GrayPrideParade.com 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.
A good profile of her is available at http://www.afterellen.com/an-interview-with-lesbian-stonewall-veteran-storm-delarverie/07/2010/
May she rest in well-earned peace and honor.
Every life, every relationship, is a roller-coaster. We have highs and lows. If we are very, very lucky — like Pat and Cherry — we have a partner to hold us tight through both the ups and the downs.
This week Georgia Voice published a profile of Pat and Cherry, two women who have been together nearly 30 years. The first part of the profile focuses on the daring and flirtatious start of their relationship: “This cutie comes after the predator,” as Pat describes them. “I had roaming feet when we met.”
The profile includes Pat’s work to move the 1996 Olympic volleyball competitions out of Cobb County, which had recently passed a resolution condemning the “Gay lifestyle,” and her work with Southerners on New Ground. And it includes her subsequent breakdown, job loss, depression, and PTSD.
Now the couple sees the Atlanta Dream professional women’s basketball team as Pat’s “therapy through basketball.” You can read more about this charming couple at http://thegavoice.com/community/features/6922-lgbt-aging-pat-and-cherry-hussain-want-people-to-know-not-everyone-is-20.
If you need a pick-me-up, watch a 9-minute video of Gail Marquis and Audrey Smaltz at http://www.out.com/entertainment/popnography/2013/02/14/devotion-project-gail-marquis-audrey-smaltz-foremost-my-mind.
Now 57 and 75, respectively, the two met 14 years ago. Their senses of humor, ease with each other, and optimism are all infectious. Enjoy!
There once was a widespread belief that lesbians had no sense of humor. Proving that wrong is part of the reason Iris Golden, 75, is holding auditions in Chicago this month to put together a new comedy and improv group named DNR, for Do Not Resuscitate.
The former comedy writer (and head hunter) has teamed with the Center on Halsted, which has promised to provide the group not only with a performance venue, but also professional marketing, ticketing, and tech. Auditions will be held at the Center on Halsted in Chicago from 6-8 p.m. on December 19-20 and from 2-4 p.m. on January 5-6. DNAinfo.com Chicago (http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20121204/lakeview/lesbian-improv-group-targets-funny-ladies-over-50) reports that “Aspiring lesbian comedy writers aged 50 and up should email Iris Golden and Maura Ross a headshot, resume and brief bio at Igolden13 [at] aol [dot] com and mross [at] centeronhalsted [dot] org.
Want to support a key resource-in-development? Consider the Untitled Black Lesbian Elder Project, a documentary being produced by filmmaker Tiona McClodden and Lisa C. Moore, publisher of Red Bone Press. It will feature Black lesbians in their 60s, 70s, and 80s.
If you live in New York City, consider attending some of their fundraisers. If you don’t live in NYC, consider making other types of contributions. You can read more about this project at http://ubleproject.tumblr.com/ or check out their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/The-Untitled-Black-Lesbian-Elder-Project/200050120031034