PHOTOS: The Rally Kicks Off Pride Weekend in NYC

New York City's 45th Annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Rally launched the weekend with Michelle Visage, Demi Lovato, Sharon Needles, and Betty Who.



The Imperial Court of New York was founded in 1986 under the reign of Their Imperial Majesties Emperor I George The First and Empress I Sybil The First. As they tell us, "We are now in our 28th reign under the monarchy of Their Most Imperial Sovereign Majesties Emperor XXIII Tony Monteleone and Empress XXVIII Twinkle Montgomery. Our membership includes Lords and Ladies, Dukes and Duchesses, Princes and Princesses — all enjoying the “game” of court and royalty while raising much needed social awareness and money for deserving charities in the New York tri-state area. The Court, a part of the International Court System, is a social, fundraising organization which has raised millions of dollars for socialservice and health-support organizations. In addition to our own fundraising, we often lend our support and talent to the ventures of other charitable organizations by performing, selling raffles or just adding glamour and style!

Jacob Rudolph grew up in Parsippany, New Jersey with his loving parents, brother, and dog. As a child, Jacob discovered his love of music and began playing classical piano and trumpet at age 9. In high school, he was a passionate member of the Parsippany High School Band. Jacob made headlines when a video of him publicly coming out on January 18, 2013, as a “LGBT” teen in front of more than 300 classmates went viral with over 2,000,000 views. As a result, Jacob received national attention via interviews with Thomas Roberts on MSNBC, Anderson Cooper, Joy Behar, Don Lemon on CNN, as well as numerous radio and print interviews. Jacob has been working with groups such as GLAAD and Garden State Equality to become a national spokesperson for LGBT youth. He devoted much time and effort to the successful campaign in NJ to ban sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE), and he strives to help ban SOCE in all 50 states. A student at the University of Miami, in Florida, Jacob is pursuing Communication Studies with a concentration in Public Advocacy with academic minors in Music, Political Science, and LGBTQ Studies. He is very active with UMiami’s undergraduate LGBTQ organization, SpectrUM, and works hard to improve student life on and off campus. He is also a 2014 Point Foundation Scholar and the recipient of the Rim-Freeman Scholarship for having demonstrated extraordinary leadership in the LGBTQ community.

This raven-haired “always keepin’ it real” chick can be heard daily, dishing out the fierce humor and fast wisecracks that she has become known for. But radio is not the only place you have heard Michelle Visage, or SEEN her for that matter. Michelle was on VH1 for 2 years hosting live coverage of such glamorous events as: The Grammy Awards, the Los Angeles premiere of Paramount’s Grease (anniversary re-release), Universal’s Blues Brothers 2000, and The Viewer’s Choice Awards to name a few. She is currently a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race on the LOGO Network which debuts it’s 3rd season in January. This glamorous firecracker finished arts high school in South Plainfield, New Jersey at 17 and headed for the Big Apple to follow her dream of becoming an actress. To pay the bills, Michelle auditioned for her first gig, fresh out of college (The American Musical and Dramatic Academy), and landed it. It was a coveted spot in the all girl group Seduction, signed to A&M records in 1990. A year later, Michelle had a platinum-selling album with Seduction called Nothing Matters Without Love. The album spawned 4 top 10 hits, with their gold single “Two To Make It Right” going all the way to number 2! Michelle achieved drinking age while on an 8 month national tour with Milli Vanilli (when they were selling out 60,000 seat venues). Not bad for a beginner!

After Seduction ended, Michelle went back into the studio and wrote and sang the remake of Bill Withers’ “It’s Gonna Be A Lovely Day”, and the song was immediately signed to Arista Records by Clive Davis himself! The song was featured on Whitney Houston’s smash The Bodyguard soundtrack, which ultimately sold 35 million copies! Even divas need day jobs, and the combo of her music and pop culture savvy, comedic timing and sass made her a natural for morning radio and for the past 15 years, that is where she has been all over the country! She started her morning radio career on New York City’s WKTU 103.5 co-hosting morning drive with legendary drag superstar RuPaul. She did mornings on KTU from 1996 until the end of 2001 when she left for Los Angeles and helmed morning drive there at KHHT (HOT 92.3) with co-host comedian Sinbad for 6 months until they decided to make a change and give the morning show to Michelle alone! Michelle remained on the air in LA for 3 years until NYC came calling again to kick off NY’s one and only classic dance radio station, MIX 102.7 (WNEW) where she stayed for 2 years hosting morning drive. She spent 4 years in West Palm Beach Florida on SUNNY 104.3 where she co-hosted morning drive. And the last year on MIA in Miami. She was on the air on SIRIUS satellite radio from 2003-2006 daily on 66 THE BEAT and Michelle was also the imaging voice on that channel as well. Additionally, (as if that is not enough) Michelle did a weekly entertainment report for 2FM Ireland Radio.