Another drag brunch was held at a local bar and restaurant Saturday afternoon as a state law barring “sexually oriented performances” from being held in the presence of minors remains tied up in the courts.
Twisted Bar and Grill in The Colony hosted another iteration of its ”Twisted and Turnt Drag Brunch.” The event was marketed to people aged 21 and older.
As previously reported by The Dallas Express, a minor and her family were asked to leave the establishment before a drag show began in October. Drag brunches at Twisted Bar and Grill are typically held on the second Saturday of each month.
The Dallas Express attended the most recent show. The event was hosted by drag performers Daphne Rio St. James and Ashley Davenport.
Attendees were served brunch food items and beverages and had the opportunity to smoke hookahs as drag performers Adecia Lush, Spencer the Queen, Deja Dubois, and Kristie Onassis Davenport danced around the room, interacting with guests. Some of the performers even performed acrobatic feats to guests’ applause.
One of the performers danced to a version of Celine Deon’s 1996 song “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now.” Audio cues were added to give the song a more adult undertone.
Guests also participated in two “contests” over the course of the event. One such event was a twerking contest. The other involved sexualized impressions of popular Disney characters like Elsa from Frozen, Woody from Toy Story, and Aurora from Sleeping Beauty, among others. Contest winners were awarded shots of alcohol.
Kelly Neidert, executive director of the local activist group Protect Texas Kids, previously told The Dallas Express that she does not believe kids should be allowed to attend drag shows, speaking in favor of the law that is tied up in court.
“It’s literally … preventing children from attending sexually oriented performances,” Neidert said. “So I really don’t understand how any sane person can disagree with that.”
Others have defended minors attending such shows, arguing that it is ultimately up to parents to decide what is and is not appropriate for their children to witness.
“So, hear me out. I get that kids shouldn’t be there — I totally do — but for the adults who can legally be here, well, then, these shows are a great source of entertainment,” said San Antonio resident Vanessa Trevino, speaking with The Dallas Express. “Yes, young kids shouldn’t be here, but if a venue can legally allow it and a parent brings their child for whatever reason, then it’s really no one else’s business.”
Drag shows have prompted discourse beyond whether minors should be in attendance. One show was canceled at West Texas A&M University earlier this year by the institution’s president, who claimed such shows are degrading to women, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.
“Drag shows stereotype women in cartoon-like extremes for the amusement of others and discriminate against womanhood,” said Walter Wendler in an email to teachers, students, and staff, as reported by NBC News. “Drag shows are derisive, divisive and demoralizing misogyny, no matter the stated intent.”
Local drag performer Emeka Bless previously told The Dallas Express that drag is little more than cosplaying and provides an avenue for people to express themselves in unconventional ways.
“It’s liberating. It’s freedom of expression,” Bless said between performances at The View Dallas. “We like to put on makeup, wigs, and we just like to entertain a crowd.”
The Dallas Express spoke with the owners of Twisted Bar and Grill about drag shows as a business. However, they declined to offer their comments on the record.