GOLD WINNERElle Noir
SILVER WINNERAnna Mona-Pia
BRONZE WINNERZara Matrix
HALL OF FAMERouge Fatale
Inducted in 2017
Chris Cochrane might be in the middle of an errand run when The Coast reaches her by phone, but the drag artist who performs under the name Elle Noir is as glamorous-sounding as ever. “I always say drag is just the doll that queer kids never had as a child. So now they're making themselves up as it,” Cochrane says. It’s her fourth win for Best Drag Performer, and the makeup artist, actor, performer and educator knows it isn’t just a win for her, but as the only out, Black trans drag performer east of Montreal, it’s a win for her community, too. “I have always wanted to make sure that QTBIPOC and underrepresented communities [are] voiced—so that's why I joined the Halifax Pride board, to make sure that that was more inclusive and more diverse. And now that I work with the Youth Project, with LGBTQIA parents support, and I also teach, and I go to universities and I get companies to talk about not just the drag scene, but the queer scene, ” she says.
“I think it's a great to have this [award] for the drag community and I’m so happy they changed it”—from the previous BOH award title of Best Drag Queen to the current Best Drag Performer, Cochrane explains—“because we have drag kings: Richard Rockhard is one of the nominees this year. It started out with just drag queens, but there's so many more than just drag queens. There's nonbinary, there's drag kings, there's hyper queens, all kinds of other performers and things like that,” Cochrane says.
“But for me to win it again, it's kind of a thing to show that, even though I'm going into my 17th year of doing drag, she's not fading away, she's actually probably getting better. And she's doing exactly what she's meant to do. Elle Noir has been my longest relationship that I've had my entire life. And she's helped me through so many things. She helped me come out of my shell, she's helped me to achieve things that I never thought I would ever be able to achieve. And give me kind of a Halifamous stardom that has allowed me to get into so many doors, and to open them up for other people in my community.”