30 Under 30: Christopher Reed’s Queer Based Media puts the spotlight on queer creators

Known as Continental Breakfast in the Vancouver drag community, Reed strives to give queer folks some more representation.

Chris Reed

Chris Reed, 29

Co-founder, Queer Based Media

Life Story: There are fish out of water stories, and then there’s what Chris Reed experienced growing up in Sherwood Park, Alberta: “I lived in a white suburban oil town and went to a Catholic junior high. I’m Indigenous and very queer.” Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t the best mix—even as, according to Reed, their sisters and parents were supportive. About 10 years ago, Reed moved to Vancouver and spent some time in construction before getting work as a comedian and an actor.

After a bout with alcoholism, Reed got sober and found that their need for social interaction wasn’t being best served in bars and clubs. “I started going to drag shows, where I could just go, watch and sit, and not necessarily have to mingle at the bar,” Reed says. “I could just go and engage with art while being at this social event and then leave afterwards.

“At the time, I was doing comedy and performing mostly for cisgender hetero people. But when I went to drag shows, I realized that these artists were doing comedy as well, just for a queer audience. So I started doing drag.”

Reed became known in the Vancouver drag community as Continental Breakfast and joined a non-binary drag collective called The Darlings. Reed also co-founded Queer Based Media, a production company that does videography, photography and design for queer creators.

Bottom Line: Queer Based Media works with some 35 clients a year and a boatload of contractors. “I thought to myself, What if there was a company that just didn’t work for straight people?” says Reed with a laugh. “And it sounds kind of harsh, but there’s just not enough accessible media for queer performance artists right now. Ru Paul’s Drag Race isn’t the epitome of queer culture, there’s so much more to it.”