The Current Reign—Reign XXXIV

H.M.I.S.M. Empress XXXIV
Madelyn Keyth

Madelyn Keyth first hit the stage in 1977 with Neil’s Hollywood Follies on Long Island as Mae West. Within the next five years she befriended her mentors. . Chaka Savalas, Nikki Star and Dorian Corey. All of them great performers, Icons in the New York drag scene and charitable fund raisers in their own rights. Maddie followed suit and produced her first and one of the first AIDS benefits in a Long Island night club in the mid 80’s. There were more benefits and even Tupperware parties for GMHC to follow.
In 1986 she moved west to San Diego with a couple of friends and discovered her home away from home.
While there, discovering the essence of charity through a community of incredible people, she made a name for herself as a performer at scores of shows for just about every charitable organization in town. This led to a number of titles, Miss Sweetheart San Diego, Miss Gay San Diego, Miss Golden State Gay Rodeo Association to name a few. Hard work did not go unnoticed in that city, she was awarded The First Empress Jennifer Award, a Commendation from the State Legislature and the Mayor’s Crystal Seahorse for her community service.
Madelyn was also introduced to the Imperial Court de San Diego where she has made lifelong friends and learned incredible lessons and what it is to love. Never has working so hard been so much fun.
She is proud to be one of the original producers of the Scott Carlson Thanksgiving Dinner, from its inception alongside Scott and for 4 years after he past. Now in its 32nd year thanks to the Imperial Court de San Diego when she could no longer do it and then move back east.
After returning to New York, and discovering that the Imperial Court System had reached the east coast, that there were members she already knew. . . she was elated. She joined the membership a little over 7 years ago. Four of those years were on the Board of directors, one as a member at large and three as Vice President. So, now with an even bigger family of hard working, caring people she’s grown to love, new organizations she’s pledged to help and her amazing husband, Graham to be her Emperor, it’s time for the next chapter in this book that is Madelyn Keyth, Empress XXXIV, The Towering Tequila and Amethyst Orchid Empress of Love, Laughter and Lumpia !

H.M.I.S.M.  Emperor XXIX
Graham D’Craquer

Graham D’Craquer grew up in one of the southern suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA.  He believed that his upbringing was unremarkable and typical of many Baby Boomers who were born in the 1950’s.   His parents were of the Greatest Generation.  His father was a WW2 veteran and financial officer who had a hard-earned worldview, and his mother was a stay at home mom and teacher. His younger sister, Claudia, completed his family when she arrived three years after him.

Graham’s parents would teach him life lessons and values that have remained at his core to this day.  Success in his household was not only measured by what you achieved, but perhaps more importantly by what you gave back. 

In hindsight, it was quite remarkable. While in high school and through his early college years Graham spent his time working as an orderly in the emergency room at a large inner-city general hospital. This began his love of the medical/ scientific community and set the trajectory for the remainder of his working life.

With an eye towards working in medical public relations and publishing, he completed his studies in journalism with concentrations in public relations and advertising.  His first job following graduation was working as a public relations assistant at his local American Lung Association.  This was not by coincidence because the national lung association headquarters is in New York.  Living in New York was a life-long goal and was realized (albeit by living in New Jersey) when he landed a job at the American Thoracic Society – the medical arm of the lung association.  Its offices were in the MONY building on Broadway.  This started his 30- year career working with physicians and scientists in the fields of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine.  Along the way he progressed through the ranks (and wore myriad hats) to become the Chief Operating Officer of the ATS – the position from which he retired (early, he hastens to add) in 2012.   A rewarding and stimulating career allowed him to work with, befriend and be mentored by many of the world-renowned luminaries in these fields of medicine and science. 

A late bloomer, Graham did not come out until he was 28 – and he has never looked back.   There were many reasons for this but in the end, as with most of us, his truth had to emerge and shine.  Chief among the reasons was the relative invisibility of the gay community and a perceived lack of role models.  He learned when he came out, of course, that role models were all around him and had been for most of his life.  His coming out was at the beginning of the AIDS crisis which was an astonishingly scary time for those entering the gay community.  These times refined Graham’s views of society and politics.  A political and social activist for many years, he became even more so in response to the crisis with its heartbreaks and indignities by working with organizations that were, and are, responding to those who need help the most. Eventually this led him to join the Imperial Court of New York.  He did so because of its mission and the panoply of programs it supports across the age/gender/orientation spectrums. 

Within the Imperial Court of New York and beyond to the various realms that comprise the Imperial Court System, Graham has had the good fortune to be guided by many dedicated, committed individuals who share the common goals of helping others and making our world a little bit better place in which to live – all the while doing so by having enormous fun.  Perhaps the most significant outcome of his membership in the Imperial Court of NY was meeting his soulmate Keyth.  So significant in fact, that Keyth honored him by becoming his husband in 2018. 

Graham is looking forward to a fun, purposeful and successful reign.  In addition, he gets to accomplish this with his best friend and husband by his side as his Empress.  What could be better than that?

From this day forward, he shall be known as Graham D’Craquer, Emperor XXIX, The Noble Silver Giraffe Emperor of Conversation, Compassion, and Charity.