Can you explain why the issue of bullying is important to you and the Imperial Court?
In my youth, I was also bullied. I believe the solution is usually bigger than just standing up to one person. If we stand together as a community, we can have a larger and more effective impact on this issue.
The Imperial Court is a much beloved institution of charity and support in the LGBT community. How would you explain the Imperial Court to people outside of the LGBT community?
The Court is a social, fundraising organization which has raised and donated back into the community over $2-million for social service and health support organizations. In addition to our own fundraising, we often lend our support and talent to other organizations in their ventures by performing, volunteering or just adding beauty and style! Our members are people who have chosen to make a commitment, get involved and make a difference in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Our membership is broad and varied: lawyers, carpenters, therapists, ministers, stockbrokers, hairdressers, marketers, performers, accountants, teachers, florists, antique dealers, jewelers and more!
What elicited your interest in becoming part of the Court?
The Imperial Court is a great organization – a lot of fabulous people doing wonderful things and giving back to the community. Looking from the outside in, I wanted to be a part of it. Over the years, the LGBT community has given me so much. I wanted to give back to the community that has made me so popular over the years. By fundraising for these charities, I have the hope that things will be better and easier for the next generation.
What can people expect at the Nobles’ Show?
My co-host, Ambrosia Amore, and I have garnered a lot of great donations which will be raffled off to raise money. We have also gathered a cast of excellent performers to bring in a large audience. We are thrilled to have James Clementi speak, in person, to raise awareness and generate more interest and more fundraisers for the Tyler Clementi Foundation.
Young LGBT are disproportionately bullied, and many of us are familiar with the high rates of homelessness for LGBT youth. Why should all communities be working to provide positive spaces for LGBT youth?
Everyone deserves a chance. I think that it’s important our community provide a good example and safe spaces for our youth. It’s okay to be who you are in your skin.
Do you think LGBT people can be bullies? If so, how?
Yes, of course. As we’re trying to prove to the world that LGBT people are just like everyone else, and sadly, we have the same flaws and a lot of the same ways to bully each other.
How can LGBT people work to improve safe space in the community for people of all races, religions, etc.?
That’s a big question and I think we’re just at the beginning of this. Awareness is a vital and good place to begin the dialogue.
What resources do you think a person should have available to respond to bullying?
I think firstly, a sense of self-confidence and knowing one’s self-worth is a healthy place to begin. As a society, I see we’re trying to lay the ground work on the issue of bullying. I wish there were easy answers but we’re just beginning to tackle this head on.
Viscountess Alexis Flame of the ICNY (also known as Alexis Flame the Horror Diva) is a member of the LGBT community that’s trying to make a difference and reinvest in the community that created and continues to support Alexis’ success. Follow her on Facebook.
The views or experiences expressed are solely those of the contributor or interview subject and do not represent the views of the Tyler Clementi Foundation, its staff or board. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the material, please contact the Tyler Clementi Foundation, and we appreciate your support and commitment to end bullying starting on #Day1.