Empress Bunnie Cruse
My name is Bunnie Cruse, I am a Mexican American Trans woman from Albuquerque, New Mexico. My faith in Jesus Christ and La Virgen de Guadalupe along with the love of my family is what sustains and lifts me. I’m an a recovering addict going on 13 years drug free. In my active addiction I was homeless and a sex worker.
I first started with my Court in Reign 2, just performing for many reigns. In Reign 8 I was invested as Countess. I honestly thought it was all kind of corny. In November of that reign we went to give out turkeys to clients at the AIDS Services and I was hooked on the giving aspect. I said to myself “if I can be Countess I can be Empress”. I went on to be crowned Empress 9, 16 and 19. I served 6 terms on our board as Vice President, President, and Member at Large. At Coronation 23 I was crowned Queen Mother of New Mexico by The Queen Mother of The America’s, Empress Nicole The Great. I have also served on The Queen Mother’s Privy Council.
My time with my Court has taught me that our most valuable assets are our Royal Family Members. It is from the within the Royal Family that we are mentoring our community leaders with on the job training. My belief that with a happy Royal Family that is engaged in learning and doing, that our court is at its strongest. For me as Queen Mother of our court the amount of money raised is not as important as the leadership we creating. If we are a happy unit the community will see it and the money will come. The last 8 reigns have done better than the previous one.
Outside of The Court I have served on the board for Youth In Transition, an organization serving homeless youth. I have served as director of events for Albuquerque Pride. I am the co founder of The Albuquerque Prides New Mexico HIV WALK. I am currently Chairwoman of The Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico and a volunteer with A Light In The Night.
Through my community work I have worked and consulted with US Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham, now Governor Elect of New Mexico, US Congresswoman Elect Debra Haaland, New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas, New Mexico State State Senator Jacob Candelaria and Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis. These elected officials and I are dedicated to protecting and expanding the rights of LGBTQ and all communities.
I have been recognized with awards for my community work over the years.The community voted me Outstanding Leader, Outstanding Drag Queen and Outstanding Social Influencer. The University of New Mexico and Albuquerque Pride both honored me with a Life Time Achievement Awards. Pride & Equality named me a Model of Hope for my comeback from homelessness and addiction to being a community leader.
In my private life I have two great parents, a sister and brother-in-law, two brothers, a niece and nephew-in-law and 7 dogs and they are all my biggest supporters in all that I do. I work in a night club on the weekends and during the week I am a personal assistant and nanny. The little boy I care for is the light of my life.