The Fifth Annual “State of the Empire” 2012 Address
by the Queen Mother I of the Americas, Empress Nicole the Great
21 January 2012 – Houston, Texas
(for a PDF version of the address, CLICK HERE )
It is indeed my honor to be once again in the great state of Texas and the beautiful city of Houston. One of my first visits to your great state was in the early years of the establishment of the first chapter court in Texas ‐ Fort Worth… one of the most cherished honors that I value is being made an Honorary Texan by one of the best governors of any state… the late Governor Ann Richards…
Last night, I was once again deeply touched when Mayor Annise Parker of Houston stopped by the hotel to visit me… Mayor Parker had just arrived at Bush Intercontinental Airport back from the National US Conference of Mayors where she joined my mayor and the mayors of New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston and Chicago in our nation’s capitol to launch Americans For Freedom To Marry – a campaign to end marriage discrimination.
Let me tell you all that Mayor Parker is not only the pride of Houston and the state of Texas but, indeed, the pride of All GLBT Americans.
On the subject of Pride… would all of the veterans with us tonight stand so we can acknowledge your service to our great country? This year, I have proclaimed 2012 as The Year of Our Servicemembers and Veterans encouraging all courts in Canada and the United States to reach out and support our active military personnel and veterans… who so many times are forgotten. Emperor George of San Antonio is the ICC Chairman of this year’s court campaign and is already doing an outstanding job. George is a Master Sergeant veteran of the United States Air Force.
I would like to sincerely thank the courts who supported and participated in our 2011 Year of Our Youth Campaign and the 68,000 Hours of Noble Deeds. Over two hundred thousand dollars – yes, two hundred thousand dollars – has been raised by you, our courts, that have benefited the Matthew Shepard Foundation, the Harvey Milk Foundation and The Trevor Project.
Over one hundred thousand hours of volunteer involvement by court members outside of our court duties has been recorded… Bravo to all of you who participated and a special thank you to Emperor Chad Hammer of Portland who came up with this concept and idea.
Thank you to co‐chairs Empress Donna Dumae of Dallas and Emperor Martin Storm of Surrey for your hard work on this most successful campaign.
If our court system is going to survive another forty‐seven years, it is time we all start mentoring, including and making outreach to our young people and adults… it is time to pass the torch to a new generation of leadership.
The 30 Under 30 Council has been established with a special thank you to Prince Kieron Keegan of St. Catharines whose idea this was… I met this afternoon with two outstanding members of the 30 Under 30 Council from Texas: 22‐year‐old Princess Alexandra Winters and 24‐year‐old The Lady Heather St. John, both of San Antonio’s court… stand up so we can acknowledge you and thank you for your activism and participation.
Our court system has over thirty‐five student scholarships within Canada, United States and Mexico… it was my honor to give a small contribution to the Mona Little Moore Scholarship of Austin which has raised five thousand dollars in just the last year… I urge all courts without student scholarship funds to establish one by the end of 2012.
In just two weeks, the city of Halifax in Canada will hold the Fifth Session of Her Majesty’s Parliament, “The People’s House”. While Parliament is going through some rough times… as they say, “Rome was not built in a day…” I have full confidence in the new Officers that will be coming from the Fifth Session of Parliament and I sincerely thank The Lady Ajax, Speaker of Her Majesty’s Parliament, for her four years of unselfish and inspiring leadership. I look forward to working with the new leadership of Parliament.
Our beloved Founder, World War II veteran and the first openly gay candidate to run for public office in America in 1961, José Julio Sarria recently celebrated her eighty‐eighth birthday… Our court system was founded in San Francisco and, in 2015, we will be joining the City By the Bay in marking the Fiftieth Anniversary of all of ours, our Mother and Founding Court, San Francisco and the beginning of our International Court System. During this difficult health time for Empress José, please all of you take the time to reach out to her. Also, to the Empress of Canada, ted northe, who has also been going through some difficult times. Both of these beloved queens are indeed historic and pioneering figures.
Next month in San Diego, during their Fortieth Anniversary weekend of February 10‐12, I will be celebrating the Fifth Anniversary of my coronation by José as your Queen Mother… It has been a most rewarding and hardworking five years for me… it has been my honor to serve you. Courtiers will be coming from all over Canada, United States and, yes, Mexico, to celebrate at the “Imperial State Dinner” and I invited you all to join us… but know on this occasion, I will be thinking of each and every one of you… for the five years many of you have, indeed, been the wind beneath my wings.
I am very proud to announce that the owners of the Stonewall Inn in New York City and the legendary Stonewall bartender Tree, who participated in the 1969 Stonewall Riots, will be at my Fifth Anniversary State Dinner where I will be proclaiming the historic Stonewall Inn the Imperial Palace of the Queen Mother I of the Americas and the International Court System of Canada, United States and Mexico.
We will also be presenting schools books on the life of Harvey Milk to a member of the School Board, representatives of the Gay Lesbian Straight Educators Network (GLSEN) and to Stuart Milk to take back to New York to donate these books to the school district Harvey Milk attended… these school books will be gifts from the International Court System.
I am pleased to announce that the five year history project of a documentary film on our International Court System by Patchwork Pictures will be finishing this year. Also, a photo exhibit by renowned photographer Karen Massing entitled The Royal Families of the Americas will go on exhibit at the Harvey Milk Library in San Francisco on from May 12 to September of this year. It is my hope that this historic exhibit, officially sponsored by the ICC will visit library archives and GLBT centers across Canada, United States and Mexico.
It has been my priority to preserve our history and thus I have named Emperor Daniel Surreal Fox of Reno and Emperor Falcon of Houston as our official archivists. For as I’ve said so many times: A community, yes, a court, that doesn’t know where it comes from, doesn’t know where it’s going.
In my first State of the Empire address in 2007, I proclaimed that my reign as your Queen Mother would be known as The Renaissance Era and my personal motto would be the strength of the Court’s past and the promise of its future. I promised you a more democratic monarchy and to give more structure when it comes to the ICC.
We have been very successful, yes, I say We, because any accomplishments could not have been made by me these last years without the support and leadership of my present and past Heirs Apparent. Would all my past Heirs Apparent please standing and wave so we can all acknowledge you.
One of the hallmarks of my administration has been a zero tolerance to any court’s misappropriations or embezzlement. We will continue to suspend Court Charters and recognition as I’ve done if these crimes are not reported and handled professionally.
I say to all our court’s treasurers, it is the community’s money… we are only the caretakers of this community raised money.
From this day forth, All, each and every court member, regardless of their rank or title who has stolen or misappropriated funds, I proclaim them within the court system persona non grata with all their titles, honors and membership stripped for life.
And now, hear me well… All court members have rights from Lords and Ladies to Monarchs. Thus, I issue this official proclamation, signed by my hand on this day, January 21, 2012 entitled Courtier’s Rights and Responsibilities…
Courtiers’ Rights and Responsibilities
Membership in the International Court System (ICS) and its associated chapter courts is a privilege. The ICS has a strict non‐discrimination policy and membership must not be denied on the basis of an individual’s belonging to any recognizable class or grouping of people.
It is the right of all Courtiers to be treated fairly and with respect, regardless of position or title. Furthermore, it is the responsibility of all Courtiers to treat their fellow Courtiers fairly and with respect. Courtiers have the responsibility to act with appropriate decorum when representing the Court and the Community.
Courtiers and community members have the right to transparency in the operations of their Court including publically available Bylaws and/or Process Manuals, as well as equitable access to the Board of Directors. Courts are encouraged to post this information on their website or other publically accessible forum. It is the responsibility of the Courtier to understand the information included in these documents and act in accordance with the same.
It is the responsibility of the Courtier to promptly submit any corporate funds to the member court (Corporation) on a timely basis. Courtiers or community members have the right to review any records of the Corporation, financial or otherwise upon request.
Courtiers and community members have a responsibility to report any wrongdoing witnessed within the Corporation to the appropriate authority (whistle‐blowing). It is the right of the Courtier or community member to report this wrongdoing without fear of reprisal from any representative of the Corporation if the act of whistle‐blowing is valid, factual and legitimate.
If any Courtier or community member feels that his/her rights are being violated, he/she has the right to seek counsel, intervention or arbitration from the International Court Council or the Head(s) of State of the ICS.
[signed by my hand as Successor to José & the Queen Mother I of the Americas – Empress Nicole the Great]
We have, indeed, accomplished a lot these last five years from holding summits, conferences – t he next women’s conference will be held in Texas in 2013 – to establishing new honors, recognitions and titles in appreciation of leadership and court activism.
We have, for the first time, signed Accords with major GLBT organizations in Canada and the United States.
An outstanding example of growing national recognition of our court system is the Advocate’s third annual survey of America’s Gayest Cities, the Top 15.
There were only nine points that each city could get, one point for having among them a GLBT elected official, one point for having a GLBT book store, one point for having a gay softball team and, yes, one point for having an Imperial Court chapter!
The placing of cities that had courts: #15 Denver, #14 Long Beach, #13 Austin, #12 Portland, #7 Minneapolis, #5 Seattle and #1 Salt Lake City! Among the honorable mentions” #24 Boston, #22 Eugene, #20 Salem, #18 San Francisco, #16 Washington, D.C.
The International Court System was also recognized on the floor of the US Congress with a special Congressional Resolution… one of the few GLBT organizations to be so honored.
And we are greatly responsible, all of you, for the official communication that the US Postal Service will soon consider issuing a US stamp in honor of Harvey Milk. It’s been because of you and your courts and let us even more continue to support the Harvey Milk Stamp Campaign.
In closing, I have always said during my reign that I, from the bottom of my heart, believe… all of you, every court, every court member, each of you in this room are doing God’s work. I take from the Bible, Matthew 25:35‐36
“For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.”
“Yes, it has been said, “We make a living by what we get… We make a life by what we give…
So I most humbly thank you for giving this old queen the rarest gift of all… five years of your friendship, respect and support. My heart is indeed full.
God bless you all,
Empress Nicole the Great Queen Mother I of the Americas
PO Box 33915, San Diego, CA 92163