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Club Q’s Drag Brunch serves entertainment with a side of eggs 

Queer & There

If your idea of brunch is delicate eggs Benedict paired with elaborate breakfast cocktails, while morning sun pours through large windows, then Club Q’s Drag Brunch is not for you. However, it might be if you’re looking for a dimly lit room with bottomless Bloody Marys and mimosas to help you recover from Saturday night.

When my brother and I enter the nearly empty Club Q on a Sunday morning, “Tiny Dancer” plays over the sound system as we approach the bar. A drag queen in a bright red dress greets us and introduces herself as Sapphire Bleu. She shows us to the buffet. We’re some of the only patrons — definitely the only new patrons, and it isn’t long before we’re approached by the local matriarch or “head bitch.”

When I ask Anka Shayne (“like danke schön”) if I can interview her, she flips her hair and says, “Me? Of course! Just be sure to say, ‘Sapphire Bleu ain’t shit on the record.’”

“What did you say about me?” Sapphire asks from behind the bar, but the catty trio of brunchtime drag queens isn’t complete until Autumn Quinn enters the scene. Wig and purse in hand, she races to the dressing room.

“Where have you been?” Anka asks.

“Don’t start. It was a long day.”
It’s noon.

Autumn, in full drag, joins the rest of us at the table in less than five minutes. We’re all pretty impressed with her quick transformation.

While my brother geeks out with these prima donnas about RuPaul’s Drag Race, I’m clueless, so I ask all the questions I can think of. My favorite: “How did you end up in drag?” Turns out none of these ladies planned to be performers.

“I hated queens,” Anka says. “I used to think they gave gays a bad name.” She tells me about how she tried it out once, and loved it, but her boyfriend refused to let her pursue it. Anka says this sentiment is pretty typical with gay partners. “So when we broke up, I got a chest piece and purchased heels just to say screw you. The rest is history.”
“I got into drag as a joke,” Autumn pipes in. She shares the story of how she went to a drag show against her will, made fun of the queens and claimed she could do better — while sitting next to the host, who made her get onstage and try it out herself.

“I asked if I could have the other queens help me,” she says. “But the host said, ‘you’re the one who said you could do it better.’ So I did it, packed out the house, and have been doing it ever since.”

Club Q’s queens teach me (a drag virgin) about the Imperial Court, drag families, taking on last names and pop-up shows, all while I’m eating a crap ton of biscuits and gravy.

Anka even offers to show us the dressing room (“Well, more like dressing closet.”) The “room” is only big enough to maybe fit three people comfortably, but Anka tells me 15 girls were in here last week when only three were competing. Across the room is a handwritten sign: “Anka won something.”

While this brunch is far from typical, it offers something unique. It’s not fancy tables or fancy food or fancy morning cocktails. In fact, there is really nothing fancy about it — except the queens.

When I ask Anka about her vision for the future of Drag Brunch, she says: “I wanna build drag up as the thing to do on Sundays. It’s for all ages. I think brunch will open more people up for other stuff we do.” It’s meant to be an access point for anyone to approach drag in a fun and comfortable way.

The queens will sit with you, talk about their stories and sing any requested number. But it’s only the tip of the iceberg of all that is drag at Club Q, which also offers drag classes on Mondays, drag bingo on Thursdays and open mic drag competitions on Sunday nights. The action in this club is actually what drew Anka to Colorado Springs from Denver.

Club Q’s drag culture, she says, is incredibly supportive while offering a unique diversity. Men and women, trans and cisgender, young and old all have a place here — including my brother, who found himself onstage at their drag class the next night.

These queens truly care about anyone who steps through their doors and are passionate about the art they portray. It was so evident as they shared their stories and their lives with two complete strangers over an unconventional meal.

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