The chameleon queen of Church Street: She's Sofonda Cox and she's here to slay
Watch the season finale of Canada's a Drag, where our country's drag performers sashay into the spotlight
Sofonda Cox 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.
Toronto's famed Church and Wellesley village wouldn't be the same without Sofonda Cox, the queen at the heart of the season finale of Canada's a Drag. On pretty much any night, you can find her on a stage giving — among other things — the city's best Beyoncé realness.
The man behind her, Jonathan Cruz, says being Sofonda has given him so much happiness and purpose in life.
"I can sincerely say I am passionate about my career as a queen," Cruz says. "This is why I am driven every time I have a show. It's always an adventure. I found what I love doing."
Cruz — who grew up in the Philippines and moved to Toronto when he was 12 years old — sees Sofonda as a chameleon.
"I transform myself each time," he says, whether that means tying Sofonda to two life-sized puppets to become Destiny's Child or giving her own version of Beyoncé's Lemonade, both of which became viral sensations.
"Being onstage for me just gives me life. You feel like you're a star. It's nice when the spotlight hits you and everyone's watching you. The adrenaline kicks in. It's a wonderful, nerve-wracking experience."
Sofonda Cox has also been around a long time before RuPaul's Drag Race, and has noticed a serious uptick in competition.
"In drag, it becomes cliquey. It is a business; it is my way of life. There's hundreds of queens now and there's only certain demand. There's only certain bars. How are you all going to be employed? It's not just for fun — it's how I make my sole income."
Cruz says that, as in anything you do, there's jealousy.
"Which is a really bad thing in the community," he says. "But you learn from it. You learn not pay attention to it. Instead of being catty to other queens, challenge your work and make it good. Show it onstage. You feel bad inside, you feel awful...but you know what? It actually gives me a boost of energy to do better. That's what I do. I channel that negative energy and make it positive."
Series Producers: Mercedes Grundy and Peter Knegt
Episode Directors: Istoica
Packaging Editor: Chanel Klein
Titles Designer: Hope Little
Special Thanks: Flash Nightclub