The Imperial Court system was founded in San Francisco 1965 by José Julio Sarria, a queer activist and drag performer. The system, modeled after European royal courts, eventually spread all over the country and the world as a way to unite LGBTQ+ communities. The Imperial Court of Los Angeles was founded in 1970 as a beauty contest and place to gather the queer community of the city. In 1974 the first empress and emperor were elected.
Forty years later, the Imperial Court of Los Angeles and Hollywood still provides a space for fellowship and fun through elegant balls and drag shows while also placing a strong importance on giving back to the community.
The Imperial Court of Los Angeles and Hollywood affirms members of the LGTQ+ community in the city and provides a space to celebrate and feel free while raising money for key services.
They fundraise through their signature drag shows, coronation events, and auctions. The court has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to charities and they’ve created programs to provide services to the LGBTQ+ community. Through a partnership with the mayor’s office and city council members, the Imperial Court spends one night a month walking West Hollywood to connect with homeless folks in the community. They serve food and provide information about medical and other life saving services.
We need to mentor the future generations - and guide them to do the same thing - help their community.