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Who Made You The Judge

“I’ve always felt I was different.” - Felicia Bonee
 
For the longest time, Felicia saw being transgender as someone who has ALWAYS known they’re the wrong gender, but realized these were just the stories she had seen in the media. It doesn’t happen this way for everyone. Felisha’s path to herself was, like many cis-gendered people (a person whose gender identity matches their sex assigned at birth), a journey. 
 
Her journey began at a young age, realizing she was different because she was a Black kid in a White family. In elementary school, her artistic nature led to a recommendation to the Victoria School for the Performing and Visual Arts. This turned out to be the perfect environment for an awkward, chubby, Black kid, a place that encouraged creativity and nurtured her passion to perform.
 
In grade school, Felicia stumbled upon her attraction to men, but

felt it was a secret that had to be kept. As a youth, she was

Felica Bonee

Felicia Bonee_Small.jpg

gender fluid, identifying with her femininity but not caring how people saw her, female or male. Felicia describes her time in High School as being in the closet, but then said, “looking back, I was a straight woman in a young gay man’s body.” After attending art school, and MacEwan University, Felicia worked at Front Row Center Players where she produced three musicals and performed in two. Felicia self identifies as a nerd, who plays Dungeons & Dragons, loves the Marvel cinematic universe and punk culture.
 
Felicia started attending drag bars, where she met her drag mother Terri Stevens, who twisted her arm into giving drag a try. “Drag was never something on my wish list; I was drawn in, kicking and screaming,” says Felicia, “but then found out I LOVED it!”. Although Drag culture has become more mainstream, there are still some misconceptions. Some think it is a sexual kink, or that drag and transgender are the same thing.  It isn’t, and they aren’t – drag is an illusion, an art-form, it is someone playing with gender and creative expression, and anyone can do it.
 
Drag queens are pillars of the community, and with that, comes charitable opportunities. Felicia participated in “Reading for royalty” and is part of the international drag court, who raise funds locally for LGTBQ2S+ charities and organizations.
 
Felicia’s Intersectionality (being Black and transgender) means she is part of two of the most marginalized groups of people. Although Felicia feels she hasn’t had to face much in the way of adversity, she has experienced everything from judging stares, snide comments, and harsh words. Inequalities have also been a part of life for Felicia.  She consistently has to ask to get paid for performances, and has been overlooked for opportunities because of the colour of her skin. She has not been paid equally to her White coworkers, and some people haven’t wanted to work with her because she was too effeminate.
 
As a transgender woman she feels her experiences as a queer person of colour, have built up a resilience to judgment. Her strength comes from standing up for what’s right, and not wanting to go down a dark path. “I haven’t had to go through what many trans people have gone through,” Felicia says, “I’m incredibly lucky to have family and friends that love and accept me for who I am.”
 
As for the future, Felicia is excited. By coming out as transgender, she has taken that final step she needed to move forward. Her plans include focusing on advocacy, doing drag, and coming into herself. She also said she can’t wait to find a pair of pants that fit!

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