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    Donna’s Chronicles, “Saturday was a marathon of Imperial partying..”

    By Donna Sachet–

    Saturday was a marathon of Imperial partying, not for the faint of heart, as the Golden Gate Gaymes convened in Mariposa Bay Front Park near Chase Center in sparkling sunlight, on grassy hills, and with comforting picnic edibles. It was time for the annual Mr. & Miss, and now Ms. & Mx, Golden Gate!

    A little bit of history … . The most recognizable and visible titleholders within the Imperial Court are the Emperor and Empress, but for many years a number of supportive working titles have evolved and contributed enormously to the good work of the Imperial Court. In 1962, the Tavern Guild was formed, a group of allied Gay bar and other business owners who found strength in common interests, especially in the face of years of institutionalized discrimination, police harassment, and official inaction.  Given the close relationship between the Tavern Guild and the Imperial Court, it was fitting that the Imperial Court created the titles of Mr. & Miss Tavern Guild, an annual, often campy, contest culminating in a bus trip to Guerneville for outdoor revelry.  Even after the Tavern Guild folded, a sign of changing times and improving relations with local authorities, these titles continued, but support and enthusiasm waned. In 1996, Absolute Empress XXXI Cockatielia, with full Board approval, transformed Mr. & Miss Tavern Guild into Mr. & Miss Golden Gate, again centered around a rare outdoor event, but with whimsical Golden Gate Gaymes in Golden Gate Park. What a timely and fortuitous decision!

    Saturday’s 25th annual event had all the elements of the original Golden Gate Gaymes: campy competitive games, bountiful food and drinks, and blessedly perfect weather. Many new faces joined loyal supporters, some dressed outlandishly and others casually, but all basking in the sun with smiling faces. Reigning Emperor Mr. David Glamamore & Empress Juanita MORE! greeted the crowd, providing picnic lunches of signature MORE! Dishes, including forbidden rice salad and Juanita’s beet hummus with pita chips. Teams of four competed in creatively titled and organized games, like Wheel of Misfortune, Lip-Sync or Swim, Emperors’ Quest, and Empress’ Balls, with plenty of time for conversation and laughter. Among those attending were Deana Dawn, Gary Virginia, Patrick Noonan, Ken Hamai & Jack Henyon, Carly Ozard, CoCo Butter, Emperors Terrill Grimes, Leandro Gonzales, and William Bulkley, and Empresses Baby Shaques Munro, Pollo Del Mar, Mercedez Munro, Emma Peel, Misty Blue, Patty McGroin, Saybeline Fernandez, Chablis, and Alexis Miranda. It is refreshing to see the different interactions that arise in an open-air setting, as opposed to a confined bar. Old guard and new mixed amicably, friends reunited, and new friendships sprouted.

    That night, many of the same people reassembled at Powerhouse for the announcement of the winning team and the results of the Golden Gate titles, hosted by Mr. Golden Gate Ashle Blow & Miss Golden Gate Bernadette. Kudos to both of them for a year of service with amazing style! Slyde, Jason Hudak, Michael Chua, Mocha Fapalatte, Newonce, Bobbee Trans Mooremon, Jocquese “Sir JoQ” Whitfield, and John Brett had been selling raffle tickets for weeks with the top seller to be declared the title-holder in each category. Absolute Empress XLIX Misty Blue, Chair of the Imperial Council, announced that an astounding total of more than 4000 tickets had been sold! Despite the limitations of this pandemic, this is looking like a particularly successful year of fundraising for the Imperial Court! Finally, with all appropriate fanfare, the newest title-holders were announced:Mr. Golden Gate Michael Chua, Miss Golden Gate Newonce, Ms. Golden Gate Bobbee Trans Mooremon, and Mx. Golden Gate John Brett. We wish them well as they embark on a year of service in the Imperial Court of San Francisco!

    As we wrote, a marathon day, but with remarkable results.

    Donna Sachet is a celebrated performer, fundraiser, activist, and philanthropist who has dedicated over two decades to the LGBTQ Community in San Francisco. Contact her at empsachet@gmail.com


    Calendar a/la Sachet

    Saturday, September 25
    SF Ducal Coronation 47
    Bordello at St. Basil’s Cathedral
    Step-down of Grand Duke Tim Valdivia & Grand Duchess Katherine Rose
    Emerald Ballroom of Holiday Inn Golden Gateway, 1500 Van Ness Avenue
    6 pm
    $55
    www.sfducal.org

    Thursday, September 30
    Divas & Drinks @ The Academy
    “Terry’s List” – One Night Only!
    A celebration of woman-owned business in the Castro, plus the women of the Golden State Warriors
    Donna Sachet hosting, DJ Rockaway, drinks curated by Bacardi VP Heather Freyer
    Cocktails, nibbles, gift bags
    6 pm–10 pm
    $10
    https://www.academy-sf.com/

    Saturday, October 9
    48th Annual Mr./Miss/Mx Gay San Francisco Pageant
    Mr. Sage Sanchez Munro & Miss Gay Linda Summers complete their year
    Full judged pageant to select the new Mr., Miss, & Mx Gay SF
    More details TBA
    www.imperialcouncilsf.org

    Published on September 23, 2021