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Dude Brunch: Bellingham's first all-king drag brunch

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Dizzy Phoria — Photo by Cameron Martinez
Dizzy Phoria — Photo by Cameron Martinez

While drag kings and their precursors, male impersonators, have been around for as long as drag queens have, they have historically been overshadowed by the queens. So now, when most people think about drag, they focus on the feminine glitz and glamour displayed on shows like RuPaul's Drag Race.

But that type of style doesn't ring true for every drag entertainer. So Nonbinary performer Dizzy Phoria established and hosted Bellingham's first-ever all-king "Dude Brunch" in a taco-induced display of masculinity at Black Sheep.

"I felt like it was important to showcase drag king talent, because so often in drag culture, we're underrepresented and undervalued, and drag kings are incredibly talented," Dizzy Phoria said. "Most often, if there are drag kings booked at all, it's usually one. There's like a token drag king. And I feel like we deserve more space and more recognition...

"[So] I started a drag brunch to showcase that and to show the community our talent and hopefully raise awareness that drag kings exist and we're awesome."

Sir Loin (l) and Axe Andros (r) — Photos by Cameron Martinez  

In the end, Dude Brunch had a fantastic turnout, with the entire first floor of the venue filled with people. Besides Dizzy Phoria, the cast included Sir Loin, Axe Andros, Sid Seedy, and Justin Abit. While each act was unique, they were all brought together by the theme of what it means to be masculine. Whether it was Sir Loin's beer chugging, Justin Abit's leather-daddy outfit, or Dizzy Phoria's taco costume, the audience was in for an often sexy, dude-like treat.

Sid Seedy (l) and Justin Abit (r) — Photos by Cameron Martinez  

"A lot of the drag kings that I work with and that I hope to cast are also Trans," Dizzy Phoria said. "It's just a really beautiful opportunity to have Trans drag kings... [that you] don't see ... when you're looking at like drag pop culture, like RuPaul's Drag Race and stuff. Just very recently, we have seen Trans drag performers on the big screen... A lot of people explore drag as a way of exploring their gender identity, and I think it's really sacred."

Dizzy Phoria also used their hosting opportunity as a way to raise money for a cause that is near and dear to them.

"Northwest Youth Services is the nonprofit I chose, ...because they work with homeless youth in Bellingham and they have Queer youth services, and I just really admire all the boots-on-the-ground work that they do," they said.

"I wasn't a part of their organization when I was younger," they added. "I was in the system when I was younger. I'm a foster care alum, and I was working with a different nonprofit that I'm actually working with now, called Youthnet ...based out of Mount Vernon... We work with foster kids all around, [so] I just really wanted to give back to a nonprofit that is serving some of our most vulnerable community members."

While there aren't any plans set in stone for a future Dude Brunch, Dizzy Phoria is hopeful that Black Sheep will host the event again.

"I hope Dude Brunch can be a space where performers and people who come to watch the show can feel safe and represented and know that no matter how they identify or how they look, they have a place in our community and that they're worth something," they said.

To receive information on a possible future Dude Brunch, follow Black Sheep on Instagram @blacksheepbham or Dizzy Phoria on Instagram @dizzyphoria