The life of SonicFox
Black, queer, and a legend of fight gaming. This is the story of SonicFox.
Gay, Black, Non-binary, Champion of fighting games
They are the highest-paid fighting game player in the world. This is SonicFox.
Finding their identity
As a non-binary person, SonicFox, whose real name is Dominique McLean, wants to be referred to as “they.” “Non-binary essentially means you do not identify with either gender. So on the male or female, essentially, spectrum, you kind of identify as like gender neutral. Ever since I came out as non-binary, I get to really explore myself and do all the things that I thought I hated. And that’s because I felt trapped, I had to be like a cis-male and I was like that’s not me.”, they further explained to Brut. Dominique McLean was born in 1998, in Delaware, and started playing video games at an early age. They tell Brut, “The very first time I touched a game was when I was three years’ old. It was Tekken 3 and I just knew I loved video games from that point on. I was kind of like that silly, goofy child growing up. I was just that kind of clown that wanted to make people laugh all the time, sometimes be obnoxious but that comes with the comedy.”
Competing in eSports
At 13, they competed in their first Mortal Kombat tournament. That same year, they started wearing blue fox ears and created their furry character. Originally, furries are an underground community born in the 1980swhose members identify with anthropomorphic animals. In 2014, SonicFox won their first title at EVO, Evolution Championship Series, the most prestigious fighting game competition, in the “Injustice: Gods Among Us” tournament. Shortly after, they were noticed for their unique play style. “As a player, I am pretty calculated randomness is what I’m described as. On paper it looks like I am a maniac but those plays work all the time because they’re calculated maniac points. I don’t think I could ever hurt a fly to be honest. Even internal violence. No, I just like video games and I love fighting games, they’re just fun. There’s no violence.”, SonicFox reveals.
Their influence online and in eSports
Following this, SonicFox won 4 other EVO titles. In high school, Dominique came out to his family and friends. At 20, SonicFox won the “Injustice 2” Pro Series and gave $10,000 of his winnings to his opponent, Curtis "Rewind" McCall, whose father had cancer. In December 2018, after winning eSport Player of the Year at the Game Awards, they took a political stand. A few months later, they came out on Twitter as non-binary. In August 2019, during a 72h-livestream, SonicFox raised $22,000 for The Trevor Project, suicide-prevention organization for LGBTQ+ youth. In December 2019, SonicFox was included in Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30 list in the Games category.