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    Donna’s Chronicles: “If last Saturday’s explosion of excitement in the Castro is any indication…”

    By Donna Sachet–

    If last Saturday’s explosion of excitement in the Castro is any indication, the Imperial Court of San Francisco is alive and very well! Candidates for Empress Ehra Amaya and Juanita MORE! and candidate for Emperor Mr. David Glamamore were out in force trying to capture the maximum votes with hordes of volunteers, colorful balloons, amplified music, and lots of old-fashioned one-on-one campaigning. As you may know from reading this column with regularity, Saturday was Voting Day for the next Emperor and Empress of San Francisco, and although one could vote in SOMA in front of The Powerhouse and in the Polk area in front of The Cinch, the great majority of votes are always placed in the Castro, right in front of Harvey Milk Plaza.  With the temporary closure of Muni underground, the balloting was conducted from a more visible table at street level, staffed by loyal Imperial Family members. For over 50 years, the Imperial Council has asked the public to select the next Emperor and Empress and every year, outstanding individuals have thrown their hats or tiaras into the ring. And this is what happens when you have unusually qualified candidates, new approaches, and fresh energy: a Voting Day full of passionate competition!           

    This year’s Emperor candidate is Mr. David Glamamore, well-known for years as a costume designer, event producer, and creative performer. Popular Juanita MORE! is one of the Empress, candidates and her MORE! Boys and many other supporters were very much in evidence that day, some decked out in puppy-wear and all passing out candidate literature. Also a candidate for Empress is Ehra Amaha, well known in GAPA, Ducal, and Imperial circles for her fundraising and lively performances; she too had scads of volunteers canvassing the Castro for votes. This being the column that it is, we can’t miss a fashion description of the candidates: Mr. David in a bright blue tailcoat over white pants with a black tophat, Juanita in a bold diagonally striped asymmetrical orange and fuchsia duster with black pants, and Ehra in a tight-fitting sexy white nurse’s uniform cinched with a red belt.                                                

    You could not be in the neighborhood and not know what was happening. A converted school bus in front of the Castro Theatre blared dance music and a balloon-festooned truck there refreshed and replenished volunteers throughout the day. An hour after polls opened at noon, there was a line halfway down the block of people waiting to vote. Word has it that voter turnout hit a new record high. The Polk Street location closed at 4 pm, followed by SOMA at 5 pm, ending with the 6 pm closing of the Castro poll, where exhausted candidates observed the sealing of the ballot boxes and famished volunteers wrapped things up. The closely watched votes will be tabulated by the Imperial Court’s CPA and sealed in an envelope, only to be opened this Saturday night at Imperial Coronation, when everyone will find out who our new Emperor and Empress will be.

    Imperial Coronation has always been the signature event of the Imperial Court, signaling the end of one reign and the beginning of another. Usually attended by nearly 1000 people, including visiting courtiers from the nearly 70 chapters across the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and local LGBTQ leaders, elected officials, and individuals who share our mission of charitable work with grandeur, there is no grander spectacle. Who can forget the legendary Egyptian entrance of Emperor XVII, After Norton, Jerry Coletti and Absolute Empress XXIV Pat Montclaire? Or the avalanche of pink tulle dresses assembled by Absolute Empress XXIX Anita Martini?Or the frequent appearances of Mayors of San Francisco, from George Moscone and Art Agnos to Willie Brown and Gavin Newsom?From elaborately choreographed dance numbers to the formal crowning of the new Emperor and Empress with all the attendant paraphernalia, there is nothing like a San Francisco Imperial Coronation!                                    

    All that makes it even more frightening to face the challenge of staging our first virtual Imperial Coronation. Emperors and Empresses will mark certain anniversaries with elaborate performances, the Reigning Monarchs will entertain and distribute funds raised during their year to worthy charitable organizations, and congratulatory messages will arrive from visiting dignitaries … all virtually. 

    But under the capable leadership of a hardworking Board of Directors and especially Cameron Stiehl and Absolute Empress XXXVI Chablis,we have every confidence that you will be amazed. Within health guidelines, certain segments have been pre-recorded, but others must be live to preserve our traditions going back over 50 years, seamlessly edited into a spectacular final product. It all begins at 4 pm this Saturday, and for the first time ever, it is free of charge. But something tells us that you will be so thrilled with the production that you’ll make a voluntary donation to support the Imperial Court. 

    Check the websites listed in our calendar for access. Celebrate the successful year of Reigning Emperor William Bulkley and Reigning Empress Mimi Osa at Imperial Coronation 56: Get Lit, A Novel Idea and be the first to discover who will be the next Emperor and Empress of San Francisco.

    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

    Thursday, April 22
    Crescendo: Voices Rising, SF Gay Men’s Chorus
    Honoring LeAnn Rimes, Terrance Kelly, Rita Moreno
    Musical performances
    6 pm
    $25 & up
    www.sfgmc.org/crescendo
    Friday, April 23

    Imperial In & Out of Town Show
    Online performances by local and international entertainers
    6 pm
    www.imperialcouncilsf.org
    Saturday, April 24

    Imperial Coronation 56: Get Lit, A Novel Idea
    Step-down of Emperor William Bulkley and Empress Mimi Osa
    Crowning of new Emperor & Empress of San Francisco
    Special recognition of anniversary Monarchs
    Charitable distributions
    4 pm
    Free, donations welcomed
    www.imperialcouncilsf.org

    Thursday, April 29
    San Francisco Bay Times presents Divas & Drinks @ The Academy
    Women’s history game show emceed by Donna Sachet
    Team Mecca 2.0 vs. Team Olivia with DJ Rockaway, cocktail demos, and a mystery guest to be revealed at the end!
    Free
    6 pm
    www.academy-sf.com

    Published on April 22, 2021