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Empress XII Panzi of New York

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Empress XII Panzi of New York

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Thom Hansen

Panzi (b. Thom Hansen in 1953) is an American gay activist.

Hansen was educated at Pace University, where he studied as a Business and Accounting; thereafter he began working as a financial analyst, a business manager in the textile industry and an actor. He went on to establish his own real estate management firm which he ran for 10 years and is currently a Vice President in the International Division of a major direct marketing firm. [1] Hansen is openly gay [2]and has been involved in the LGBT community since the early 70's.[1]

Invasion of the Pines

In the history of Fire Island Pines and Cherry Grove, a particular incident started what is now known as The Invasion of the Pines. In 1976 (the Bicentennial year), a resident of the Grove named Teri Warren attempted to go to dinner in full drag at a restaurant named "The Botel". The restaurant declined to serve him, and Warren returned to the Grove. Hansen, who had been elected the first "Homecoming Queen of Cherry Grove" by the Arts Project of Cherry Grove, returned to the Botel several days later by water taxi, expecting to be "less than welcome." However, the crowd, once over their initial shock, welcomed the Grovers to drinks.[2] In Esther Newton book, "Cherry Grove, Fire Island: Sixty Years in America's First Gay and Lesbian Town" Panzi's history with the Invasion of the Pines is repeatedly mentioned. [3] The event has taken place every year since, with over 300 people dressed in drag for the 28th anniversary in 2004.[4]

Imperial Court System

Panzi joined the Imperial Court of New York in 1993 and was elected to serve as its Empress XII "The Empress of Loyalty and Laughter" between 1998-99 and President of the Board of Directors from 2003-2006. Panzi also served as the Executive Secretary on the International Court Council, which oversees over 70 local Imperial Courts in the United States, Canada and Mexico from 1997 to 2007. In August 2007 he was elected President of the Council at the Hamilton-Wentworth, Canada meeting of the International Court Council.[1]

LGBT Activities

Since the early 70's, Thom (Panzi) has been a LGBT activist with various organizations including the Christopher Street Liberation Day Committee (known as Heritage of Pride today); GMHC and the Arts Project of Cherry Grove.[1] In the early 90's, Thom was the Executive Director of the Community Research Initiative (an HIV/AIDS Research Organization). He also has participated in almost every March on Washington, D.C. and most demonstrations in New York City. Panzi continues to raise money for the LGBT community. [1]

Film & Television

Panzi has appeared in several files, several Off-Broadway Shows and most notably on Cable Television, as the wacky neighbor, Mary Ellen on the Brini Maxwell Show. [1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 International Court System, <>. Retrieved on 2007-11-26 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Jordan, Jim, “Once More, Our Ladies Will Be Ready to Invade: The Invasion and Its Controversial History”, Fire Island Q News, <>. Retrieved on 2007-11-14 
  3. Newton, Esther (1993), “Fire Island: Sixty Years in America's First Gay and Lesbian Town”, Beacon Press, ISBN 9780807079263 
  4. Cunningham, Bill (July 11, 2004), “Royal Progress”, The New York Times, <>. Retrieved on 2007-11-14 

External links