A Woman to Know: Stormé Delarverie

You do what's appropriate for the time. That's it. Stormé

(Photo via Sam Bassett)

When she died in 2014, Stormé Delarverie was a 93-year-old forgotten gay rights icon living in a Brooklyn public nursing home, under legal guardianship for longtime mental health issues.

But when she was alive, man — Stormé was unstoppable. She was the cross-dressing MC of New York City's 1960s drag scene. She was (allegedly!) the first to throw a punch at the Stonewall Riots. She was a roaming bouncer and beloved guardian of the now-gone lesbian bar strip in Manhattan's West Village. She carried a gun, threw out any "ugliness" and called all the bar patrons her "baby girls." She was a longtime resident of the Hotel Chelsea, renowned as the legendary spot's "gay superhero."

In so many ways, she was never forgettable at all.

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