“It was a rebellion, it was an uprising, it was a civil rights disobedience — it wasn’t no damn riot” - Stormé DeLarverie
DeLarverie- A bi-racial, lesbian drag king performer whose activism and perseverance against the injustices imposed by police during the Stonewall Riots, was the person who arguably provided the first blow which sparked and defined the rebellion. Stormé was best known for being an essential core of the Jewel Box Revue, performing as one of the only male impersonators who truly renounced the constructions of gender imposed on women, and inspired many to challenge the pre-determined notions of their identities. In later years, operating as a singer, MC and bouncer for several lesbian bars among copious roles were those that truly reflected her protective nature. Often, DeLarverie was someone who sought out any bullying or intolerance occurring to the most vulnerable LGBT+ people, truly embracing those so heavily marginalized into a loving, unified community. Unquestionably, her actions during June, 27th, 1969 within Stonewall were pivotal and her responses to the homophobic slander and violent attacks of the police were actions that were truly progressive. Furthermore, it truly cements as her as a central core to the Stonewall Veterans Association and to the foundation which has allowed queer rights to flourish.
“She literally walked the streets of downtown Manhattan like a gay superhero; she was not to be messed with by any stretch of the imagination.” – Lisa Cannicati, owner of village lesbian bar, Henrietta Hudson.