Drag’s relationship with dining goes back to the mid-20th century, when drag revues in bars and restaurants catered to predominantly straight audiences. Mr. Jeffreys, the historian, estimates that drag brunches began in the early 1990s, during the second decade of the AIDS crisis. Perry’s, a restaurant in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, D.C., has hosteda drag brunch since 1991, and it remains popular.
Today, drag brunch is an essential weekend outing in many cities, a draw for bachelorette and birthday parties. Food and drag continue to intersect in new ways, from meal-delivery services to sausage-making parties.
To some keepers of drag history, Taco Bell’s brunch is the commercial torpedo that finally sinks a subversive art form.
But others feel that ship has long sailed. Drag is now squarely in the mainstream, said Harry James Hanson, a co-author of “Legends of Drag,” a new book featuring photographic portraits of drag elders.