Every Night Should Be Like This

Every Night Should Be Like This
Have you ever attended an event that was way more than you expected? A night that lingered like the sweet smell of rain for days after?  Recently I experienced that -- as I attended my first Night of a Thousand Gowns. 
I was dazed all night; i moved through a blur of excitement, color and extravaganza; a pomp and circumstance that has resonated in my mind and pyche since: like a great movie or song you can't get out of your head.
That's what happened to me April 6th at "Night of a Thousand Gowns," held at the Hilton Hotel just off Times Square. On two occasions during the night, I almost left the event. But somehow, magically, I was pulled back in and then experienced another level of excitement.
As a transgender woman with a lot of transgender friends, and involved in many LGBT organizations, I've heard about 
"Night of a Thousand Gowns" as well as its sponsoring organization the "International Imperial Court System (IICS)."  
Too fancy for me, I thought.  Lot of pomp. Kind of surreal. Well, before I attended this year's Night of a Thousand Gowns (NOATG) with a press badge as a columnist for this magazine (, I did some research -- including a quick review of wikipedia.  
I was I enlightened in many ways. The event is certainly regal and royal. There is a grandure to it all, and people dress to the nines. Yet it's not just about showing off. There is care and pride put into all details and design of the night. Moreover, in addition to the fun, the strutting, and the entertainment, it extends beyond that -- and the NOTG27_2013celebration of LGBT concepts -- to become a homage to living life fully; the giving of yourself to others charitably, altruistically.  Not only does IICS rank as one of the world's oldest and largest gay organizations, but it also a powerful and successful international force for good.
Beneath the glitter and charm of the event is an important mission to help make real positive change in the world. A friend of mine, who is a member, told me that many members at their own expense travel [throughout the U.S.A and abroad], to carry out charitable projects, passionately.  
As with going to new events in life, NOATG was an eye-opener for me. The festive mood and many activities and performances kept me smiling and enjoying the good cheer. On a deeper level however, I was developing a profound respect for these individuals who dedicate so much of their time and money to make things better.  
The sense of community and fellowship was so strong, that I had the urge to join the organization several times during the night.  Perhaps in due time.  For now, I felt that I should do my part to provide the outside world with as many glimpses into the NOATG as possible. Through thsoe efforts, I hope, perhaps the mission and objectives of the IICS will be furthered. Varied glimpses, from the red carpet interviews and posing, to the performances of talented stars, to the speeches, runway strutting, dinner and dancing, wonderful conversations, the random group of mothers and daughters from down south who made the 1,000 mile trip that day after seeing a cable TV profile of NOTG, to the awards ceremonies, and more was overwhelming. I will try my best to convey it all. 
So, in addition to writing about the event, I videotaped many sections of the evening, and then rough-edited the material to insert these quick videoclips into my column, so you the reader can feel that you are there, and perhaps revisit the evening by revisiting this column.
And perhaps just as importantly, so you can share this column and the video material with your friends and associates to help broaden the awareness of the good acts (and the fun!) of the IICS and the Night of a Thousand Gowns.  If you like what you read, see and hear, please "like" it on our Facebook and/or G+ page, or retweet it.  
So here's the evening in sequence and sequins
Getting Ready to Go.  I felt a little out of place without a great gown, so I used Modonna-isque gloves to fun-up my pink gown, and made the short trip by car from Westchester (video below).  


 Arriving at the Hilton HotelThe lobby was abuzz. People everywhere dressed to the nines. Excitement is building (video below).


The Red Carpet (3 videos below)How fabulous meeting several celebrities close-up. Who would have guessed that Chad Michaels, winner of RuPaul's Drag Race, is so spiritual?  Or that Taylor Dane is so health conscious?  And how beautiful they all are, even under the intensely bright lights! Very creative outfits and masks!  Watch the videoclip and take a listen to the interesting conversations.




The upstairs lobby (1 video below): People were entering the main ballroom for the dinner, dancing and awards ceremonies, but I was advised that my press pass did not get me in.  I was a bit surprised and very disappointed but resigned myself to take some video from the second level looking down into the ballroom and then leave. But as you will see in Part 2 of this column, I was pulled back into the event to have even more fun! 


Click Here for PART II - the Videos. 
Last modified onTuesday, 22 October 2013 09:44
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