Meet SonicFox, the Young Non-Binary Black Kid Breaking FGC Barriers
March 1, 2022
As creators and developers have pushed for increased inclusion on the tech side of the gaming industry, there has been an equal push to even out the level of success gamers of color are finding in the world of esports as well. Standing as a beacon of what that success can look like is Dominique McLean, better known in the fighting game community (FGC) as SonicFox.
At 23, SonicFox is already an esports veteran, having participated in their first tournament at the age of 13. In 2019, the five-time EVO champion became the highest-paid fighting esports player in the world, with earnings upwards of $600K. In addition to the representation embedded in their success, the so-called “LeBron James of Gaming” has used their platform to normalize non-binary identities and to speak out about mental health.
AFROPUNK spoke to SonicFox about their success and the legacy they hope to leave behind as a non-binary Black kid in an industry dominated by cishet white men.
AFROPUNK: How did you find the courage to come out? Were you afraid of the response you would get from some of your fans?
SonicFox: At first it took a lot of time. I remember initially coming out to an [NetherRealm Studios] friend named KitanaPrime, and he fully accepted me with no questions and no hesitation. That moment gave me so much power that I woke up one day and went, “nobody is ever going to make me feel like shit ever again for being myself.” I live by that statement now. If you can’t love me for me, then were you ever a fan, to begin with?
AFROPUNK: You have been vocal about representation in Esports. What does representation in esports look like to you?
SonicFox: Representation in esports looks like people being authentically themselves. Never being forced to do something that isn’t them.
What are some of the challenges you’ve experienced as a non-binary Black person in this industry?
SonicFox: The FGC is super inclusive and diverse, and very welcoming to people like me. I always viewed it as a home.
AFROPUNK: What does Black History Month mean to you? And what legacy do you want to leave behind?
SonicFox: Black History Month means celebrating the achievements our ancestors, brothers, and sisters achieved to make it possible for us to be able to live openly and proud every day. I hope when the dust settles, I can leave behind a message for folks to always be themselves, no matter what they are standing up against.
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