Sarria was the first-known openly gay candidate for public office and the founder of the Imperial Court System.
The acclaimed PBS series American Masters shines a light legendary drag performers with the new series Masters of Drag and recently released an episode highlighting Jose Julio Sarria.
Sarria, who passed away in 2013, was known as a legend of the San Francisco drag scene. Out and Latino, Sarria dedicated his life to fight for LGBTQ rights and even ran as the country’s first known openly gay candidate for public office.
Most notably, Sarria founded the International Imperial Court System in 1965, a charity that today boasts over 80 chapters and continues to raise funds for community members in need.
The Jose Sarria Foundation worked with the producers of the series to provide archival photos and history to make this episode a reality.
Learn more and watch the episode here.