Colma: A Pilgrimage to the Emperor’s Grave

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This morning was the annual pilgrimage to the grave of Joshua Norton, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico. (Colma, in case you didn’t know, is where most deceased San Franciscans are buried; the dead outnumber the living in that city.) Led by his “widow” José Sarria (the Dowager Empress), a group of drag queens, Leatherfolk, and friends left Marlena’s Bar in San Francisco around 8:30 am, bound for the Woodlawn Cemetery in Colma. The event began with a procession to the gravesite, followed by speeches and performances, and finally, the Widow Norton laying flowers on the late Emperor’s grave. The crowd included political dignitaries such as San Francisco Treasurer Jose Cisneros, and Castro district Supervisor Scott Wiener, and was MCed by Donna Sachet. Community groups performed, including Cheer SF, the San Francisco Lesbian Gay Freedom Band, and the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco. A great celebration of San Francisco queer spirit.
–AidanAbroad (San Francisco correspondent)

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