Deus Salve Regina by Matt Chmielarczyk

Deus Salve Regina (God Save the Queen) began as a series almost 20 years ago. It’s the genesis of a long exploration into the world of LGBTQIA+ Pride. Inspired by their philanthropy and imagination, I started documenting a local group of performers framed by a local fundraising organization known as The United Court of the Pikes Peak Empire. Its fabulous name matches its fabulous mission. The UCPPE is a small faction of the Imperial Court System (ICS) that represents the Colorado Springs region. The ICS is a non-profit international organization, started in San Francisco in 1965, that adopts the titles of a regal court system as they create a community steeped in fundraising and advocacy for groups in need. Coronations and other events create fundraising opportunities through a series of drag shows and other community-based events. With as many as 86 chapters in North America, some local court systems donate in excess of a million dollars to their local charities on an annual basis.