Night of a Thousand Gowns

Opi N. Yated, Tree, Rachel Rene Rothchild, Madison Mansfield

I had a conversation with soon-to-be new emperor Opi N. Yated; Tree, the world-famous Stonewall bartender prince royale; Rachel Rene Rothchild, Madison Mansfield’s husband as well as a duchess in the court; and Madison Mansfield, soon-to-be empress in The Imperial Court of New York.

So, Prince Opi N. Yated, what is your role in the Imperial Court of New York?
Opi N. Yated: As Madison and I step up on April 11 at Night of a Thousand Gowns, I think of the job as a fundraiser. We inspire our members to raise money for good causes.

What are some of those causes?
Opi N. Yated: This year, Night of a Thousand Gowns will be benefiting the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

What do you do when you’re not being a prince?
Opi N. Yated: I’m a software itinerary manager at Google.

How did you get started?
Opi N. Yated: In 2004 I was on the Democratic National Platform Committee, and I had been doing gay rights politics for quite some time. I read the platform, and transgender rights were not included. I called my friend Mara Keisling, who was the director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, and I said there was nothing in the platform. She asked me to propose an amendment to the platform, which I did, and I received an award from the transgender community. When I moved to New York, one of them said, “There’s that wonderful event, Night of a Thousand Gowns—you have to go to it,” and I did. That was history.

Madison, it doesn’t mean you have to sleep together.

Mansfield: No, it doesn’t, but we’ll have many children together.

Tree, what’s your real name?
Tree: Tree.

What’s your role in the court?
Tree: I’m a prince royale in the Imperial Court of New York. I do nothing, but I spend money and have a great time. It’s fun. I’m enjoying my life, and it’s fun. They are the most wonderful people in the U.S. and Canada. I enjoy fundraising. I enjoy traveling. I love when they come to the bar and have parties upstairs. I’m downstairs, but I run up. I try to support as much as I can, but I do work Thursday, Friday, Saturday when most of the events take place.

Where do you work?
Tree: Stonewall, on and off for 45 years.

What do you do at Stonewall?
Tree: Bartend. I’ve been bartending almost 50 years, and I’m only 35.

And you look 25 and hot. Rob, you’re not only Madison Mansfield’s husband, but you too are a member of the Imperial Court.
Rothchild: I’ve been in the court six months after Madison.

What is your title?
Rothchild: I’m Rachael Rene Rothchild, and I’m a duchess.

A duchess. Madison, right now, before you’re crowned empress, what is your title?
Mansfield: I’m a princess.

You sure are. Actually, I think Rob is more the princess. So what do you all like best about being in the Imperial Court of New York?

Mansfield: It’s a community. We’re one big, extended family of our home life. We work hard together. We get to raise money and spend time with one another.
Tree: We enjoy each other’s company in and out of town.
Mansfield: There’s 186 members in the Imperial Court of New York, and about 72 courts across the country.

Eileen Shapiro

Best selling author of "The Star Trek Medical Reference Manual", and feature celebrity correspondent for Get Out Magazine, Louder Than War, and Huffington Post contributor, I've interviewed artists from Adam Ant, Cyndi Lauper, and Annie Lennox to Jennifer Hudson, Rick Springfield, LeAnn Rimes, and thousands in between. My interviews challenge the threat of imagination....

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