University of Toronto Magazine University of Toronto Magazine

The Emperor’s New Scholarship

Annual scholarship for Sexual Diversity Studies program

What is undoubtedly one of the most unorthodox donations ever made to the university came last fall from Toronto’s gay community. The gift of $11,500, raised by drag queens performing in gay bars along Toronto’s Church Street and passing the hat after their shows, was used to establish an annual scholarship in the Sexual Diversity Studies program at University College. The Emperor I Sergio Apolloni Scholarship has its roots in the Imperial Court System, part of a San Francisco-based gay and lesbian organization. Each year the Toronto group elects a pair of ambassadors known as an emperor and empress to promote fundraising and heighten the profile of their community. Sergio Apolloni was the first elected emperor in Toronto. He died of AIDS in 1991.

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