Stormé DeLarverie (1920-2014)
Basic Rights Oregon would like to honor the life and legacy of lesbian activist, drag king and Stonewall veteran Stormé DeLarverie. DeLarverie passed away this Saturday, May 24 at her home in Brooklyn at the age of 93. We mourn the loss of a renowned queer leader, movement shaker, and activist.
DeLarverie was born in New Orleans in 1920 and during the 1950s and 1960s was part of the legendary drag troupe, The Jewel Box Revue. DeLarverie was the only female performer in the troupe and was an out lesbian of color. In June 1969, DeLarverie was a leader in the stonewall inn riots, fighting back against police violence and helping to spark LGBTQ rights movements. She was a member of the Stonewall Veterans Association and worked as a bouncer for many years.
Today, transgender and gender non-conforming people of color continue to experience high rates of violence, homelessness, job discrimination, and barriers to health care. As LGBTQ communities across the nation get ready to attend pride celebrations, it is important to remember the LGBTQ movement leaders like DeLarverie who were apart of the Stonewall riots and spent a lifetime defending and fighting for LGBTQ equality. We march and celebrate pride in the summer to commemorate the Stonewall riots and to come together as LGBTQ people to celebrate our communities and build power. At Basic Rights Oregon we would like to celebrate Stormé DeLarverie by remembering her life, her courage and her leadership.
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