OUTtv’s Call Me Mother starring local drag queen Felicia Bonée

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Local drag queen and regular Evolution Wonderlounge Felicia bonée is part of a new Canadian reality television series that hopes to do what great drag shows do best: push boundaries.

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Call me mother , which will premiere on Monday at 9 p.m. OUTtv.ca , begins with the contestant artists making their way into one of three drag houses, led by mentors to drag moms Miss Peppermint, Crystal, both RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni, and Canadian artist Barbada.

Each week, the trio of families compete in a new challenge, the mother of the losing group from the episode has to cut the cord with one of the children of her house. After eight weeks, the last contestant standing wins a $ 50,000 prize package and is named, this is cute, Drag’s first child.

Still, “winner” aside, the show hopes to amplify and focus on the collaborative family nature of the drag community rather than simply being a fierce sports-style elimination.

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“We compete for the attention of drag moms in our own personal rounds to be chosen by them,” Bonée explains of the setting for the first episode. “Then throughout the season they help us with the sewing and performance challenges. And we really had that mentoring with drag moms and this close family bond between us.

New firsts

“It’s going to be a very different show too,” Bonée adds, “because it’s one of the first shows I’ve seen that has featured drag kings, non-binary performers, and a black trans woman. I think I am the first trans black transvestite woman to appear on television (in a show like this) in Canada, ”she says. “I am claiming that.”

The drag king, by the way, is HercuSleaze from Montreal, the alter ego of illustrator Meags Fitzgerald, an expat from Edmonton. Entertainment Tonight Dallas Dixon of Canada will host the series.

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The show’s producers didn’t provide a screen, and Bonée signed a powerful nondisclosure agreement, so she didn’t say anything about the specifics and couldn’t even tell me which house she ended up in. Honestly though, we wouldn’t want to spoil any surprises here.

Instead, this leaves us room to meet Bonée outside of the series.

Bonée, who was born in Edmonton and graduated from the Victoria School of Visual and Performing Arts, just returned to the city this summer after a decade in Calgary as a paralegal. Now, “legally”, he underlines with a smile, he sells cannabis.

But it was in Calgary that Bonée first entered the world of drag, almost by accident.

“I didn’t really have creative outlets,” he explains. “I was looking for something like dance classes or something to do, but I never had the time or the money. And I started going to the gay bar. “

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There, she was exposed to drag culture in various cabarets, discovering the nuances, complexities, and ultimately life-altering possibilities.

“At that time I realized that it is actually like an artist doing a performance. I thought it had a lot more to do with gender and things like that, ”says Bonée.

“Well,” she laughs, “for me, it did, literally, because years later it would come out as a trans. But that’s beside the point “.

Bonée describes her drag style as fun and flirty. “I really try to make sure everyone in the audience is having a good time. And be empowering and encouraging because it’s hard for queer people and we have a lot of things to deal with.

Fantasy characters

One of Bonée’s nicknames (and there are a few) is Queen of the Nerds. This dives into some interesting philosophical territory as, in addition to the role play involved in drag performance, he also likes Dungeons & Dragons to such an extent that he has produced a live podcast about it called Competition +6 , full of queer and BIPOC adventurers from around the world.

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When she’s out of drag, Felicia Bonée is Felicia Grayson. But who is she when she becomes the character she wants in a world of adventure of swords and wizardry? This gets fabulously complicated.

“She was just playing a character who was living a double life, who was really pure and then she had a change, she had a long-lost son, and now she’s a really sassy and sexy witch, Lady Kathryn,” he says.

“Before that, she was playing a princess who ran away from her castle because her evil uncle was going to kill her. She had this whole love story that helped me process some of my past relationships.

“I think D&D is one of the best forms of therapy,” Bonée says. “Every time you make a character, you are taking a part of yourself and putting it in this character.”

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I ask her if it is Felicia Grayson or Felicia Bonée who plays the character, double life or not. “Since these characters come from such a deep part of my soul, when I play Kathryn the witch, I am Kathryn, not Felicia, inside or outside the transvestite,” says the interpreter.

Breaking the limits of television

Back on Call Me Mother, Bonée is delighted to be a part of the new wave of drag on television, which she says feels ever closer to reality.

“It is about time that drag on television began to represent the drag that we see when we go to our gay bars, with the people we have in our community.

“For a long time,” Bonée continues, “we in the queer community have understood that drag is an art that anyone of any gender or sexuality can do. Because RuPaul’s Drag Race is on Netflix, you have this whole world of uninitiated people, cisgender, heteronormative people, where their only exposure to the gay world is a character on a TV show.

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“I can’t wait for other types of artists to be seen and showcased, and for the world to understand that drag isn’t just about a man dressing up as a woman and dancing a bit.”

Call me mother The first episode premieres on Monday, October 25 at 9 p.m. on OUTtv.ca and OUTtv channels on Apple and Amazon Prime.

By the way, if you want to see Bonée performing live, she will do so on stage Friday night for a Kendall Gender event at Evolution Wonderlounge. TV host Gender is in town two nights: Thursday at 7pm for the Drag Race Canada viewing party, and then at 9pm on Friday for One night with Kendall , which will also feature Etherea, Hellacious Acres and Pepper. Tickets for both are at tfdpresents.ca.

[email protected]

@fisheyefoto

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Reference-edmontonjournal.com

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