Saskatchewan

Cheryl Trade went from northern Sask. to front and centre at Saskatoon drag shows

Cheryl Trade — the drag persona of Jordan McKay — hosts some of the most high energy and entertaining drag shows in the province.Trade is proud of who is had become

'My daytime name is Jordan, but Cheryl likes to have fun'

Cheryl Trade is the host of Disco Diva's and is Miss Gay Saskatoon for 2019. She's headed to La Ronge Wednesday to support her hometown in flying the Pride flag. (Facebook/Cheryl Trade)

Cheryl Trade went from living in northern Saskatchewan to becoming a representative for the LBGTQ community in Saskatoon.

Trade — the drag persona of Jordan McKay — hosts some of the most high energy and entertaining drag shows in the province.

"My daytime name is Jordan" said Trade. "But Cheryl likes to have fun, she likes to look put together and have a good time, but the best thing about her is I like to make people smile."

Trade, 28, is Miss Gay Saskatoon, one of the biggest names in the local drag scene.

Originally from the northern town of Lac La Ronge, Trade moved to Saskatoon as a young adult and soon discovered drag queens and her alter ego.

Trade, a former film student, said she really didn't know what drag was until she saw some videos on Youtube and was inspired by the famous drag queen RuPaul. 

What began as a Halloween outfit soon grew into a lifestyle for Trade. She said she had little to no confidence when she first began.

"I was shy and didn't know, " said Trade. "It was sort of do your makeup in your room, take a few pictures and wipe it all off."

Now Trade hosts monthly drag shows raising money for charities around Saskatoon as Miss Gay Saskatoon.

Trade said that now that more and more people are becoming aware of themselves, she is beginning to see more diverse people getting into drag, including the uptick in drag kings.

Modern-day Diva's Nightclub. (Kelly Faber)

Trade says that one of the most important things about being in drag, whether it be a drag queen or a drag king, that the performer should be having a good time.

"Whether you're doing back flips, whether you're singing live, I think the biggest thing is you have to hold an audience's attention and make them want to come back for another show." said Trade

Her next show is Disco Diva's this Friday at Diva's in Saskatoon. It's a live drag show where drag kings and drag queens bring their best singing, dancing and entertainment skills to the stage.

"I don't want someone to go home and say, 'Oh that was okay.' I want them to go home and say that was a show!" Trade said.

What began as dressing up in her home is now a lifestyle. Trade said she is proud of who she is and enjoys sharing her talent with the people who come to her shows.

"Whether I make them laugh with a joke or whether I'm hair flipping I want people to enjoy themselves and have a good time around me."

About the Author

Penny Smoke

Journalist

Penny Smoke Cree/Saulteaux born and raised in Saskatchewan. She currently works with CBC Indigenous and has spent time with the CBC Storytelling Project, CBC Saskatchewan as a reporter and assisted as an Associate Producer with CBC's The Afternoon Edition.