At the end of Pride Month, let us remember the pioneers of the LGBTQ + movement – the women who made this holiday possible.Who fought and created our history, for us to be ourselves unapologetically and without fear.
She was born in 1920 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her father was white and her mother was African-American, she worked as a maid in Stormy’s father’s family. Because she did not have a birth certificate and did not know the exact date of her birthday, she celebrated her birthday on December 24th. As a child she was often the victim of bullying and harassment.
As a teenager, Stormy went to the famous Ringling Brothers Circus where she rode a horse, but had to stop – she fell off a horse and was injured. Around the age of 18 she realized he was a lesbian.
Throughout her life, she worked as an event presenter, singer, face control and guard… Participated in the first US racially integrated drag show as the only drag king. In that time there were very few Drag Kings, her unique style and drag performances became very popular and set a historical precedent. She also influenced fashion: with her costumes, performances and make-up, she portrayed both men and women, white or black. Behind the scenes, she wore a charming androgynous style, inspiring other lesbians to wear what they called “men’s clothing.”
Stormy Delaware is known for her role in the Stonewall Uprising. She is believed to have been one of the catalysts for this uprising. 52 years later, when these events were called the “Stonewall Riots”, Delaware said that the “Riot” was not the right word – “It was an uprising, it was a civil disobedience! It was not a bloody riot! ” – she said.
She was an LGBT rights activist and, after Stonewall, worked for many years as a security guard at lesbian bars. Stormy was a member of the Stonewall Veterans Association, ambassador and later vice-president, regularly attending Pride parades. In addition to working on LGBT issues, she was able to help abused women and children. When asked why she was doing this, she replied: ” Someone has to take care of these people. It’s very simple – if people had not taken care of me when I was little and growing up with my black mother, I would not be here today.”
In the last years of his life, she was ill and suffering from dementia. Died May 2, 2014, aged 93 years. She was referred to as a “gay superhero” in an obituary published by the New York Times. She is also known as the LGBT community’s Rosa Parks.