Deep in the heart of Kansas, there’s a transformation of acceptance going on. Women dressing as women but glammed up like nobody’s bizness! Nothing unusual you might say! Tis true to some degree sugah’s but when the men decided they needed a little piece of that action, you’d have thunk the world was coming to an end. Because here’s what’s going on in little old Lawrence Kansas – home of the KU Jayhawks. There’s a transformation, competition, and men doing drag, and not all of them are gay men. And, it’s all being done in the name of charity.
Leading the charge is Deja Brooks, a.k.a. Brandon Eisman , a vibrant artist, entertainer, advocate, educator and local personality, Brandon, known as Deja Brooks when performing, has made an impressive, cultural footprint (often beneath a stunning rainbow gown) on Lawrence – a city known for academia, diversity and the arts. He/She is also the star of the documentary – Transformations – that captures the magic and essence of the journey when local men, who are “man enough,” to discover what it means to go full drag for their favorite charity. Heartwarming, laugh until you cry, and touching, Deaj Brooks/Brandon Eisman and team take these men and the audience on a journey of self-discovery, acceptance, and appreciation of what it means to be a woman for a day.
We’re blessed to have Deja and Brandon with us in the studio for a fun and touching interview that will make you shout, I want a transformation too!
Brandon Eisman is extra.
…extra committed to love, acceptance, and diversity; extra focused on creating a positive platform for the LGBTQ+ community; extra determined to keep Lawrence a community supportive of ALL people.
A vibrant artist, entertainer, advocate, educator and local personality, Brandon, known as Deja Brooks when performing, has made an impressive, cultural footprint (often beneath a stunning rainbow gown) on Lawrence – a city known for academia, diversity and the arts.
Eisman’s ambition to celebrate compassion and community is as high-reaching as Deja’s hair.
He is an active contributor to the AIDS Walk, Red Ribbon Art Auction, Cooper’s Couture, Lawrence Humane Society, Willow Domestic Violence Center, and board member for Douglas County AIDS Project and Theatre Lawrence. Recently, Eisman was selected as one of the Unmistakably Local Experts for Explore Lawrence.
Additionally, Deja has been crowned the Kansas City Pride Queen, Miss Gay Tri-States America, 1st Alt. to Miss Gay Western States America and was a serious contender for Miss Gay America, the longest running pageantry system for female impersonation.
Despite his numerous accomplishments and titles, Brandon’s Transformations Charity Gala and Deja’s Reading Rainbow at the Lawrence Public Library are the crown jewels. Transformations, voted 2017’s Best Annual Event, has raised over $80,000 for local charities since its inception in 2012 and empowers local men and women to embrace their inner drag queens. At the library, bedecked in one-of-a-kind dresses and over-thetop accessories, Deja hosts a drag queen story time, celebrating families of all kinds, love, friendship and pride for what makes us each unique.
Clearly, Eisman is extra.
He manages to do all of this while also being the proud parent of a pre-teen son. He wears multiple hats (each perfectly paired with Louis and Louboutins) and his narrative of hope, kindness and unity gives us life.