“Many times, some of our community leaders and organizations question if Drag Queens belong at the table of the national LGBTQ civil rights movement, well read this Queen’s silicone filled lips, WE BUILT THAT F*CKING TABLE.”
Drag Queens have played a most important and historic role in the history of the LGBTQIA+ Community of America. In the 1960s and 70s Drag shows played a major part in fundraising which provided benefits that helped establish LGBTQ+ organizations and those in need in their communities. In 1961 Drag Queen entertainer and a proud Latino and decorated World War II Veteran, (who I have called the “Rosa Parks of the LGBTQ civil rights movement”) yes, I am talking about the legendary icon Jose Julio Sarria, became the first openly Gay candidate to run for public office in North America. In 1965 Empress one Jose of San Francisco founded the international imperial court system with now 70 city chapters throughout The United States Canada and Mexico.
In 1969 at the historic Stonewall Inn in New York City, self-proclaimed Drag Queens Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera played an important role in the three-day riots. Drag Queens have raised millions of dollars with their shows and fundraisers especially during those early dark years of the AIDS epidemic. In the early 1980s, when there were no corporate sponsors or major businesses donating to the cause, our LGBTQ+ Community could only count on ourselves. Drag Queens, Gay bars, the Leather Community, Lesbians/women were almost alone on the front lines of the battle against AIDS. Yes, and Drag Queens have been the founders of countless organizations, AIDS agencies, and annual campaigns (toy drives, food drives, etc.).
Drag Queens and the International Imperial Court System led the successful national campaigns that have resulted in a Harvey Milk US Postage Stamp, the USNS Harvey Milk naval vessel and a national LGBTQ Wall of Honor established in the historic Stonewall Inn. I remember in my speeches at the Stonewall 25 Rally in Central Park and the Creating Change Conference by the National LGBTQ Task Force in Texas I stated, “Many times some of our community leaders and organizations question if Drag Queens belong at the table of the national LGBTQ civil rights movement, well read this Queen’s silicone filled lips, WE BUILT THAT F*CKING TABLE.” The list of historic accomplishments of Drag Queens is endless and continues to grow till this very day.
Now Drag Queens are the new target of the radical right wing and conservative so-called Christians with Anti-Drag Queen legislative bills being introduced in dozens of states across this nation.
Well, I am a proud Latino Drag Queen and we have only begun to fight back, and I am proud that the oldest LGBTQ organization in the world, yes, the International Imperial Court System has launched “Operation Drag Defense” and this week has sent checks out to Kentucky, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, Montana, and more to help those fighting bees anti-drug bills in their states. I am honored to be the National Executive Director of this campaign and we need your help. Please send contributions to the ICC (Drag Defense Fund in the memo) c/o PO Box 33915, San Diego, CA 92163.
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