At this point, it’s no big secret. We’ve covered enough material for us all to know how sex and society are very much related and feed off of each other in the world we live in. We’ve learned how gender norms and identities limit and sometimes alienate certain groups or factions in society. It only takes one person in a group to do something wrong for society to turn its back on the entire group.
Church Street, located in Midtown, is considered Nashville’s trendiest alternative nightlife scene. It is home to club Play, Club Tribe, and Suzy Wong’s House of Yum. Club Play is a gay friendly bar with an adjoining dance club. Club Play also hosts drag shows every day of the week. Tribe, in a similar fashion, is a gay friendly bar with a large dance floor. Tribe differs in that its entertainment is not limited to drag shows. It is also a venue to view television shows from popular culture, such as American Horror story Freak Show and the Walking Dead. Additionally, music videos play on a constant loop. It has coined itself, “Nashville’s original music video bar”. Lastly, Suzy Wong’s House of Yum is an Asian themed restaurant that specializes in Asian cuisine, creative cocktails, and “campy” music. It stays open late to accommodate the patrons of Club Play and Club Tribe. Monday through Saturday, Suzy Wong’s is strictly a place to enjoy good food, good drinks, and good music. On Sundays, however, Suzy Wong’s House of Yum is transformed into a venue for the purpose of showcasing the drag queens of Club Play and Club Tribe. From 11am until 3pm every Sunday, Suzy Wong’s hosts Drag N’ Brunch. Drag N’ Brunch consists of a special menu and 4-5 performances from one of Club Plays drag queens. Drag N’ Brunch and Suzy Wong’s House of Yum are not traditional venues for drag culture in that the performances are very “tame”. As such, it serves as a chance for families and those who are not necessarily prepared to watch drag in the traditional sense to experience an aspect of sexual expression that they might not have otherwise been exposed to.
Transgendered individuals in America, face many problems. Their problems stem from the fact that their sex, gender, and sexuality go against the normal order of our heteronormative society.
In her article Transgendering: Challenging the “normal”, Kimberly Tauches discusses some of the challenges that transgendered individuals face in their everyday lives. These issues include, but are not limited to: tension in public places, misuse of identifying pronouns, documentation of identity that fails to identify, assumptions concerning sexual preferences, and unfriendly attitudes from the medical world.
All of these adversities make it easy for those who identify as transgendered to feel marginalized and uncomfortable in the bodies that they inhabit. Drag offers the opportunity for these individuals to step out of the margins and take pride in who they are. Suzy Wong’s House of Yum and Drag N’ Brunch assists these individuals in their work to relieve themselves from the implications of transgendering in everyday life. It provides a space for transgendered individuals to both showcase their sexuality and the pride hey have in it as well as for them to introduce it to people outside of the queer community.
Let us introduce you to Drag Brunch. Drag Brunch is located within Suzy Wong’s House of Yum, right next to Play Nashville. For those of you who don’t know, Play Nashville is a local gay club and bar that is well-known for its entertaining drag performances. The two businesses are located on Church Street, one of the more “lively” areas near our very own campus. House of Yum is a restaurant that serves delicious Asian cuisine during most days of the week, but on Sunday, the restaurant is only for brunch… Drag Brunch.
Though Mad Donna’s may seem like your average American restaurant, with typical menu items like queso, chicken wings, mac and cheese, and burgers, walk upstairs and you enter a whole new world. The menu items still remain, but every Tuesday night at 8:30 in the dark lit room the world of drag queens and burlesque shows creates a new atmosphere. The audience has a wide variety of people, from first-timers like us to regulars who dress for the occasions (some in drag, some in wigs) to out-of-towners here to have a fun night out.