Photos and text by Caitlin Donohue
“But first we need to stop at the Albertson’s for adult diapers and chocolate cake.”
There is this pit in the stomach city kids get when they are in small town America. Mine was not getting any smaller as I rode in the back seat of drag queen Cucci Binacca’s car to the Kitsap County Midway Inn, despite the fact that she was the manager of a health care resource center for the US Navy up until Tuesday of the week we met. Now she was officially discharged after seven years of service, we were smoking all the weed and it was time for the first post-Navy edition of Cucci’s Cake Batter, her monthly drag show. She started it a year ago in the birthplace of her drag personality: Bremerton, Washington. A strip mall bar-restaurant called Papa’s Eats Treats and Spirits is the Cake Batter venue, and table reservations sell out for every show.
Is it weird to be a drag queen in the Navy? Is it weird to have eating contests at your party in which you force townies to devour supermarket chocolate cake out of adult diapers? No weirder than it is to be any other member of the Cake Batter audience, which after nearly one year in operation includes stoner grandmas (I LOVE THEM), assorted Navy queers (ASK AND TELL BITCHES), and ragtag small town straights. Here was a sample conversation I had with someone from the latter category.
Man in flannel: Hi I’m Cody. Do you twerk?
Man in flannel: I’m straight.
It was wooly. But there was a drag king named Ace of Spades who literally stole every heart in Papa’s (duh mine, but that is easy) with his rendition of Brantley Gilbert’s classic country party anthem “Bottoms Up”. I had an amazing time chilling with Washington State drag queens in the
billards dressing room – not to mention with my bestie Amoania (SHOUT OUT TO FOUR NUMBERS IN A SINGLE NIGHT BIIIITCH YOU DID IT) and a handful of Seattle queens. To be honest, it was one of the best parties I’ve been to in a millon, despite Cucci’s prophecy foretold that I was going to get groped a lot, by all genders.
By the end of the night, Cody was in a scuffle by the parking lot, Cucci had ended a number with “police brutality sucks, huh?” plus won her own eating contest, and my city kid reserve was gone. It was apparent that at the end of the day, small town freaks are just freaks. This is the coolest party in Washington. Down for Bremerton, down for life.