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Black History by Jeffrey Mason


BLACK HERSTORY

Stormé DeLarverie (1920-2014)

A biracial, butch lesbian, DeLarverie was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and was always a performer. As a teenager, she joined the Ringling Brothers Circus where she rode jumping horses. Then from 1955 to 1969, DeLarverie toured the Black theater circuit as the MC — and only drag king — of the Jewel Box Revue, the first racially integrated drag revue in North America. She worked as a bouncer for several lesbian bars in New York City in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and held a number of leadership positions in the Stonewall Veterans Association. DeLarverie also served the community as a volunteer street patrol worker, and as a result, was called the "guardian of lesbians in the Village." Beyond her LGBTQ activism, DeLarverie also organized and performed at fundraisers for women who suffered from domestic violence and their children.




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