Stonewall Pioneer Passes

Jewel Box today acknowledges with respect and gratitude the life and work of Storme DeLarverie, a pioneering biracial, lesbian drag king, activist, and Stonewall veteran.  She died in her sleep early Saturday morning, May 24, 2014.

Storme was born in 1920 in New Orleans.  Her father was a wealthy white man, and her mother was an African-American woman who worked for his family.  The work Storme is best known for is as the emcee of the Jewel Box Revue, a traveling gay drag show that was the first integrated drag show in the U.S.  Jewel Box Revue traveled in the 40s through 60s, often playing before interracial audiences as well as gay and straight ones.

Her activist credentials, however, rest on her role in the Stonewall Riots.  She is said to be the cross-dressing lesbian whose clubbing by the police was the catalyst for the riots.  What is undisputed is that she fought back, not a surprising act for a person who regularly carried a straight-edge razor in her sock for self-protection.Storme DeLarverie bysambassett1

A good profile of her is available at

May she rest in well-earned peace and honor.

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