On Sunday mornings, the West Michigan brunch scene gets served a meal full of realness, thanks to the drag queens of Michigan Drag Brunch. The project is the brainchild of producer and CEO Trevor Straub and performer Gabriella Galore. They said the project started as a way to bring the drag scene to an earlier morning crowd in Grand Rapids.
Drag brunches are quite popular all across the country, especially in bigger cities. The high-energy events are part improv show, part comedy gig, and part live theater. In Galore’s words, “an experience.”
“We’re giving you gender illusion, which a lot of people, especially in the Midwest, aren’t always that familiar with. And this is a way that’s easily accessible for a lot of people. And it’s a comfortable setting too, you come, you have great food, you have your best gal pals with you,” Galore explained.
Straub said that he got the idea for bringing a drag brunch to West Michigan after seeing drag performances at some of the city’s local clubs. He said he was impressed by the caliber of the performers he saw on stage.
“And after experiencing a drag brunch for my birthday the previous year in Washington D.C., I felt this sudden urgency to bring this unrecognized art form to many people,” said Straub.
Michigan Drag Brunch also gives back to the Grand Rapids community. The brunches raise money for HQ, a drop-in center for young people in housing crisis, many of whom are LGBTQ. Drag queens have a long history of activism, said Galore, and the group’s work with HQ continues that legacy.
“It was super important for us to have something to anchor as like our mission, like what are we doing this for, and that’s what we are doing it for,” Galore said.