Nicole Murray-Ramirez, known as Empress Nicole the Great, The Queen Mother of the Americas within the Imperial Court System, has been an LGBT activist for over 55 years and is currently a San Diego appointed city human rights commissioner.
Within the Imperial Court System, Murray-Ramirez long held a leadership position as president of the Imperial Court Council and 1st Heir Apparent to José Sarria, the Widow Norton. At a Coronation Ball in Seattle, Washington on February 17, 2007, Sarria formally handed leadership of the organization over to Murray-Ramirez. The latter assumed the title "Queen Mother of the Americas".
In 1974, in his drag persona as Empress of the Imperial Court de San Diego, Murray-Ramirez rode in San Diego's first Pride Parade in an open vehicle amid jeers from hostile spectactors. He was among the few to take the microphone and speak at the rally in Balboa Park immediately following. Regarding that day he said:
It was a scary and lonely march down Broadway...Nobody applauded. And most gay people didn't come out to the sidelines because they were afraid.
Murray-Ramirez was grand marshal for that parade on its anniversary 30 years later, was grand marshal in Tijuana's first pride parade, served as chair of the Chief of Police Advisory Board, has served on other state and national boards, was the first San Diegan elected to chair the board for Equality California, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the San Diego Latino Coalition, and was presented the Caesar Chavez Humanitarian Award by the widow of César Chávez
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