CORONATION in the Imperial Court

CORONATION in the Imperial Court

Girls, how many times have you wanted to enjoy being your DROP-DEAD GORGEOUS (like the movie by the same name, but without the float blowing up) self, all glammed up in big hair and an evening gown with a slit up to THERE??? Or maybe, you have all of those acoutrements but are yearning for the opportunity to get out on the town like that? Well, if you haven?t heard, in almost 70, yes that?s SEVENTY cities in North America, there are people who love to do all that, AND raise money for charities while they?re at it. Welcome to the International Imperial Court System!

I?m writing from Boston MA ?. here in Boston before I joined, I had acquired a few items of evening wear, primarily for the TCNE?s banquet at FIRST EVENT. But, as Linda Eder?s song goes, I wanted MORE! When I was told about the newly started Barony court in town by some of my performing drag queen friends, I thought, gee, here?s a way to dress up even more than just with the girls from the local TG support group. After all, any reason to dress is a good one, and for charity, too? Why not!

Each court of the Imperial Court System crowns new monarchs to lead them for the coming 12 months. These coronations and adornments are spectacular weekend events, and since there are more than 52 courts, virtually every weekend there is a coronation somewhere! Listings of courts and their upcoming coronations can be found at

In the mid-1960s, a live-singing female impersonator named Jos? Sarria in San Francisco decided to run for the city?s Board of Supervisors (to which the late Harvey Milk was voted on in later years). Jos? had been quite the queer-rights activist prior to this, reminding the Tgirls they needed to wear buttons reading ?I am a boy? to satisfy anti-crossdressing ordinances of the time. Jos?s slogan (which still very much applies) was, ?United we stand; divided, they?ll pick us off one-by-one.? Well, there were several thousand votes for Jos? in that election, but not enough for her to be the successful candidate. The Tavern owners threw a post-election party where they tried to name Jos? their queen, but she retorted, ?I?m already a queen, it should be a higher title?. Thus, with the title of ?Empress de San Francisco?, Jos? held court in town, and only used this acclamation for good charitable works, and has insisted that those who followed in her footsteps do the same. Well, Jos? (whom we affectionately call ?Mam? now) still is a feisty leader at the ripe age of four score years! A fun read is her biography, ?The Empress Is A Man?.

From those beginnings almost 40 years ago, the Court has spread across the continent. And this coming weekend before Thanksgiving 2003, the Imperial Court of Massachusetts will celebrate its THIRD CORONATION, culminated by its formal charity coronation ball on Saturday November 22nd, and Mam? Jos? Empress I de San Francisco will be on hand at Boston?s Park Plaza Hotel, as monies are raised for the . Coronations are frequently themed; this one?s is ?Freeway to Hell?. Dress in theme is considered appropriate, but as this is a formal occasion, the code of dress is evening wear, or, for men, dress uniform or dress leather or tuxedo. I encourage you to visit the websites of the several Imperial Courts across North America to view their respective photos and see what may be appropriate garb.

There are other events that go with the coronation weekend ? each court?s own website should be consulted for all of the arrangements. Here in Boston (see ) we will have an IN TOWN SHOW on Thursday Nov. 20th @ Jacques Cabaret from 730p-930p; an OUT OF TOWN SHOW on Friday Nov. 21st @ Club Caf? from 7-9p; Coronation itself (tickets $75 includes dinner, advance purchase requested ? see the court?s website) on Saturday Nov.22nd @ the ParkPlaza Hotel?s Imperial Ballroom, with doors opening at 7pm, concluding with the crowning of the new monarchs, Emperor III Randolph Gucci $pendzalot and Empress III.Wilma von Shwink.

I hope that if you?re close to Boston this next weekend you?ll consider coming to enjoy an evening of High Drag (Big Hair, Big Jewels, Spectacular Gowns, and the girls looking absolutely delicious!), and to benefit an extremely worthy AIDS outreach charity, the . If you can?t make Boston, please look at the Imperial Court System ( ) and find the court nearest to you or your travels, so that you, too, can enjoy another venue of safe dressing to the nines!

Daphne in Boston

Her Imperial Majesty
?The Rainbow Pride Baroness?
Empress Emerita & Baroness III-IV of Massachusetts
Daphne Filenes $pendzalot Raimondo Reeves Prideaux-Tchknski