Nicole Murray Ramirez, a legendary voice in LGBT activism, was recently honored with the Harvey Milk medal at the Harvey Milk Foundation Pride Center of Equality Park in Florida. In an interview with Al Ferguson at the Diversity Honors event, Ramirez shared her thoughts on the award and her 50 years of advocacy, including working with Harvey Milk.
Ramirez, known for her iconic drag persona, expressed her belief that Milk would be proud and laughing in heaven at her receiving the award. She spoke fondly of Milk's sense of humor and his appreciation for drag queens and others who supported him during his campaign.
Ramirez is also a notable figure in the international court system, which she described as the LGBTQ version of the Shriners. Founded in 1961 by a Latino World War II veteran, the court system provides a platform for drag queens and others to raise money for various causes, particularly during the AIDS crisis.
Ferguson also asked Ramirez about her thoughts on the current state of drag in Florida, given recent political developments. Ramirez spoke about the long history of drag shows on military bases, including during World War II, and how drag has been a vehicle for raising millions of dollars for various causes, particularly during the AIDS crisis. She also noted the important role played by the leather and women's communities during that time.
Ramirez had a message for Governor Ron DeSantis, whom she referred to as the "new Joe McCarthy of America." She presented a check to Equality Florida on behalf of the Imperial Court of Florida, which had raised $2,500 for the ACLU earlier that day.
Overall, Ramirez's interview provided a valuable history lesson on the political advocacy of the LGBTQ community over the past 50 years. Her dedication to her community and her fearless advocacy for LGBTQ rights and visibility are a testament to the enduring legacy of Harvey Milk and the countless others who have fought for equality.