A flamboyantly fabulous dresser; a lively, vivacious personality; and a kind and generous soul, Opi N Yated, is the current reigning emperor of The Imperial Court of New York. Before he passes on his crown to the next emperor, Tree, at Night of a Thousand Gowns on March 12, Get Out! was able to see how his amazing year was spent.

You are a very cool and flamboyantly, fabulously dressed emperor. Do you know who you are giving your crown to?
I do own a lot of crowns.  With my step down, I will have 13. I view each as a work of art and have them on display around my apartment, much to the embarrassment of my husband. The court jewelers are really talented, and I think their craft should be displayed.

One of the nice things about the International Court System is we all help each other out, so while I won’t give a crown away, I do loan them to people. I was named the American Half Emperor of Nova Scotia, and I’ve loaned one of my favorite crowns to him until he completes his reign.

Did you have a favorite moment during your reign?
Empress Madison and I had the distinction to reign during the International Court System’s 50th Jubilee year.  To honor ICS Queen Mother Nicole the Great, we commissioned a portrait for her and presented it at the State Dinner in Portland.

When did you join The Court, and why?
I have always had a latent desire to perform, but never pursued anything formally.  When I moved to New York, friends invited me to Night of a Thousand Gowns, and I became a supporter of the ICNY.  After my mother died, I realized that life is short and joined the court.

What was the most exciting event for you this year?
It’s coming up. Night of a Thousand Gowns.

What do you foresee happening to you in the upcoming year?
I’m hoping Tree and Sugar have a wonderful year, and I will be there to help them as needed. I also foresee less traveling and more bicycling.

I know that you do a lot of charitable work in real life as well as in The Court. Refresh my memory please.
Prior to moving to New York, I was involved with NARAL-PA. I founded Pennsylvania Freedom to Marry in 1992. I was on the board of the ACLU of Pennsylvania, and I was involved in Democratic politics. My husband is currently chair of the HRC Greater New York Steering Committee and sits on the HRC’s Board of Governors.

What was the best part of being emperor?
Doing charity work and raising money for good causes is very fulfilling, but I also like all the funky pictures and memories I have made this year.

How has being emperor affected your everyday life?
I have a good job that allows me a lot of flexibility, so I’ve had the opportunity to represent New York at 13 out-of-town coronations and attend most in-town events.

Is there anything that you would like to say to your loyal subjects?
Thanks for allowing me to have a great year!

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