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          untitled 1004744a copy
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          Imperial Court 02 10 18  1009905a copy
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          Queen Mother Long Beach Coronation environmental 
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The Imperial Court

"Noble Deeds", is a Project whereby I have been documenting The Imperial Court Of the Americas. This will be a book and a documentary About the group and their philanthropy. 

This series is entitled "Noble Deeds". Following and documenting The Imperial court System, capturing Imagery around Coronations In the 70+ Courts around United States Canada and Mexico Has become my goal. The Organization is 55 years old and each court is an individual 501 C3 nonprofit organization which is very much like a gay Lions club or Shriners group. While it was founded as a social organization, they were forced into activism. The founder, José Sarria affectionately and informally known as "Mama" was the first openly gay man to run for office in San Francisco. He didn’t win, but his activism helped to formulate and elect Harvey milk.ting The Imperial court System, capturing Imagery around Coronations In the 70+ Courts around United States Canada and Mexico Has become my goal. The Organization is 55 years old and each court is an individual 501 C3 nonprofit organization which is very much like a gay Lions club or Shriners group. While it was founded as a social organization, they were forced into activism. The founder, José Sarria affectionately and informally known as "Mama" was the first openly gay man to run for office in San Francisco. He didn’t win, but his activism helped to formulate and elect Harvey milk.

 

This is a group of men and women who come together to raise money for  organizations and individuals in need. The group is mainly made up of LGBTQ Community members, but not exclusively. Prior to the late 70’s it was illegal for men to dress as women, so, early on in the loosely organized group they would meet in people's homes or a private clubs. Later on In the 80s they were instrumental In helping through the Aids crisis feeding and helping house people in need. As times have changed so has the groups focus, putting their attention where it's most needed. Even today They're helping out Individuals In the current crisis of The Coronavirus, Helping support people who are out of work putting food on the table especially when there are kids involved. The court has also played an Intercal role in the legalization of gay marriage, and currently they are fighting for trans rights.

 

Annually each court has a coronation where they nominate or elect An Emperor and Empress rein for that year. Raising money all to be given away to either individuals or groups In need. The imperial court system is instrumental in many endeavors such as, spearheading the Harvey Milk stamp, as well as Navy Ship for Slain Gay Rights Leader, named U.S.N.S. Harvey Milk, also setting up college funds for LGBTQ communities, and helping fund The Matthew Shepard Foundation, and setting up the equivalent of Toys For Tots, because early on the Marine Corps would not accept Toys from openly gay organizations.

 

I'm traveling around to different chapters of the organization capturing groups and individuals In hopes of doing a book that brings this group into the spotlight. We are currently shooting stills as well as motion to put together a short documentary alongside that book.

 

In the year that I've been documenting, my vision has evolved from photographing people in the environment of the coronation to creating an environment post shoot to craft more of a fantasy world. This is about changing the sometimes harsh outer world in which we are given into one of our own choosing. Just like the organization I'm taking on the same role as a photographer, changing our perspective and direction towards a brighter and more crafted future, one of our own making, where everyone, no matter how different you are, you can still find a place of acceptance love and family.

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1c crunched snajej

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