Arts·Canada's a Drag

The chameleon queen of Church Street: She's Sofonda Cox and she's here to slay

Watch the season finale of the CBC Arts docu-series Canada's a Drag, where our country's drag performers sashay into the spotlight.

Watch the season finale of Canada's a Drag, where our country's drag performers sashay into the spotlight

Sofonda Cox. (CBC Arts)

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."

STREAM NOW ON CBC GEM: Canada's a Drag – Sofonda Cox, Toronto

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."

(CBC Arts)
 

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."

Sofonda Cox. (CBC Arts)

Stream seasons 1 and 2 of Canada's a Drag now on CBC Gem.

Series Producers: Mercedes Grundy and Peter Knegt
Episode Directors: Istoica
Packaging Editor: Chanel Klein
Titles Designer: Hope Little​
Special Thanks: Flash Nightclub

About the Author

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.