Arts·Canada's a Drag

She's Quanah Style and she's unapologetically blazing a trail for powerhouse transgender drag queens

For the Vancouver queen of all trades, the most important thing is staying true to herself. Watch Canada's a Drag Season 2 now.

For the Vancouver queen of all trades, the most important thing is staying true to herself

Quanah Style in downtown Vancouver. (CBC Arts)

Quanah Style 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 21 episodes here.

"I'm a woman who happens to be transgender, who happens to do drag and who happens to be fucking sickening," Quanah Style proudly proclaims in her episode of Canada's a Drag. And that only begins to capture who she is.

She's self-described as "one part fearless club kid and another part powerhouse musician" — blazing a trail for transgender artists with the reality docuseries Quanah: Trans Op, opening for performers like Peaches, Lady Bunny and Buffy Sainte-Marie and working in theatre productions like Zee Theatre's Trans Scripts, Part I.

"Being true to myself means living my life how I want to, unapologetically," Quanah says. "Trying to be somebody you're not is an uncomfortable place to be in in your life. When you are trying to make everybody else happy and [are] overly concerned with what everyone else can really wear you down."

Watch the episode:

Episode 12

4 years ago
Duration 6:13
Episode 12

Series Producers: Mercedes Grundy and Peter Knegt
Episode Director: Jennifer Roworth
Episode Editor: Jessica Dymond
Packaging Editor: March Mercanti 
Titles Designer: Hope Little

Quanah grew up in Moberly Lake, B.C., a small, remote reserve in the north of the province. 

"I feel like as a little kid I wasn't aware of gender," she says. "But my mom always says that when we'd go to powwows and stuff growing up, before I could speak, I was always doing the girls' dances. And then probably around elementary school I remember waiting for everybody to leave so I could throw on my sisters' clothes or the high socks. And I remember getting sent home a few times because there was 'inappropriate behavior.' It was just always natural for me, and I feel like somewhere along the lines society told me that that wasn't OK."

By the time she was 15 years old, Quanah had already begun transitioning. 

"It was really hard with school and everything," she says. "But I had my gender confirmation ceremony by the time I turned 18 — the week I turned 18."

Quanah Style. (CBC Arts)

Quanah acknowledges it's confusing for some people as to why she does drag as a post-op trans woman.

"But for me...I don't see why not," she says. "I live my life as a woman, full-time, all the time. But drag is a component of what I do and an aspect of my life that is different. Drag queens are artists. They hold nothing back. That's what I love about drag queens — that and their meaty tucks."

Follow Quanah Style on Instagram.

Meet the other 12 kings and queens in the second season of Canada's a Drag here.


Peter Knegt (he/him) is a writer, producer and host for CBC Arts. He writes the LGBTQ-culture column Queeries (winner of the Digital Publishing Award for best digital column in Canada) and hosts and produces the talk series Here & Queer. He's also spearheaded the launch and production of series Canada's a Drag, variety special Queer Pride Inside, and interactive projects Superqueeroes and The 2010s: The Decade Canadian Artists Stopped Saying Sorry. Collectively, these projects have won Knegt four Canadian Screen Awards. Beyond CBC, Knegt is also the filmmaker of numerous short films, the author of the book About Canada: Queer Rights and the host of the monthly film series Queer Cinema Club at Toronto's Paradise Theatre. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter with the same obvious handle: @peterknegt.