Brunch fit for a queen

Red Cat Kitchen hosts its annual Drag Queen Brunch, sharing LGBTQ culture.


This past Sunday, the Red Cat Kitchen’s eclectic decor was accompanied by rainbow flags, beads, and streamers as it hosted its third annual Drag Brunch, wrapping up this weekend’s Pride celebration in Oak Bluffs. 

Pride celebrates the Island’s LGBTQ community and their allies, as well as enhancing inclusivity among Vineyard residents. The Drag Brunch was part of a weekend-long celebration which included a parade on Saturday, and a Pride Month kick-off party at the Ritz Cafe on Friday night.

Drag is a form of artistic expression, and drag queens are a historically significant part of gay culture. Drag queens are people who dress in highly stylized clothing and makeup used to perform and exaggerate typically female characteristics as a form of entertainment. Through their performances, activism, and participation in pride events, drag queens have become powerful symbols of the LGBTQ community.

Tickets for the show included brunch, a welcome mimosa and plenty of pride swag. The seating was split up between the bar, the indoor dining room, and outdoor patio tables. Talent moved around the restaurant singing, dancing, and engaging with customers. The show had two seatings, one at 11 am and one at 2 pm, both of which sold out. The lively crowd was made up of community members of all ages, as well as visitors to the Island. Talent included Bonita Katrina, Jessca Tabarez, Mizery, and Penny Cost.

“A drag queen is somebody who is able to facilitate many different personas, and able to make an individual forget about their bad day,” Mizery said. 

Mizery was a performer at the first drag show hosted by the Red Cat in 2022, and has been back every year since. “If you are able to put a smile on somebody’s face, that’s what a drag queen is all about. It’s all about love, positivity, and fun,” said Mizery. 


Recently, several states and politicians moved to ban drag, stating it should not be allowed in proximity to schools, churches, or young people. Like any art form, drag can be used to convey a political message, as it plays with expectations of gender expression, although it is not always politically charged. Often, drag is used as a performance artform that entertains an audience, builds community, and allows artists to express themselves. Sunday’s show had a strong message of positivity and inclusivity.

“As a society, we use the word hate too much, and we don’t use the word love nearly enough,” said Jacob Wolfe, a server at Sunday’s show. 

“When I went to my first drag show, it awakened all these questions within me, and allowed me to start unpacking my internalized homophobia and transphobia,” Penny Cost said. “To be able to be in new spaces and expand the horizons around me, it just brings me so much joy.”

Timothy Lee is the beverage director at the Red Cat, and one of the lead organizers of the event. “Coming from a small country town where I used to never feel like I could be myself, and spending my whole life in the closet,” Lee said, “I think it’s really important, being on a small Island, to have a place of acceptance, a place to be who you are, to feel safe, so you’re not lying to yourself, or closing yourself off or hiding yourself.”

“Martha’s Vineyard and Oak Bluffs have come so far, and to have hosted this event for our third year now, it means everything to me,” said Chef Ben deForest. 

Mizery included that the Island community really seems to appreciate the entertainment given by the performances. “The one thing that’s really special about this show is that the energy is so different from other shows that I’ve done — the energy here is powerful, it’s just so mesmerizing and energetic,” said Mizery. 

“Come as you are, gay, straight, it doesn’t matter your ethnicity, race, religion; come as you are, we accept you here for who you are, this is a safe space for everyone,” Lee said.