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Now that your reign is nearly over, what have you learned or gained from it?
What I have learned most now that the reign is nearly over is the amazing amount of loving, dedicated people the International Court System has in it. I’ve traveled this great country, Canada and Mexico, and in each and every location I met wonderful people who give their all to unite for a cause. I’ve made many new lifelong friends.

Do you know who will be crowned next?
The Imperial Court of New York will proudly be crowning a gay icon, Tree (from Stonewall Inn), as emperor, and our very first biological, African American female as empress: Sugar B. Real. They are both wonderful people, and I wish them the very best in their reign.

Why do you feel it was so important for you to become the empress?
The importance of the empress and emperor is to represent and be the figurehead of the Imperial Court of New York, to spread the word about what we do and bring in new members, encourage those we have and establish a rapport within the community we serve.

What’s your most memorable moment of this past year?
My most memorable moment would have to be when the ICNY float turned onto 5th Ave. in the NYC Gay Pride Parade, and I saw all the adoring fans and supporters waving, and we stood as one magnificent community bound by love instead of hate. That is a moment I will never forget as long as I live.

Can you be elected or voted to be empress again?
Yes, if I choose to run for empress again, I could be elected to reign again. We have several monarchs within our organization that have reigned more than one time.

This year is a special anniversary for Night of a Thousand Gowns. What can we expect?
This is our 30th anniversary. You can expect the usual glitz and glam that the Imperial Court of New York always delivers. However, this year we plan to make it even more ICONIC, which is our tagline for this year.

What made you join the Imperial Court of New York in the first place?
I joined the ICNY because I have always felt the need to give back to my community. I come from very humble beginnings, and luckily I have been blessed with wonderful things in my life, due to hard work and determination. It is important to give back to those who are in need. When you put good out into the universe, you get it back in return.

How has your life changed since becoming empress?
It’s hard to put into words. Your entire outlook on life and friendships evolves. You get a lot of love and recognition by being the empress of New York. However, with that there are always hardships as well. It should be expected. Without the rain, you wouldn’t get an abundant garden. So, we must weather any storms and believe in the greater good for all.

Is there anything else you would like to say? You have free rein—don’t mind the pun.
I would just like to thank all of the members of the Imperial Court of New York for all of your love, support and hard work. I hope that I have done you proud. And to all of the wonderful people I have met along my journeys, I thank you and look forward to a long and memorable relationship. But mostly, I would like to thank my husband for putting up with me throughout this year. I love you!

The event benefits the ICNY 30th Anniversary LGBTQ Youth Scholarship Fund.
Honorary Chairs: Patricia Field, Michael C. Hall and Cristin Milioti.

Saturday, March 12, 2016
Marriott Marquis Hotel NYC
icny.tix.com

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