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Ode To Lesbian Icon Stormé Delarverie

By Charlotte Robinson, June 28, 2024

When I lived in New York City during the 1980’s I had the privilege of knowing Stormé Delarverie. During that time Stormé was an institution at the lesbian bars The Duchess & The Cubby Hole as security working the door & keeping you in line with her no-nonsense look. Sometimes I would have a conversation with her about what it was like to be gay before & after The Stonewall Riots. She was often referred to as the "Rosa Parks" of the gay rights movement. Stormé is credited for having thrown one of the first punches during the Stonewall Uprising in June 1969. She was not someone who tolerated injustice though she faced it on an almost daily basis throughout much of her life. Stormé was a black lesbian who often appeared as a black man although she could easily have passed for a white woman she chose not to do so. Her love of people made Stormé an advocate & she stood up to all injustice whenever she encountered or heard about it. Stormé was a fierce woman who stood up for our LGBTQ community on countless occasions. She passed away peacefully in her sleep at 93 in 2014. As we celebrate the 55 Anniversary of Stonewall, I always think about Stormé & icons like Sylvia Rivera & Marsha P. Johnson. Listen to filmmaker Kristen Lovell talk about the historic Stonewall Riots Reenactment where she plays Marsha P. Johnson that takes place this Sunday June 29th at the Stonewall National Museum, Archives & Library in Fort Lauderdale, FL.  

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