After living in a Brooklyn nursing home since 2010, she passed away peacefully early Saturday morning, May 24th, 2014.
Stormé is best known for being part of the legendary Jewel Box Revue, a popular drag performance group created in 1939. For two decades in the 1940s and 1950s, Stormé performed as their only male impersonator.
DeLarverie made her indelible mark on LGBT history during a faithful night, June 27, 1969, while hanging out in Greenwich Village. Though, almost 50 years later, the events have been called the Stonewall riots, DeLarverie was very clear that that wasn’t the case.
“It was a rebellion, it was an uprising, it was a civil rights disobedience — it wasn’t no damn riot”.
At a Stonewall Veterans event, DeLarverie recounted, “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!”
It is said that that moment was the spark that created our modern day gay rights movement.
After the rebellion, DeLarverie was a part of the official formation of the Stonewall Veteran’s Association on July 11, 1969. Stormé went on to hold the offices of Chief-of-Security, Ambassador and in 1998 to 2000 as Vice-President.
A memorial service will be held this Thursday, May 29 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Greenwich Village Funeral Home in New York City.
Stormé, you might not have been a super lesbian but the strength of your legacy is extraordinary indeed.