On the 30th anniversary of The Imperial Court of New York’s gala extravaganza, Night of a Thousand Gowns, Get Out! magazine had the honor of asking Gary Cosgrove, the president of the charitable organization, some questions about the illustrious affair.

Cosgrove is probably one of the kindest and wisest personalities in the community and works endlessly the entire year to make this and events like it happen. The event itself is nothing less than epic, a night you will remember forever.

This year the entertainment features Ultra Naté, Robin S and the cast of Broadway’s Fun Home. DJ Johnny Dynell will be supplying the music.

Sadly, Cosgrove, who has been president of The Imperial Court of New York for the past 10 years, has announced that this will be his last. His wish is for all to become familiar with the organization and attend Night of a Thousand Gowns. It has changed the lives of many!

This year is a landmark anniversary for Night of a Thousand Gowns. What can we expect?
Our guests can expect a lot more audience participation. While we want to entertain them, we want our audience to dance more, party more and leave knowing they witnessed fundraising history being made!

Where and when will the gala event be held this year?
We are once again back the New York Marriott Marquis. The staff there is our family, and the hotel is our home. They treat us very well, and the workers actually fight to be able to work our gala! We moved the date up to March 12 to avoid the other galas and really start the fundraising gala season off with a bang.

How would one obtain tickets?
Go to to purchase your multi-level tier pricing. There is a ticket for everyone’s budget, and you will be supporting scholarships for our LGBTQ youth.

What kind of year has it been for The Imperial Court of New York?
It’s been a good year. Our monarchs, Opi and Madison, have been amazing, traveling and showing up all over New York and New Jersey to support other organizations. It has been a bittersweet year for me as I have made the decision to retire as president of the Imperial Court come September. It’s time for new ideas and for others to step up. The highlight of my tenure was being named a “Legendary Icon” last year by Get Out! magazine!

What is the most exciting event The Court has had thus far this year?
I can’t pinpoint one event over the other. Every event was well produced, and a lot of time and energy was put into each one. Our younger members are really stepping up. That is very exciting to witness!

How did this year’s emperor and empress do?
All I can say is I am very proud of them. They never said no to going out there and representing the ICNY. They did it because they believe in the mission of the ICNY.

What are you most looking forward to at Night of a Thousand Gowns this anniversary year?
I’m looking forward to raising a lot of money and welcoming in our historic new monarchs at midnight: Stonewall veteran, Emperor XXV Tree and our first straight, African American ally, Empress XXX Sugar B. Real. It’s an amazing time to be a Court member. It just shows how diverse we are as a organization.

Is there anything that you wish to say or promote in the magazine?
I just want to say it’s been an incredible 10 years for me as president, and I really want the 30th Night of a Thousand Gowns to go down as the best ever! People need to discover us, enjoy us, revel in us and all the while supporting the causes that are so important to our community. Get Out! has been a wonderful supporter of the ICNY and myself. All we ask is that please help us fill that Ballroom on March 12!