« Why Women Lie | Main | Here Comes The Bride »

April 30, 2008

The Drag Gospel Brunch

The Drag Gospel Brunch

By Elaine Viets

I don’t know what you heathens did Sunday, but I spent three hours with Sister Mary Rebecca and a divine group of Gospel singers.

Sister poured champagne. The Gospel singers were drag queens in sequins and choir robes.

Fort Lauderdale, the city with cutting edge sleaze, has a Drag Gospel Brunch. The brunch is at Lips, the "ultimate in drag dining." Check it out at www.jumponmarkslist.com/bars/lips.htm

The show is fast, funny and mostly lip-synced. Most of the music isn’t traditional Gospel, although the folks at my table hadn’t been in a church for so long, we wouldn’t know Gospel music if it walloped us in the key of G. But Sister Mary Rebecca did a lively lip-sync of "This Little Light of Mine."

The glitzy emcee was hilarious, and strayed often from the path of good manners and good taste. She told one blond female, "You’ve got more roots than Alex Haley." She asked another woman in a baseball cap ("my little dyke tyke") if she’d change her car’s oil. A visitor from England was asked, "Don’t they have enough queens there?"

The audience sang along to: "If you’re gay and you know it clap your hands. If you’re gay and you know it, then your fashion sense will show it . . ."

The straight version was: "If you’re straight and you know it, then your Kmart clothes will show it." There was a lot of hand clapping and each table got tambourines to shake.

The question everyone asked was, "Were the drag queens beautiful?"

Yes. They went for the heavy glam that many women liberated themselves from long ago, except on special occasions. The queens wore sky-high heels, heavy eye makeup, chandelier earrings, false eyelashes, and gowns cut down to there. Most had a pretty good "there."

They walked and talked like women, and I suspect some had had their Adam’s apples altered. I didn’t see much evidence of that telltale drag queen giveaway. The only figure fault was that some were a tad chunky around the waist. But then, so were some of the genuine women in the audience. I was relieved when the kitchen ran out of Hollandaise sauce for my eggs Benedict.

The drag queens wore some fabulous gowns, and since I’m a tall person, I began to wonder how I would look in bias-cut fringe. I had to keep reminding myself, "Those are men."

The most amazing feat (or maybe that’s feet) was when a performer stepped off the stage – a distance of maybe two feet – wearing four inch heels. Even on a good day, I might have killed myself trying that stunt.

A young man who was visiting Lips for his birthday was brought onstage and seated in a chair covered with crystals and sparkles. The performers serenaded him with "Miss America."

"Are you single?" the emcee asked him.

He was.

The emcee plopped herself in the lad’s lap and said, "Then you want me. Because when I take off this drag, I’m a man, and that will make you happy. But I look like a woman, which will make Mommy and Daddy happy."

The Drag Gospel Brunch price is $25 for the brunch, show, tax, tip, and unlimited mimosas, champagne or bloody Marys. You can also shower the performers with tips. As one said, "It takes a lot of money to look this cheap."

The only bad thing about the brunch was it’s over about three p.m., and I had to stagger out into the merciless Florida sunlight.

Lips drag dinner theater is in three cities: New York, San Francisco and Lauderdale. It’s open six days a week and has a variety of shows, including drag karaoke.

I plan to honor my religious roots. I was brought up Catholic. I’m tempted by the Bitchy Bingo night. www.jumponmarkslist.com/MSFL/friday/2007/Lips_Bingo_large.jpg


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The Drag Gospel Brunch:


Good luck on the recovery from hip replacement-replacement. It seems that April is not a good month for you. Hope the PT is going well. My mother had her second knee replacement surgery back at the end of January and is still in PT.

From conversations overheard when I attended the Festival of Mystery on Monday in Oakmont, I know that others wish you well also. I hope to be able to start your new book sometime soon. It is one of many purchased that evening between my daughter and myself.

God bless gay men. My life would have been a pretty sad adventure without them.

What the heck is going on with Mr. Typepad these past two days? I've had several different problems.

I smell a TLC field trip. Or is that Shalimar?

Peach, Mr T is making us all crazy. I can only sign on to TLC on my husband's computer. Glad you persisted.

Elaine, what a great time! Wish we could have been there.

I finally was able to get onto TLC yesterday by going to Nancy's webpage and clicking on the link to TLC there. I had even tried googling it, but that didn't work. Yesterday I had no trouble posting. But it is a good thing I re-bookmarked TLC as that is what I've had to use to get my comments to post. That is after shutting down Firefox and starting up again. A convoluted way to work around the problem.

Elaine, thanks for sharing your fun day. I see Helen striking up a friendship with a drag queen in the near future!

Peach, I'm viewing this site in Apple Safari, and am having no trouble at all with Typepad. It's been my browser of choice ever since it loaded itself with a recent iTunes update. I like it a lot.

Harley, I told my daughter, when she was old enough to understand, that every girl needed a gay male friend. They are invaluable!

Nancy, most definately a field trip. Maybe we could get a documentary out of it.

Elaine, my sister (she's 59 and has psioratic arthritis) had her hip replaced last Wednesday. She stopped taking the pain pills Thursday night saying the pain was so much less than what she had endured for 18 months. She could take the discomfort. Now, PT...not so much. Maybe next year you could stay sedated for the month of April.

I have a gay male step-son, does that count? He totally missed the memo on fashion sense, but he's a doll, and my daughter worships him.

Wow - now that's the way to spend a Sunday, instead of in stuffy church with all the kneeling and standing and sitting and kneeling (Catholic here, too).

Off today's topic, I read an interesting article in this morning's Philadelphia Inquirer about book covers for women authors. Check it out:


Oh, and Elaine, I didn't know about your hip surgery. Dang, woman! Good luck wishes and healing vibes coming your way.

Peach! It was so cool to see you and your daughter at the Festival. She's right Elaine - lots of good thoughts going your way.

Sister Zip - with that title, you might be able to make a special appearance on stage.

Karen - me too - I mean, I'm on Safari and haven't had trouble, but I am getting redirected to another page in the middle of the comment section.

We talked to Elaine on the Saturday before her surgery and when she told us she was going to the Drag Gospel Brunch the next day, we all agreed that it was the perfect Pre-Op outing. heh.

By the way, Elaine - that Bingo Bitch scares me. Is that a gun in her wig, or is she really, really happy to play bingo? Sorry, couldn't resist.

Actually my full name is Sister Zip, the Zipper Lady. I was told in high school that I had an unhealthy fascination with a young man's zipper and I should repent. (and yes, we were very good at irony.) ;-)

Gay friends are treasures. I had a cherished friendship with a man who never said he was gay, although he lived with a man (and did all the cooking), and ended up being the first person any of us knew who died of AIDS. But he was the best dancer I knew, and he and I always had a ball disco dancing, back in the day. He taught me a lot about friendship, and I still miss him, 26 years later.

My (best) gay friend and I have exchanged gay porn, or porn-ish things ever since he came out. Before the Internet, he sent me some photos of Mel Ott and Joe DiMaggio in the shower together (I think they were what we would now call photoshopped). Since the Internet, it's been the Manhunt page of the kid from Who's The Boss. And photos of Zac Ephron, natch.

I love it.

But the thing is that I have so many gay stories that I don't even know where to start, so porn seemed like the right place.

Gay (and lesbian) friends are a must, as far as I'm concerned. Elaine, I hope your recovery is going well. I think a road trip is definitely in order; I can see a sort of reverse "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" in the making . . .

Elaine, how did I miss news of your hip replacement(replacement? -- twice?) I wish you speedy and full recovery, and I'm glad you are finding ways to amuse yourself through the ordeal. I've read that they are just now figuring out that they should design hips to fit women and not just use guy models. True?

Karen, (cue TZ theme) I have Safari also; we are soooo alike. When I bought the iBook a former student who was working at the WIN office came over and helped me set up programs, although I think Safari was actually already installed. I do miss having all those smart students around to ask techie questions; thank goodness for my niece, who might be movingn back from KC. I still need to set up a system for backing up files -- I guess the Mac store would be the place to go for that.

Karen, TZ again on the disco post -- ah, that does take me back. During that fun era, one of my gay friends helped another get ready for a costume party at my house (cause I had so much makeup available, all those department store gifts). He won the prize for best costume, and the women confessed to a bit of jealousy because he looked so good. No one suspected his gender until I sat on his lap. . . .those were the days!

Ah, but Mary, I have not (yet) converted to Mac. My new baby, the hot little laptop I just got, is a Vista machine, and I do so love it.

Elaine, accept cyberhugs for a speedy recovery on the hip. It sounds like a rotten way to spend hot days in Florida. Good thing you have good girlfriends to share Sunday morning brunch and entertainment with. Viva friends of all kinds: gay, lesbian, gal pals, and virtual buds from the Internet!

Elaine - Hip Hip Hoorah on the blog. (snort) Seriously, good luck with the hip. Had a total knee done in Oct. Was TOTALLY back to normal (actually had better flexion and extension) by January. The key? It's what everyone says... DO the PT!

The drag queen show... Is this like research for your next book for Helen? You know, where she takes some type of job there? Would be funny.

I was working at department store back in '75. A group of us were in training together to open a new store. We all stayed very close and would go out for lunch if our schedules would match. About 5 of us were sitting in Orange Julius when our 'token' gay guy started a rant that one of the girls was the blue light special at Kmart. We always looked forward to his rants, but this one was so over the top, they asked us to leave (we were all in tears, even the OJ clerks). He even took one of the husbands (a former minister) to a gay bar for drinks. He said the man needed an education. I agree Mary...those were the days.

Uh, you missed the hip thing because I didn't post about it. All these illnesses are boring.
I was hoping to get a hunky young PT in short shorts, but instead I got a patient older man named David. A nurse reminded me that the young hunk would probably be gay and criticize my hair.
Anyway, thanks for the good wishes and pretend I'm well.

One of the best friends I've ever had is gay. One year, she was having a hard time trying to think of a Halloween Costume for the office. I suggested she come as the Little Dutch Boy.

She did.

No one in the office got it....

Great link on the cover art issue, Laura. I resemble that remark!

I think Pam is right, you need to hibernate during April! Was your 'old' hip on the recall list? ( oh geez, does that sound ludicrous!? LOL)
Oh well, now you won't be able to bend to scoop the litterbox! Poor Don!
Get well soon!

We are lucky enough to have a gay costume designer on our block. My 3 year old has already placed her request for the red sequined number that Liza Minelli wears in "Liza with a Z". Now we have to find a completely gay block so they will get her Liza costume/fetish.


Yes, Nancy - Lisa Scottoline was saying just what the article said when I went to a signing of hers a couple of months ago.

My favorite Scottoline line about her book covers:

"Those are my legs on the cover. Hah! The whole thing is fiction."

Gets a laugh every time.

Elaine, you were the talk of Malice. Everyone was asking each other if you were okay...even people who had never met you. Luckily, Kathy Harig and others in the know kept us updated. Good luck with recovery and especially PT. You have an important role at Malice next year, girl!!

Zipper Lady, I agree that a girl needs a great gay friend! Most of my friends from college are gay, and I still love seeing them and catching up on their lives. When I went to grad school in DC, most of the students in my program were also gay or lesbian. We had the best time cutting up and going out for some fun evenings at gay bars in Dupont Circle, and I didn't have to worry about anyone hitting on me. ;-)

And don't EVEN start about Gay Pride Day...talk about weird and funny!

when I worked at a bookstore in 92-96, one of the sellers on the floor was a HUGE gay man. And I mean in size. He always wore a jacket & tie on the floor and we would laugh and tell silly stories to each other. He was leaving work one evening and had changed into his 'gaybar hopping' clothes...leather pants, leather vest (with no shirt), leather cap and lots of chains, everywhere. My cup of coffee and my chin hit the floor. I thought he was going to make himself sick from laughing at me. Not something I will forget anytime soon. :-)

I just read the article about book covers. Lately I've been wondering the same thing...especially why they have pictures of women just up to their necks or showing only legs. It's just plain weird (my word of the day, I guess).

However, I have to say when I first saw the cover of Girls in Trucks at B&N, it did entice me to read a few pages. The cover did say something to me about what I'd find within, and after reading a few pages I decided the voice resonated with me too. I didn't buy it right away, but eventually I did.

The book covers I like the most, though, are the ones like on Elaine's books. They are colorful and quirky and invite the reader to have a glimpse of the fun story inside.

HIJACK -- Check out this video clip of Colin Firth on the Jon Stewart Show....it's penis frenzy.


Ah, gay Halloween. I remember the year a bi friend wanted a costume that would make use of a bridesmaid dress she had recently been forced into. I suggested a toolbelt and contractor boots for "Cin-drilla" - apparently it was a great success.

Thanks, Anna C. At last a use for those old bridesmaids dresses.

Laura's book cover article won't display for me -- it starts to show up and then is covered over with a ton of ads. What's up with that?

And Mr. Typepad has begun misbehaving also . . .
are there gremlins?

Elaine's on top of her game folks.....she sold 60 books at the Festival of Mystery!

The comments to this entry are closed.

The Breast Cancer Site