Arts·Canada's a Drag

Take a wild ride through the streets of Winnipeg with club kid drag queen Pharaoh Moans

For Moans, drag is a means to make an impact — and change the world while she's at it. Watch Canada's a Drag Season 2 now.

For Moans, drag is a means to make an impact — and change the world while she's at it

Pharaoh Moans gets some groceries. (CBC Arts)

Pharaoh Moans 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.​

Winnipeg's Pharaoh Moans is a self-described "androgynous drag monster who performs with a social consciousness." As she explains: "I'm interested in creating shock value and impact that challenges the binary in today's society."

Pharaoh's drag is a mesh of several different influences from '80s punk to '90s club kids to contemporary high fashion. She uses her drag as a "political statement" — a tool to "claim space, normalize expression and challenge the binary of the western world." 

She enjoys bringing her persona to the streets most, where she is able to "make impact regarding these issues without ever having to say a word."

You'll see what she means in a moment.  

Watch the episode:

Episode 8 7:03

Series Producers: Mercedes Grundy and Peter Knegt
Episode Directors: Taryn Anderson and Jordan Molaro
Packaging Editor: March Mercanti 
Titles Designer: Hope Little

Pharaoh was inspired to become a drag performer after realizing that there was a gap of expression in Winnipeg's drag community.

"There was a lack of representation of self-declared freaks and punks, monsters and club kids," she says. "During that era when I started, many of the scene's drag performers were interested in female impersonation and looking pretty. Knowing very well that I had something more to offer, I decided that in order to fill this gap of expression, I would have to do it myself."

So she did. And it's changed her life, giving her — among other things — community.

Before drag, Pharaoh considered herself very isolated and "had very few confidants in this world."

"After performing in drag, I became the mother of the Haüs of Bath and began to nurture a chosen family who supported me as I expressed my true self. Drag also worked as a catalyst for me to gain insight into many different lifestyles. I began work facilitating safe spaces and programs that encouraged folx to grow with harm reduction in mind. Drag has helped me also deal with my own shame, turning it into pride."

Pharaoh Moans in downtown Winnipeg. (CBC Arts)

Celebrating her 10th year of drag this July, Pharaoh is also the co-founder of the Like That @ Sunshine House collective, a "come as you are" safe space for Winnipeg's 2SLGBTTQQIIA+ community. And as if that all isn't enough, she also facilitates programming for a safe space "for folx who identify as being current or former sex workers, experientials, and/or victims and survivors of the sex trade."

Follow Pharaoh Moans on Instagram.

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

About the Author

Peter Knegt

Peter Knegt has worked for CBC Arts since way back in 2016, with highlights including co-hosting weekly live talk show State of the Arts, writing the regular LGBTQ-culture column Queeries and playing integral roles in the launch of series The Filmmakers and Canada's a Drag. Beyond CBC, Knegt is also the filmmaker of numerous short films and the author of the book About Canada: Queer Rights. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter with the same obvious handle: @peterknegt.