Local haus brings drag brunch to Corvallis, aiming to become a regular event

Riley LeCocq, Contributor

Twirling lip syncs, prizes, poetry and of course, brunch, can be expected as Haus of Dharma hopes to make drag brunch in Corvallis a regular event. 

This Sunday – May 7– the Haus presents “Reading Rain-Bros,” a masculine drag king-focused brunch at the Biere Library in downtown Corvallis. 

According to the event flier posted by Haus of Dharma, doors open at 9 a.m. – allowing people to get seated early as there are no set tables or reservations – with the show starting at 10 a.m. The Biere Library will offer a special brunch menu available for purchase during the event, which is open to all ages with an entry cost of $10. 

According to Haus mother Dharma Mirza, also known as “Frisky the Transgender Reindeer,” this show is unique as a masculine queen-focused show as it is something that the larger drag scene does not focus on. 

“Corvallis has always been kind of more diverse as far as the expressions that you see at shows regularly and who’s centered in the scene,” Mirza said. “But this is a first for the local scene as well as a first for our drag house.”

This weekend’s event will be hosted by Frisky and Petunia Rufflebottom, Haus of Dharma’s chief financial officer. The two are also the only femme-identifying performers in the show. 

According to Mirza, last month was the first drag brunch in Corvallis that the Haus has presented and the first for Corvallis overall in many years. She says that they hope to make the first Sunday of the month a regular event, bringing something to town that is more accessible to those who can’t always go out late at night or to a bar, and creating an event that people can bring their families to if desired. 

Moving forward, the show will feature two-to-four guest artists from the region and include a regular cast from Haus of Dharma, which was founded in 2014 by Mirza as a “trans-of-color-centered drag family.” 

Despite the backlash Mirza herself has gotten both over social media and in person at the last event held at Biere Library in early April, Mirza said they will continue to perform and that educating people has become especially important now. 

“It’s a really important time for folks to educate themselves about drag, but also understand what’s going on in the world around us because at the root of all the anti-drag sentiment is a lot of anti-trans violence,” Mirza said, also noting that some places in the country have criminalized drag performances. 

According to Mirza, there have been multiple bills introduced to the Oregon legislature with the potential to limit health care resources and institutional protections for transgender people.   

“So even here we’re seeing this kind of sentiment, so it’s right in our own backyard,” Mirza said. 

However, as of May 1, the Oregon legislature has passed bills protecting insurance access and services relating to gender-affirming care and abortion.

“We want people to know that, like, beyond the politics of all of it, it’s just a really fun show,” Mirza said.

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