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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Put Sarria in CA Hall of Fame


Put Sarria in
CA Hall of Fame

Jose Julio Sarria should be inducted into the California Hall of Fame and we all must organize now to make it happen.
It would be a fitting tribute for Sarria, a gay man and drag queen who died in 2013 at the age of 90. He made history in 1961 as the first out gay person to seek elective office in the U.S. His bid for a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors was unsuccessful but his public declaration to fight for gay rights paved the way for many LGBT candidates who followed to seek and win elective office, not only in the Golden State, but across the country.
Sarria was also a pioneer in San Francisco's nascent but growing gay community in the 1950s. He created what became known as the Imperial Court System and crowned himself "Her Royal Majesty, Empress of San Francisco, Jose I, The Widow Norton." The title was in homage to Joshua Norton, an eccentric city resident who in 1859 declared himself Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico. But more than just a social club for drag queens, the Imperial Court has raised millions of dollars for charity and helped educate the public about drag culture and LGBT rights. The San Francisco Imperial Council celebrated its 50th anniversary this year and was the first of numerous Imperial courts around the country and the world.
Significantly, Sarria was an inspiration to many LGBTs when it wasn't common for us to be out, much less stand up for ourselves, because we risked losing our jobs, families, and housing and, at worst, faced incarceration. Sarria gave the gay community a voice, and was a source of strength that gave gay people the courage to organize and fight back against anti-gay police discrimination. As lesbian Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), who's serving as the honorary campaign chair for the effort to induct Sarria, told us, he "helped end raids of establishments that catered to LGBT people and helped move our community toward equal treatment under the law."
A portion of a Castro neighborhood street is named after him – Jose Sarria Court – and being included in the California Hall of Fame would be a fitting tribute to his legacy.
The California Hall of Fame was created in 2006 by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his former wife, Maria Shriver. It honors residents of the state who have made lasting contributions to society. Honorees receive the Spirit of California medal, and their accomplishments become part of the permanent record in the California State Archives. Only four of the 93 individuals in the hall are from the lesbian and gay community. While they are all deserving members, we think the Hall of Fame could be more diverse. Among the honorees are the late Harvey Milk, inducted in 2009, and tennis great Billie Jean King, inducted in 2006. Hall of Fame bios of the other two inductees do not explicitly acknowledge their sexuality. The first class of inductees in 2006 included astronaut Sally Ride, who was identified as a lesbian only after her death in 2012, and author Alice Walker, one of whose former lovers was singer Tracy Chapman.
To be considered for the Hall of Fame, nominees are first vetted by the California Museum's board of trustees, which then sends a list of qualified candidates to Governor Jerry Brown, and his wife, Anne Gust Brown, who both ultimately make the decision.
Anyone can nominate candidates for consideration, and this is where Sarria's friends and admirers can have an impact. More nominations increase the chances for the museum's board to take note and move the candidate forward.
A statewide campaign to induct Sarria started earlier this year, and now is the time to get behind this effort because nominees will be considered this summer.
San Diego resident Nicole Murray Ramirez, a former Imperial Court empress who currently holds the title Queen Mother I of the Americas, Canada, United States, and Mexico, is one of the leaders of the Sarria campaign.
"It is not only a salute to the gay community, but choosing him is a salute to the Latino community and a salute to World War II veterans," Ramirez told us back in January when we first reported on her effort.
To nominate Sarria, people can use the online form found at http://www.californiamuseum.org/nomination-form.
Coco LaChine, director of the campaign, requests that anyone who nominates Sarria email her at cocolachine7@gmail.com so she can compile the information.
We can't think of a better Pride gift than to take a few minutes to go online and nominate Sarria. He's made a lasting contribution to the Bay Area – and California – and deserves this honor. Our lives are better today because of him.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Nelly Queen Event presented by O.C. Imperial Court Reign 42 | Sat. 9.19.15 | The Frat House | Garden Grove, CA


Orange County Imperial Court Reign 42
The Court of Service, Love, Unity & Devotion
Empress 42 Monet Clements and ICPR 37 GoGo Rodriguez presents:

Mexican Independence Day Celebration
Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Frat House
8112 Garden Grove Blvd 
Garden Grove, CA 92844 
714-373-FRAT (3728)

Door 4:30 pm
Food 5:00 pm 
                                         Show 6:00 pm                                         

Proceeds to benefit the feature documentary film

Nelly Queen: The Life and Times of Jose Sarria

Door Donation: $10.00 
Performers by Invitation only 

For more info, contact:
Emperor 42 Logan Levi (714) 791-9645
Empress 42 Monet Clements (714) 206-8800
ICPR 37 GoGo Rodriguez (714) 310-4467

For more info or to donate to Jose’s documentary,

OCIC is a volunteer Non-Profit 501©(3) Organization




Monday, July 27, 2015

Jose Sarria Documentary | Behind the Scenes

Jose Sarria Documentary | Behind the Scenes 
by Mario J Novoa

In late June 2015, Director Dante Alencastre, my partner William Smith and went to San Francisco to shoot interviews for the Jose Sarria documentary feature, "Nelly Queen". We were a small crew compared to most productions, but we were ready to get rolling on the documentary that has been in pre-production for 2 years. 
As producer and editor on the film, I had to come up with a production plan with Executive Producer/Writer Joe Castel on finding a way to maximize our budget and move forward with production. Here are some photo stills of our shooting day with Bob Dockendorf in San Francisco.  




Monday, July 6, 2015

Production Commences on Nelly Queen Documentary

Production Commences on Nelly Queen Documentary 

by Mario J. Novoa
July 6, 2015

"Nelly Queen: The Life and Times of Jose Sarria", (right to left) Bob Dockendorf and Director Dante Alencastre. 

Last week filmmakers Dante Alencastre and Mario J. Novoa headed to San Francisco to shoot a series of interviews for the upcoming documentary feature, "Nelly Queen: The Life and Times of Jose Sarria". At times emotional, memories of Jose Sarria seemed to unfold with every interview as told by the people that knew Jose personally and professionally. Every person interviewed gave us a glimpse into the past and shared insight into the man that spun the San Francisco LGBT community on its head through the 1950s and 60s. The team of filmmakers will be weaving these first account interviews into the film as they work through the editing process in post-production. More photos will be posted up of the various interviews as we update our followers on the filmmaking process of "Nelly Queen: The Life and Times of Jose Sarria".

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Friday May 22, 7:30 PM | Free Film Screening: “Nelly Queen: The Life and Times of José Julio Sarria”,


Friday May 22, 2015, 7:30 PM
Free Film Screening: “Nelly Queen: The Life and Times of José Julio Sarria”, Documentary Short.
Co-Produced and Edited by Mario J. Novoa
Directed by Dante Alencastre 
Executive Produced by Joe Castel
Free validated parking will be provided for the 5-story Public/Park Parking Structure on El Tovar Pl.
On Harvey Milk Day, One City One Pride screens a work-in-progress assembly of a documentary that celebrates the legacy of José Julio Sarria ( Nelly Queen:The Life and Times of Jose Sarria ), the first openly gay person to run for US public office, who many credit with helping pave the way for his friend Harvey Milk’s successful election several years later. This Latino pioneer who also founded the Imperial Court System has long been overlooked as a cornerstone of the LGBTQ rights movement.
The City of West Hollywood became the first city in the US to officially recognize Harvey Milk Day as a holiday this year. A reception will take place at this event with refreshments being served. Followed by a Q & A with the filmmakers and guests. Free admission, donations welcomed. Join the facebook invite at http://bit.ly/wehopride2015.
West Hollywood City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Screening: Nelly Queen: The Life and Times of Jose Julio Sarria

Nelly Queen: The Life and Times of Jose Julio Sarria

  • Date:May 22, 2015 7:00 PM
  • Location:West Hollywood Park Public Meeting Room
    625 N. San Vicente Boulevard
    West Hollywood
    Presented on Harvey Milk Day As as part of the One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival, this screening of a work-in-progress assembly of an upcoming documentary that celebrates the life of Jose Julio Sarria who was a friend and supporter of Harvey Milk, and helped pave the way for Harvey Milk’s run for Board of Supervisors by being the first openly gay man to run for political office in 1961. The screening will be followed by a Q & A. Admission is free. RSVPs are not required.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Thurs. April 30 7p - San Francisco - Fundraiser for Jose Sarria Documentary hosted by City Supervisor David Campos

City Supervisor David CamposFilmmaker Dante Alencastre and 
the San Francisco GLTB Historical Society

Cordially invite you to attend a Fundraising Reception at the GLBT Museum 
to benefit the production of the documentary film



Enjoy some wine and cheese as we celebrate of Jose Sarria's
remarkable life.  Help us preserve a place in history for Jose.

The feature-length documentary, Nelly Queen, will celebrate the social, cultural and political legacy of Jose Sarria, Empress I, the Widow Norton. 

Nelly Queen reveals an intimate portrait of the civil rights pioneer whose heroic drag has long been overlooked as a cornerstone of the gay rights movement. 

All contributions are tax deductible through our fiscal sponsor, From the Heart Productions.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Forthcoming documentary to honor early gay pioneer - Echomag.com

NellyQueen

Nelly Queen: The Life and Times of José Julio Sarria

Forthcoming documentary  to honor early gay pioneer

By David-Elijah Nahmod – April, 23, 2015
imagesCA36699K
Courtesy photo.
As early as the 1950s, Sarria (1922-2013) was out and proud. As a popular drag performer at San Francisco’s The Black Cat, he mentored many young gay men during a time when sitting in a gay bar could get patrons arrested on moral charges.
Sarria went on to become the first openly gay man in the United States to run for public office. His campaign for San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors commenced in 1961, more than 15 years before Harvey Milk was elected to the board.
Though he didn’t win the election, he garnered the attention of the press and got more votes than anyone thought he would.
And, when Sarria passed away in 2013, many gay men attributed him as the first person to tell them it was OK to be who they were.
Sarria’s life is now going to be honored and remembered in Nelly Queen: The Life and Times of José Julio Sarria, an upcoming documentary from openly gay filmmaker Dante Alencastre.
Alencastre, a native of Lima, Peru, who currently lives in Los Angeles, spoke to Echo about what the project and Sarria’s legacy mean to him.
“I have always been drawn to storytelling, which began in my college days and continues today,” Alencastre said. “I am especially drawn to people’s stories which are often underrepresented in the media. Nonconformity has been a trademark of my story telling, and I like pushing the boundaries and rattling the cages of the established structures.”
Alencastre also said that he looks for the “defiance, and the resilience” of individuals who are not considered part of the mainstream LGBT communities.
“It’s my goal to preserve and reclaim our queer stories for the present and future generations of gender nonconforming, gender queer and trans youth,” he said.
Alencastre’s film, now in production, will tell the story of Sarria’s life through home movie footage provided by Joe Castel, Sarria’s friend who serves as the film’s executive producer.
In addition to his run for office, the film will recall Sarria’s service during World War II and his lifelong refusal to conform to what was expected of him.
Courtesy photo.
Courtesy photo.
“As a feminine-identified gay man, José’s life teachings and defiant stance inspired me to embrace my feminine ways with pride and to find courage in his life lessons,” Alencastre said.
The filmmaker pointed out that during Sarria’s lifetime, being openly gay was frowned upon not only by mainstream society, but by gay men and lesbians who lived their lives deep in the closet. It was during these times that Sarria proudly labeled himself a nelly queen.
“José is as important today as he was back in 1961 when he ran for office,” Alencastre said. “Nelly Queen is not just an LGBT history lesson, it’s a triumphant story of the human spirit – a hero’s journey of a man fighting unjust laws and uniting a fractured community. José stands as a courageous role model to people still struggling with their sexual identity and self esteem.”

Friday, April 10, 2015

Thank you


Dear Friends,


Our funding campaign ends shortly and we want to take this opportunity thank everyone who has supported us in the making of Jose’s documentary and giving so generously. We especially want to thank the National LGBTQ Task Force and the International Court System for all their support.  

With the funds raised on Indiegogo we can begin production of taping interviews with Jose’s colleagues and contemporaries. We will continue to raise funds for the completion of production and post production on this very important activist and friend to the LGBTQ community.

Please follow us on www.nellyqueenfilm.com to keep updated on current events and info.

Tax deductible donations also can be made directly on our website through our fiscal Sponsor, From the Heart Productions. 

Checks can be sent to: 
From the Heart Productions
1455 Mandalay Bay Road
Oxnard, CA 93035

(Be sure to note that it’s for the Jose Sarria Project)


“United we stand, divided they’ll catch us one, by one!”
Jose Sarria, Empress I, Jose


Sincerely,
Dante AlencastreDirector
Joe CastelExecutive Producer

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Nelly Queen: The Life and Times of Jose Sarria





Our funding campaign ends tomorrow, April 10, 2015. Invite your communities and organizations across the country. Join us in recognizing Jose’s immeasurable contributions to the LGBT movement with an overdue biography on the legendary diva and activist. Please tell your friends that their tax deductible contribution is  made possible through our fiscal sponsor, From The Heart Productions on IndieGOGO. If you have contributed, we thank you for your generous support and being a part of this historic project!



http://igg.me/at/queenfilm/x/3326297

David Campos On Jose Sarria - The first Gay American to run for office.





Our funding campaign ends tomorrow, April 10, 2015. Invite your communities and organizations across the country. Join us in recognizing Jose’s immeasurable contributions to the LGBT movement with an overdue biography on the legendary diva and activist. Please tell your friends that their tax deductible contribution is  made possible through our fiscal sponsor, From The Heart Productions on IndieGOGO. If you have contributed, we thank you for your generous support and being a part of this historic project!



http://igg.me/at/queenfilm/x/3326297

Monday, April 6, 2015

Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi, Alicia Garza - Empress I Jose Sarria Award for Uncommon Leadership


Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi, and Alicia Garza created and launched #BlackLivesMatter as a call to action for Black people after the killer of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was not held accountable for his crime. Since then, this brilliant and sharp ideological and political intervention has become an iconic phrase and image in a nationwide protest movement against police and vigilante killings of Black people, young and old, women, men and children. We have chanted, marched and carried signs and banners that uphold the value of Black lives. #BlackLivesMatter has created space for Black LGBTQ people and allies to confront and shut down the war on black bodies. The creators of #BlackLivesMatter, three visionary queer Black women, have made an enduring contribution to the movement by, for, and about freedom and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people.

David Campos On Jose Sarria - The first Gay American to run for office.


Jose Sarria documentary film "Nelly Queen: The Life and Time of Jose Sarria". David Campos On Jose Sarria - The first Gay American to run for office.
Director Dante Alencastre
Executive Producer Joe Castel

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

We’ve extended our campaign

Dear Friends,
We’ve extended our campaign to April 10 in order to invite communities and organizations across the country to be a part of this historic project! Join us in recognizing Jose’s immeasurable contributions to the LGBT movement with an overdue biography on the legendary diva and activist. Please tell your friends that their tax deductible contribution is made possible through our fiscal sponsor, From The Heart Productions
Thank you for your support.  

Sunday, March 22, 2015

4 Days Left for Our IndieGoGo Funding - Make a Tax Deductible Donation Today!

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7 days left! Please help us preserve our history and reclaim Jose’s rightful place in the LGBTQ pantheon of heroes and in our school’s curriculum.
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Nelly Queen Needs Your Contribution!

 

Time Is Running Out

Dear Friends,
 
I'm producing a feature documentary on the life of Jose Sarria, the first openly gay man to run for public office in 1961. 
 
Jose was not only a pioneer leader in the LGBT community, he was one of my closest friends. The 90-minute documentary revolves around personal footage I shot of Jose spanning 23-years from 1992 to 2013. Although Jose was a trail blazer, he's not as celebrated as other pioneer activists such as Harvey Milk and Harry Hay. My goal is to help preserve Jose's legacy and shed some light on this remarkable WW II veteran's major accomplishments.
 
Who Was Jose Sarria?
From 1951-1963, Jose stood in bright red heels on table tops at the Black Cat Café in San Francisco to sing torch songs accompanied by a honky-tonk piano. The diva performed one man opera parodies, replacing the straight love story with a gay one. 

Whenever the vice squad entered the café to entrap patrons, Jose exposed them by forcing his closeted customers to stand up and sing “God, Save Us Nelly Queens,” a takeoff on Britain’s national anthem as the vice retreated shamefully out of the café.


When San Francisco city officials vowed to shut down all the gay bars in 1961, Jose threw caution to the wind and campaigned for a seat on the Board of Supervisors. Jose lost the election, but garnered nearly 6,000 votes, proving for the first time in American politics that the LGBTQ community had a voting bloc.
 
Jose also started the first gay non-profit and in 1965, founded the Imperial Court System, the second largest LGBT organization in the country with 70 chapters that has rasied millions of dollars for AIDS and other charities.
 
Nelly Queen is not just an LGBT history lesson; it’s a triumphant story of the human spirit, a hero’s journey of fighting unjust laws 
and uniting a fractured community. Jose stands as a role model to people still struggling with their sexual identity and self-esteem.
 
Jose passed away in 2013 at the age of 90 and it was his wish to have a movie made about his life. I hope you can help me in preserving Joes's legacy with this film. No amount is too small to give.
 
Please go to to the Indiegogo page to see, read and hear more about Jose and the documentary.
 
Sincerely, 
Joe Castel
Executive Producer

 

learn about Jose Sarria and our documentary film »
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Copyright © *2015* *Emperor Norton Productions* All rights reserved. www.nellyqueenfilm.com

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Monday, March 16, 2015

Time Is Running Out For "Nelly Queen"

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11 days left! Please help us preserve our history and reclaim Jose’s rightful place in the LGBTQ pantheon of heroes and in our school’s curriculum. Please contribute and share with friends, colleagues, members of your organizations and community. Make your tax deductible contribution today. Click here or on one of the pictures for the link.
 

 

 

Join The National LGBTQ Task Force, The International Court System and From the Heart Productions and support the making of this film. Every little bit helps.

Peace

- Dante Alencastre, Director

310 661 0388
learn about Jose Sarria and our documentary film »
Follow on Twitter | Friend on Facebook | Forward to Friend 
Copyright © *2015* *Emperor Norton Productions* All rights reserved. www.nellyqueenfilm.com

Our mailing address is:
Emperor Norton Productions · 2450 E. Del Mar Blvd #18 · Pasadena, CA 91107 · USA

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