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  • Writer's pictureWalnut Psychotherapy

Lesbian Visibility Day

On this day of Lesbian Visibility we honor Stormé DeLarverie (December 24, 1920 – May 31, 2014), a performer, singer, drag king, bouncer, body guard, and, allegedly, the person who threw the punch that kicked off the Stonewall Riots.

From her obituary, "Tall, androgynous and armed – she held a state gun permit – Ms. DeLarverie roamed lower Seventh and Eighth Avenues and points between into her 80s, patrolling the sidewalks and checking in at lesbian bars. She was on the lookout for what she called 'ugliness': any form of intolerance, bullying or abuse of her 'baby girls.' ... 'She literally walked the streets of downtown Manhattan like a gay superhero. ... She was not to be messed with by any stretch of the imagination.'"

She was a member of the Stonewall Veterans' Association, and held the offices of Chief of Security, Ambassador and, in 1998 to 2000, Vice President. In addition to her tireless efforts within the LGBTQ+ community she also organized and performed at benefits for women and children experiencing domestic violence. When asked about this work she said, "Somebody has to care. People say, 'Why do you still do that?' I said, 'It's very simple. If people didn't care about me when I was growing up, with my mother being Black, raised in the south.' I said, 'I wouldn't be here.'"


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