I remember a few years ago, meeting Michael ( Misty Blue) in the Castro. We simply were gay guys hanging out in the bars with our groups of friends pretty much oblivious to other things besides our own little worlds.
Fast forward to February 14, 2015 and here we stand, Misty Blue ( Michael) is about to end “her” reign as Empress with Emperor John Paul Soto on the 50th anniversary of one of the most prolific and influential LGBT organizations that have graced our nation and world.
I also took a similar journey over the years where I got involved in both the Ducal and Imperial Courts, serving as a Prince Royale in a previous Ducal Court, currently a Knight in the the Ducal Council, Treasurer in the Current Ducal Court and an active member of Misty and John’s Imperial Court. I am also heavily involve in LGBT activism and causes.
So this year is a milestone for their majesties, Misty Blue and John Paul who have served so honorably as Monarchs of the Imperial Court system started by the heroic Jose Julio Sarria , Empress Empress 1, the Widow Norton. They have added to a legacy where millions of dollars have been raised here and in other cities for charities through grassroots efforts , dollar by dollar.
Yes, there is the pomp and the over the top performances of drag, but there is this heart that underlies all of it, that speaks to pure volunteerism , community and unity.
Those inheriting these crowns tonight , have big shoes to fill. Misty Blue and John Paul Soto have been well loved by their community. There was no magic formula. They simply served. They raised money. They got others to help them. That is what this entire thing is all about under all the glitter and tiaras.
There will be tears tonight. Yes, an era is ending. Good times we don’t want to end. But like all things that must come to an end, great beginnings are starting.
Thank you, Misty Blue and John Paul Soto, for your service. It has been an honor to serve with you.
Now click those heels, raise those glasses and celebrate….there is so much more to come!