Taco Bell launches Drag Queen Brunch tour

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Photo courtesy of Kay Sedia and Taco Bell Corporation
Photo courtesy of Kay Sedia and Taco Bell Corporation

To the amazement and confusion of LGBTQ+ fast-food fans nationwide, Taco Bell's multicity drag tour kicked off in the Taco Bell Cantina in Las Vegas on May 1. Billed as an "immersive fan experience" and hosted by Kay Sedia, each brunch event will spotlight the It Gets Better Project. A grant from the Taco Bell Foundation to the organization was also announced, but no dollar amount has been disclosed to the public.

Sedia, a drag performer and Tupperware salesperson, also appeared on an episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County before her foray into the wild world of quick-service restaurant (QSR) philanthropy.

"The TACO is out of the bag!!!" announced Sedia on Instagram. "I'm going on tour with @tacobell!! I'm so excited to host TACO BELL CANTINAS first ever Drag Brunch in five cities across the US!! Morning breakfast is about to get even sexier!"

If you're like me, you're feeling a mix of delight and mystification. Where did the idea come from? Who decided to really think outside the bun and truly Live Más? Turns out, the answer is in the question. In 2020, Taco Bell Corp. formed the Live Más Pride Employee Resource Group, a division of the company consisting of over a hundred members.

According to a press release, the Live Más Pride ERG's mission is to make an impact by "creating opportunities and engagements that elevate the voices, stories, and experiences of its community both internally and externally." Its goal with the Taco Bell Drag Brunch experience is to "foster positive environments for the LGBTQIA+ community and its allies."

If that's not enough to get skeptics on board, Taco Bell announced in the same press release that its Fire Tier Rewards members — who had early access to tickets — will also have early access to the return of Mexican pizza.

Is this rainbow capitalism? The case can be made that nothing a large corporation does is completely genuine.

However, the case can also be made that, in a tumultuous time for equal rights, having a brand beloved by Americans regardless of class or creed tour the country to benefit an LGBTQ+ nonprofit organization is bold and necessary within the current system, to garner support for the community.

"What started nearly twelve years ago as an effort to provide hope and encouragement to young LGBTQ+ people has become a global movement to uplift and empower Queer youth before they're in crisis," said Brian Wenke, executive director of the It Gets Better Project. "We are beyond excited to partner with Taco Bell and the Taco Bell Foundation to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community through the Drag Brunch experience and to collaborate on programming designed to engage LGBTQ+ youth around their career aspirations and future potential."

At the risk of sounding glib, this journalist's heart is torn between anticapitalist sentiment, hope for the Queer community, and wishing Taco Bell would bring back Diablo sauce.

The tour
Sorry, Seattle, but the Taco Bell Drag Brunch won't be making a stop near us any time soon. If you're 18 or older, you can make reservations online for events in Chicago (May 22), Nashville (May 29), NYC (June 12), and Fort Lauderdale (June 26) while tickets are still available.

The menu reportedly will include mimosas, coffee, and a $5 breakfast box. If you're willing to make a road trip, it sounds like quite the... something. Taco Bell is known in the QSR community for constantly generating wild ideas and outreach fresher than its food, and this seems like the natural next step for the brand. Let's hope this turns out to be something that lasts longer than one of its new menu items, so we can all experience this strange pairing one day.

For more information about the It Gets Better Project, visit https://itgetsbetter.org/ or find it @ItGetsBetter on social media.