Midnight Wolverine. "My drag is so traditional yet fluid at the same time, moving from subtle and not-so-subtle political statements, to straight up boylesque striptease, to character and narrative-based storytelling, to just good ol' fashioned fun and smooth lipsyncing."
Series Producers: Mercedes Grundy and Peter Knegt
Episode Director: Lucius Dechausay
Packaging Editor: Kiah Welsh
Titles Designer: Hope Little
Raised on Treaty 8 territory in the town of Hay River, N.W.T., Mx. says the lack of queer visibility — even in the territory's largest community, Yellowknife — was incredibly challenging.
"It wasn't even a thing that crossed my mind growing up. It wasn't even like, queer is something that you can be — you just never saw it," they say. "[So] coming out was really hard. It was a long process. I denied that part of my identity for many, many, many years and I would use every excuse under the moon to tell myself that I was not gay...but I was."
At 18, they headed to start a new life in Toronto.
"At that point in my life I was like, 'I need to move as far away as possible.' And so I moved to Ontario," they say. "I used to hate Toronto because it was so big and I am very much a small town person. I love being around very few people. So I never thought I would live here. But it was the best decision that I could have made because finding my burlesque and drag community in Toronto has been instrumental in my own identity and my own self-understanding."
At the beginning, Mx. wasn't quite sure how public they wanted to be with their drag persona.
"Is it something that I keep very hidden? Is it this other world or other life that I live? And I would say it kind of is and it kind of has been, but it's been about a year and a half of performing and I'm starting to feel like it's not something that I want to be hidden."
"I put on high heels and lashes and I feel a hundred percent like myself. But when I put on a beard and boxer briefs, I also feel a hundred percent like myself. And so for me it's a way to feel like myself in completely different ways, but both are equally me."