Man, woman vying for emperor of United Court of the Lone Star Empire continue organization’stradition of fundraising
DAVID TAFFET | Staff Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Jimmie Tucker is running against Terry Youdan to become Emperor XXXVI of the United Court of the Lone Star Empire. If Tucker wins, this will not be the first time a woman has become emperor.
Youdan explained that candidates run for the position they’re most comfortable filling, and that the Fort Worth court has had a lesbian couple serve as emperor and empress.
No one is running for empress this year in the Dallas court.
According to UCLSE President Don Jenkins, the court will probably have a regent empress, appointed by the board, to serve in that position.
Jenkins estimated that UCLSE stages shows at least 40 weeks a year, including multiple shows some weeks. And, he added, the court has given in the neighborhood of $1 million to a variety of organizations through the years.
Each emperor and empress is required to attend at least five of the six coronations held by other courts in Texas. They must also attend at least three out-of-state coronations.
The group is active with other organizations, like the Texas Gay Rodeo Association. Jenkins was recently grand marshal of TGRA’s Big D Rodeo.
Serving as emperor can become expensive. Jenkins followed his husband as court royalty. He estimates that they spent $40,000 during their reigns traveling to events including more than 30 coronations.
Tucker has been a member of the court for four years. Previously, she held the National Leather Association title of South Central Leather Woman 2006.
“I just love giving back to the community,” Tucker said to explain why she became involved in the court.
Tucker’s most recent show at the Dallas Eagle netted about $500 that she is donating to Health Services of North Texas.
In addition to performing, Tucker said she and her wife bake Tucker Inn Cookies. She auctions off boxes of Hello Kitty, pink flamingo or high-heeled shoe cookies for $40 to $50 a box.
But despite her love for baking, Tucker said she isn’t sure that “June Cleaver in leather” accurately describes her.
“I’m a leather dyke,” she said. “I’m butcher than some.”
Tucker said that if elected, she would like to see the court do more together as a family.
Tucker participates in Beyond Vanilla and other educational events with National Leather Association.
Youdan also has been a member of the court for four years.
“I love the group,” he said. “I want the opportunity to give of myself and to the community.”
At his shows, he’s been raising money for Youth First Texas, Resource Center Dallas’s nutrition programs and AIDS Services of Dallas.
Youdan said the only Texas city he hasn’t attended coronation in is Corpus Christi, but he’s been to each of the others several times and is looking forward to visiting the other courts.
As emperor, he would like to add a volunteer coordinator and get the court even more involved with other groups.
He said that they’ve served Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners but he’d like them to do more of that on a regular basis.
Voting began Oct. 21 at the Hidden Door and continues on Oct. 22 at the Dallas Eagle from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. On Oct. 23 votes can be cast the Gay and Lesbian Community Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Anyone living in the empire may vote. That area includes Dallas and all surrounding counties with the exception of Tarrant, which has its own court. Voters must show a drivers license to show county of residence and be of legal age.
The winner will be announced at coronation at the Crown Plaza Hotel on Stemmons Freeway on Oct. 30. The evening is billed “Denim & Diamonds, A Night of Big Band and Country Swing.”
More information is available at DallasCourt.org.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 22, 2010