It’s safe to say the story of drag, and those who revel in it, is one that goes back as far as our Community’s does. While today, drag has crossed over into mainstream, contemporary culture, but go back to the Stonewall era and it’s another story entirely.
The creation of “Drag Balls” in the 1960s and specifically the story of the Imperial Court and their half-century of activism and philanthropic work is the subject of the film, 50 Years of Fabulous premiering this week on PBS.
Director/Writer/Editor Jethro Patalinghug, chronicles Jose Julio Sarria’s founding of the Imperial Court in San Francisco to its global presence and far reaching impact on the LGBT Community. From the film’s website,
“In the mid-1960s, at San Francisco’s first public drag ball, Sarria was named the Queen of the Ball and in 1965 Sarria founded the Imperial Court of San Francisco (now the International Court System), an association of charitable organizations that raises money primarily for gay causes and is the oldest surviving LGBT charity organization. With nearly 70 chapters in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, it is also one of the largest LGBT organizations in the world.”
“50 Years of Fabulous recounts the rich history of the Imperial Council, one of the oldest and most influential LGBT organizations in the world, from its genesis as a critical public space for the community and capacity building of LGBT San Franciscans, to its vital role in the advocacy for LGBT human rights. The film documents the full scope of the organization’s historical evolution up to its contemporary struggle in finding relevance, both in the wake of social progress it has helped foster, and in light of a newly empowered political coalition committed to rolling back a half-century of civil rights achievements.”
Check local PBS listing for dates and air times for 50 Years of Fabulous.
Learn more about the film HERE
The Imperial Council of San Francisco HERE
The Imperial Court of New York HERE
Previous posts from theOUTfront series, “Generations of Pride”
Be part of STONEWALL 50 wherever you are by telling your story of Pride on social media using