LGBTQ

Drag Queen’s Reign is Supreme, An Interview with Sofonda Cox

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Toronto`s LGBTQ scene would not be complete without seeing and believing, a performance by Miss Sofonda Cox.  Her Drag name may make you chuckle, but her performance will leave you in awe and an ardent fan.  Jonathan, the man behind the Queen, created a mainstream Sofonda, who has seamlessly transitioned from club stage to the Toronto stage with flare and creativity that has kept her relevant, and a definite must see.

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416:  What does Drag mean to you?

Sofonda: Drag has become my career. It’s a way to express myself as an individual, and it helped boost my confidence. I would say Drag has helped me be me.

416: Who is Sofonda /Jonathan?

Sofonda: Jonathan is funny, the life of the party kind of a guy; he dresses less extravagant, less theatrical. Sofonda is an extension of Jonathan; she is the persona that gets to experiment with being over-the-top. Jonathan has always been a performer. He appeared on City TV’s electric circus 20 years ago for five seasons and had appeared in movies. He always had a flare for the art of fashion design. He knew that performing was in his blood. Sofonda was the perfect conduit for a dramatic extravaganza.

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416: What’s different about your Drag performance compared to the typical lip syncing Drag performance?

Sofonda: My performances are more than just a lip sync number. Of course, let’s not forget the importance of the lip sync. Queens nowadays are more concerned with doing tricks, splits, backflips, etc. But it’s essential that your lip sync is on point. It is what makes a Queen a Queen, and not a court Jester. To command an audience with just a lip sync is talent but it doesn’t hurt to do tricks to add to the show. It’s impressive but not essential; that’s just my opinion of course.

416: What preparation goes into a performance, what’s the process?

Sofonda: In my performances, I do love production value, and so I put in extra effort on costuming, choreography and dancers. Some people say I rely on dancers; that’s not the case because I teach the dancers the routines with my choreography. I always carry the show, not the other way around.

416: With a transgender focus in the news, would you consider Drag a grey zone, more gender fluid or is it just a theatrical expression for you?

Sofonda: The beauty of our community is that there are different facets to it. The transgender focus in the media is completely different from Drag. Transgendered people live their reality. It is not a stage performance; it is their life. Drag is entertainment. For me it is theatrical. Occasionally, some transsexuals do shows, but they’re not necessarily Drag Queens. They are showgirls and beautiful at that.

416: Have you experienced discrimination from the LGBTQ community when people learn you perform in Drag?

Sofonda: A long time ago, I was asked by an acquaintance what I was doing for work nowadays and when I said I was a Drag performer they condescendingly laughed and said, “Oh you’re still doing that.” It hurts when people think doing Drag is beneath them.

416: What is the future for Sofonda?

Sofonda: I love what I do, and my Drag career has been going strong for 16 years and counting. In those years I have been blessed to perform all over the world – Malaysia, Brazil, Mexico, across the United States. I have met countless talented people, made new friends, and most importantly I have had fun. Drag is not just a job; it’s my career. Recently, I’ve also been recognized worldwide on social media for my work.

Going viral is not easy for a performer in our world, however, to go viral online five times still blows my mind. I would eventually love to appear on the show Rupaul’s Drag Race. At least that is the dream for now. Crossing my fingers and legs LOL.

 

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Dean Maher

Dean Maher is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The 416 Magazine.

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