Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 7 / 15 February 2018

Funeral fit for a queen


(Photo: Rick Gerharter)
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About 500 mourners headed to Woodlawn Cemetery in Colma September 6 to pay their final respects to Jose Julio Sarria, known as Her Royal Majesty, Empress of San Francisco, Jose I, The Widow Norton. Mr. Sarria, 90, died August 19. He was an early drag performer at the legendary Black Cat bar in North Beach and founded the Imperial Court charitable group. He was also the first openly gay person to run for elective office in the country. Above, San Francisco's reigning monarchs, Empress Patty McGroin, left, and Emperor Drew Cutler, along with members of the San Francisco Imperial family, attended the interment ceremonies where Mr. Sarria's casket was draped with a rainbow flag during a portion of the service. For more on the Imperial State Funeral, see the online Political Notes column ( and the On the Town column.

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