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Popular Topics in Literature
García Lorca, Federico García Lorca, Federico
The works of García Lorca, internationally recognized as Spain's most prominent lyric poet and dramatist of the twentieth century, are filled with thinly veiled homosexual motifs and themes.
Musical Theater
There has always been homosexual involvement in American musical theatre and a homosexual sensibility even in straight musicals, and recently the Broadway musical has welcomed openly homosexual themes and situations.
Michelangelo Buonarroti Michelangelo Buonarroti
Best known for his genius in art and architecture, Michelangelo was also an accomplished author of homoerotic poetry.
African-American Literature: Gay Male African-American Literature: Gay Male
The African-American gay male literary tradition consists of a substantial body of texts and includes some of the most gifted writers of the twentieth century.
Camp Camp
Combining elements of incongruity, theatricality, and exaggeration, camp is a form of humor that helps homosexuals cope with a hostile environment.
Hughes, Langston Hughes, Langston
Langston Hughes, whose literary legacy is enormous and varied, was closeted, but homosexuality was an important influence on his literary imagination, and many of his poems may be read as gay texts.
Baldwin, James Arthur Baldwin, James Arthur
James Baldwin, a pioneering figure in twentieth-century literature, wrote sustained and articulate challenges to American racism and mandatory heterosexuality.
Wilde, Oscar Wilde, Oscar
Oscar Wilde is important both as an accomplished writer and as a symbolic figure who exemplified a way of being homosexual at a pivotal moment in the emergence of gay consciousness.
In Memoriam
In Memoriam: Storme DeLarverie (1920-2014)
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 06/01/14
Last updated on: 06/01/14
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Stonewall veteran and male impersonator Storme DeLarverie died on May 28, 2014 in Brooklyn of a heart attack. Sometimes identified as having thrown the first punch at the Stonewall Inn on the night of June 27, 1969, DeLarverie regularly attended the annual pride parade in New York that commemorates the Stonewall uprising. But she was also known for her earlier career as a singer and drag king, as well as her later work as a bouncer for Manhattan lesbian clubs.

As William Yardley reports in the New York Times, DeLarverie was born in New Orleans in 1920. Her mother, who was black, was a servant in the home of her father, who was white. At some point her father married her mother, and the family moved to California.

DeLarverie began performing as a singer in her late teens, first as a woman and later dressed as a man. For a while she sang in a jazz group and performed in Europe. From the mid-1950s through the 1960s she was the Master of Ceremonies of the Jewel Box Revue, an interracial drag troupe that billed itself as "Twenty-five Men and a Girl." It differed from earlier drag acts in that it offered a unified production, not merely a succession of solo acts. Moreover, the show featured dance routines, original music, and comic sketches, but not lipsynching.

DeLarverie may or may not have thrown the first punch during the Stonewall Riots, but as Yardley notes, she "was indisputably one of the first and most assertive members of the modern gay rights movement."

For many years DeLarverie was a self-appointed guardian of lesbians in the Village. Tall, androgynous, and armed, she roamed lower Seventh and Eighth Avenues and points between, patrolling the sidewalks and checking in at lesbian bars, including the Cubby Hole and Henrietta Hudson, where she worked as a bouncer into her 80s.

For decades, DeLarverie lived at the Chelsea Hotel, but several years ago moved into a Brooklyn nursing home.

She was preceded in death by her partner of 25 years, a dancer named Diana, who died in the 1970s. No immediate family members survive.

The video below pays tribute to the Jewel Box Revue.

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