Gay rights activist Storme DeLarverie
died Saturday in Brooklyn. She was 93.
The AP quoted longtime friend Lisa
Cannistraci as saying that DeLarverie died in a nursing home.
Cannistraci said that DeLarverie, whose
parents were interracial, “was born into adversity and lived in
adversity her whole life.”
In the 1950s and '60s, she performed as
a drag king as part of a traveling show called the Jewel Box Revue.
Her involvement in the Stonewall riots
– considered the birth of the modern gay rights movement – have
led some to refer to her as “the gay community's Rosa Parks.”
During a Stonewall Veterans event,
DeLarverie explained how she stood up to the police on the night of
Friday, June 27, 1969.
“The cops were parading patrons out
of the front door of The Stonewall at about two o' clock in the
said. “I saw this one boy being taken out by three cops, only
one in uniform. Three to one! I told my pals, 'I know him! That's
Williamson, my friend Sonia Jane's friend.' Williamson briefly broke
loose but they grabbed the back of his jacket and pulled him right
down on the cement street. One of them did a drop kick on him.
Another cop senselessly hit him from the back. Right after that, a
cop said to me, 'move faggot', thinking that I was a gay guy. I
said, 'I will not! And, don't you dare touch me.' With that, the
cop shoved me and I instinctively punched him right in his face. He
bled! He was then dropping to the ground – not me.”
A memorial service is planned for
Thursday at the Greenwich Village Funeral Home in New York City.