Storme DeLarverie, one of the LGBTIQ movement’s earliest activists, is known as the lesbian who fought back against the police during the Stonewall riots of 1969. Some have referred to her as "the gay community’s Rosa Parks. Storme passed away May 24, 2014.
Prior to Stonewall, police continually conducted raids on lesbian and gay bars. One could get arrested for kissing, holding hands and cross-dressing. Butch women in lesbian bars could be arrested if they were not wearing a minimum of 3 'ladies' articles of clothing.
During the 1950s and 60’s Storme toured with The Jewel Box Revue, America’s first racially integrated drag revue, billed as having “25 Men and 1 Girl” with the one girl being drag king Storme DeLarverie. Master of Ceremonies Storme was also an esteemed act at Manhattan’s infamous Club 82.
Despite crackdowns against gay performers and female impersonators, The Jewel Box Revue had a successful run for nearly 30 years (1939-1960s). At the height of its celebrity the revue headlined at the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem.
|Jan Britton and Storme DeLarverie|
Storme, The Lady of the Jewel Box
1987, 21 minutes, Color, 16mm/DVD
|Storme in front of NYs Cubby Hole where she moonlighted as a bouncer for many years.|
|"Tribute to a living Legend" by Henrietta Hudson|
Long time resident of New York's infamous Chelsea Hotel, Storme now lives in a senior citizen's home in Brooklyn, NY.
|Storme with Andre Christie, NY Gay Pride March|
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The Golden Age of Drag: showing The Jewel box Revue, Club 82 and Storme DeLarverie.