It is Pride Week in San Francisco! People come from all over the country to see San Francisco’s Gay Pride Parade. More than 250 contingents participated in the 2017 march and parade, the 47th pride parade, held on Sunday, June 25.
Before there was a pride parade, there were activists who stood up for their human rights. I was fortunate enough to meet the official Mother of all gay activist pioneers and interview him for my book. Here is a tribute to Jose Sarria.
Jose, also known as Absolute Empress Jose 1, was the founder of The Imperial Court of San Francisco. In the 1960s, Jose helped organize a grand ball for people to appear in drag if they chose to do so. That was revolutionary at that time. The organizers were going to make Jose their queen. But he said there were many queens planning to attend, so he declared himself Absolute Empress Jose 1, widow of our famous Emperor Norton of the late 1800s.The court system grew out of that first event.