Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Court?
The court is a organization based on the form of a traditional monarchy. A Coronation is an annually held event, at which time an Emperor and an Empress are crowned, usually followed by an investiture, where the new monarchs name their lines of succession. All titles are camp in nature.
What is Coronation?
Coronation is an event that is held once a year to show the Court off to the community and to other courts in the Imperial Court System. It is an elaborate event with individuals attired as if to attend a royal event. A coronation has several purposes: First and foremost, it is a charity ball that typically raises several thousands of dollars each year for local charities. Secondly, it serves as a time to say thank you to the individuals completing their year as Monarchs and to announce and greet the new monarchs that will lead the organization in the coming year. Coronation brings several hundred visitors to Austin each year.
What is the Imperial Court System?
The Imperial Court System (ICS) is composed of approximately 70 courts throughout the United States, Mexico, & Canada. ICS first began in the 1960’s by Jose Sarria (AKA: Empress Jose I, The Widow Norton)
What is the purpose of the court?
The purpose is to raise charitable funds for other organizations, as well as offer an outlet for social interaction among those who appreciate or participate in entertainment or fundraising activities.
What are some of the organizations that Courts contribute to?
Courts traditionally contribute to organizations such as the various AIDS-related services in their communities. In New Mexico, some of the organizations that we support are: N’MPower, Light in the Night, Truman Clinic, First Nations, Southwest Care.
How does the Court compare to other organizations?
It may sound silly, but they are no different than any pageant, or fraternal organization, or club that adopts a particular lifestyle, way of dress, or hierarchy as its focus. Courts have been compared to Mardi Gras Krewes, The Shriners, etc.
How does the Court raise money?
The Court raises money through hosting various types of events. This includes hosting an annual Softball Tournament, drag shows, raffles, donations from contributors, etc. Funds raised go directly to the agencies that the Court assists. The main purpose of fundraising activities is to support the needs of the communities they serve. The people that participate in the Court are 100% volunteers and none of the monies raised are used to pay an administrative staff.
How are Monarchs Chosen?
In New Mexico, those that would like to reign as Emperor or Empress of The United Court of the Sandias campaign and are elected into office by open community vote. Once elected, they reign for one year.
What are the responsibilities of a Monarch?
The main responsibility is to represent his or her organization with dignity and respect. They should carry themselves regally as the title suggests. They attend meetings, functions, delegate responsibility, travel to other cities, and build relationships throughout the community and the ICS.
How can a person benefit from being part of a Court?
The friendships made in and out of their home city can last a lifetime. It offers individuals the opportunity to grow, a chance to work as a team, the opportunity to compete, and to learn and do for the community.
Who can be involved in the court?
Anyone can be involved in the court. Though courts are traditionally comprised of members of the gay community, courts are open to ALL people, regardless of race, religion, creed, nationality, gender, age, physical ability, or sexual orientation.