The Current Reign—Reign XXXII
H.M.I.S.M. Empress XXXII Gaye Banter
Gaye Banter was born some years ago (how many we shan’t say) and grew up the eldest of three in the town of Nyack, just across the Hudson and a little to the north. She excelled in school, graduated third in her class, and matriculated at New York University as a student of English literature.
In an early stage of life, Gaye did a lot of theater work – acting, directing, and producing, as well as hanging lights and humping scenery. It was there that she first trod the boards in heels and jewels, playing bit parts in “Cabaret” and “Into the Woods”. She lived for a while in Pittsburgh, PA, where she continued her work in theater. (After all, when one is Pittsburgh, one has to do something.) But Gaye is a native New Yorker and New York is in her blood – after 10 years, she was back in the Big Apple.
She first attended Night of a Thousand Gowns in 2007, at the urging of Babs Siperstein, and she couldn’t stay away from the Imperial Court of New York after that. She was first presented as a Lady to Empress XXIV Farrah Moans and Emperor XIX Jack in 2010. She found that performing with the Court not only satisfied the acting bug, but also allowed her to put herself in service to the Court and its mission, which she has continued to do ever since. She first served as Lady in Waiting to three successive Empresses— Empress XXV Pepperica Swirl, Empress XXVI Witti Repartee, and Empress XXVII Gracie Steeles. Then, being a person who steps up when there is a need, she put her non-profit finance skills to use as acting Treasurer of the ICNY, and ran for the official position in the next election. When she was asked to serve as an Executive Producer of Night of a Thousand Gowns, she did not hesitate to say yes, and when there was a need for a ticketing Chair the following year, she took on that role.
At the same time that Gaye has been working with the ICNY, she has also been volunteering with the Human Rights Campaign here in New York. She has chaired both its auction and gala, and is just ending a three-year term as Steering Committee Co-Chair. She has been recognized by the HRC for corporate fundraising excellence and gala leadership, and she has received awards for Gala Dinner of the Year and Steering Committee Co-Chair of the year.
In her private life, Gaye has been an arts administration professional for more than 20 years. Also, for more than 20 years – 21 to be exact — she has been with her beloved husband, Emperor XXVII Opi N. Yated. From this evening on, she will be known as The Inevitable Empress of Wisdom and Compassion, two virtues she hopes to express throughout her reign.
H.I.M. Regent Emperor XXVII Rob Hunter de Woofs
It is with great joy that the Imperial Court of New York presents its newly appointed Regent Emperor, H.I.M. Emperor XVII Rob Hunter de Woofs, The Atlantic Shore Tattoo Titan Emperor of Diplomacy, Generosity & Testosterone.
As an active ICNY member since 2003 and celebrating his Decade Anniversary as Emperor this year, Rob continues to work on a variety of Court projects and represents the Court at numerous out of town coronations and functions. Rob has had the pleasure of serving multiple terms on our Board of Directors as well as several terms on the International Court Council as Heir Apparent to Nicole the Great, Queen Mother of the Americas.
Rob continues to have a positive impact on our organization and is excited to serve the community of New York City in his role as Regent Emperor XXVII.
Rob was born and raised on the Jersey Shore and currently resides in Asbury Park. He has served his home community throughout the years on numerous town committees, including the Asbury Park Safety Commission and The Board of Adjustments. He was then elected to the Asbury Park Board of Education where he served nine years and presided as President five of those years. Rob was also a founding member of the Asbury Park Marketing Fund, a not-for-profit grass roots movement to raise awareness to the LGBTQ Community of the potential of Asbury Park for homeownership, entrepreneurship and tourism. Additionally, Rob and Timothy, his partner of over 10 years, create high-end costume jewelry for their business, Thorin & Co.
Rob’s goals as Regent Emperor are to expand the Court’s Membership and fundraising efforts, continue to assist and inspire our ICNY members into more leadership roles, and to represent the Imperial Court of New York with class, dignity and a whole lot of fun!