DeLarverie was born 'way down yonder' in New Orleans, Louisiana.
It was incredibly not long after the end of World War I (One) on
Christmas Eve, December 24 of 1920 -- ironically and prophetically, the
year that American women won the
right to vote in America! To quote Stormé: "I've
been fighting for the Gay community ever since!" Stormé
has a silvery baritone
voice with a jazz-oriented sound. In the 1940s, Stormé was
solo performer with a three-piece band. Stormé is probably
best known for being part of the legendary Jewel Box Revue, a popular
"drag" performance group which toured America -- not always under the
best of accommodations or circumstances.
The Jewel Box Revue ensemble was composed of two dozen males dressed beautifully and seductively as females and one biological female dressed very gentlemanly and convincingly as a man: Stormé! It's a role he does persuasively on stage and off. During the 1950s and the 1960s, Stormé was the Jewel Box's only male impersonator. He did so as a fine gentleman. The entertaining uniqueness was that the entire talented troupe were in gender-bender roles -- all except one! The "J.B." was a forerunner to the Broadway musical of the mid-1980s, "La Cage aux Folles". Unlike the latter, the J.B. confronted acceptance, joyousness, praise and fulfillment on one side but segregation, prejudice, scorn and sadness on the other side of the coin.
Stormé DeLarverie initially got involved with the STONEWALL Veterans' Association ("S.V.A.") when it happenstancely began spiritually the very first night of the Stonewall Rebellion, Friday, June 27th, 1969 at The Stonewall Club in Greenwich Village, NYC. Stormé had just returned to New York City from entertainment touring with the famous Jewel Box Revue. The S.V.A. officially formed exactly two weeks later on Friday, July 11th of that exciting year 1969. Storme was there!
King Storme D on Prospect Park Stage for
Brooklyn Gay Pride Rally in 2002
Storme DeLarverie at Brooklyn Gay Parade line-up with 1969 "Stonewall Car"
[Photo by Williamson Henderson]
* * * * *
=Storme on Stonewall="It was a rebellion, it was an uprising, it was a civil rights disobedience -- it wasn't no damn riot", declared Stormé at a public and videographed SVA-sponsored "Stonewall Symposium", referring to the historic 1969 Stonewall Rebellion. Stormé was a part of the uprising on the very first night, Friday, June 27th. "The cops were parading patrons out of the front door of The Stonewall at about two o' clock in the morning. I saw this one boy being taken out by three cops, only one in uniform. Three to one! I told my pals, 'I know him! That's Williamson, my friend Sonia Jane's friend.' Williamson briefly broke loose but they grabbed the back of his jacket and pulled him right down on the cement street. One of them did a drop kick on him. Another cop senselessly hit him from the back. Right after that, a cop said to me: 'Move faggot', thinking that I was a Gay guy. I said, 'I will not! And, don't you dare touch me." With that, the cop shoved me and I instinctively punched him right in his face. He bled! He was then dropping to the ground -- not me!"
Stormé is known, too, for adapting memorable sayings and witty warnings. For example, if someone says or asks something that Stormé perceives as insulting to his intelligence or not too smart, he'll say, "I didn't fall off of the back of a turnip truck". A favorite song of Stormé's, "It Ain't Easy Being Green", is also a favorite expression. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender people can easily relate to that song simply substituting 'green' with 'Gay'. And that's exactly Stormé's point: "It ain't easy being Gay". Sho 'nuff, y'all! Relating to age, or not relating to it, King Stormé rightly says, while inimitably mixing maxims: "Age ain't nothing but a number -- if you don't mind it, it don't matter". Overall, reviewing life and his philosophy of himself, Stormé tells it like it is (another song): "What you see is what you get". Allright!
the many years, Stormé
DeLarverie has electedly served as Chief-of-Security, Ambassador
1998 to 2000 as Vice-President of
the STONEWALL Veterans' Association
("S.V.A.). He has
always done so supportively, reliably and
enthusiastically. Most people know Storme through the S.V.A. from
its public conferences and forums and leading the Pride parades
(see below). In the Imperial
QUEENS & Kings of Greater
York ("IQKNY"), the sister group to the S.V.A., Stormé
has won election many times from IQKNY's
membership and friends the title of "Imperial King". Thus, he
earned his popular nickname "King Stormé"!
At the urging of Stormé's longtime pal,
Williamson, and others, Stormé received a "Gay Lifetime
Achievement Award" from Senior Action
in a Gay Environment ("SAGE")
in 2000. Stormé is
well-known, too, as a 'regular' leading the annual New York City Gay
with the Stonewall veterans and "Stormé's baby", the
historic 1969 Cadillac convertible "Stonewall Car".
That's the famous car that was parked regularly outside The
Stonewall Club including the first night of the Stonewall Rebellion.
Since the formation of the S.V.A. in July of
1969, Stormé, a founding member, rarely misses
the monthly S.V.A. meeting held on the last Saturday of
month -- including Storme's birthday month, December! See
another photo of Stormé -- with his "baby" the car --
showing Storme laying across the
"Stonewall Car" trunk at the bottom of this file.
The only year Storme rode in the Parade with SVA: "SW-30" in 1999
[Photo by Electra O'Mara]
=2008 Gay Pride Events=
On Saturday, May 31st, Storme presented a special advisory report regarding upoming Gay Pride events at the S.V.A. meeting. Storme will be speaking about the Stonewal Rebellion at the S.V.A. meeting on June 28th @ 4:15 p.m. The occasion is televised by New York 1 News for a Gay Pride segmnent. For "Stonewall Sunday", Storme will be leading the New York City Gay Pride Parade with the S.V.A. and Storme's blue baby, the 1969 Cadillac "Stonewall Car". For the S.V.A. 's anniversary party and benefit at The Stonewall Club on Tuesday, July 1st, Storme is one of the SVA-ers in the host trio. Storme introduces some of the super Stonewall songs collaborated by Storme's longtime Stonewall pal Williamson. For much more events 411, visit: www.STONEWALLvets.org/upcomingevents.htm
* * * * *
=Tribute to Storme DeLarverie=
"Storme with Storme"
[Photo by Rogers Hunt for the STONEWALL Veterans Assn. Archives]
An artists tribute to Imperial King Storme DeLarverie was held at a famous artists habitat and where Storme lives: Chelsea Hotel (a.k.a. Hotel Chelsea). The art showcase event honors Storme's gender-bendering entertainment history with the fabulous Jewel Box Renue as a singing female attired as a male and with the Imperial QUEENS & Kings of New York as a prominent drag king. The King Storme tribute happened on Thursday, August 21, 2008, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the ballroom of the Chelsea Hotel at 222 West 23 Street in Chelsea, New York. Storme lives at The Chelsea for about three decades. The entire SRO event was introduced and hosted by Storme's longtime friend/comrade and S.V.A. Director Williamson Henderson. He was accompanied by his smiley assistant and Storme's godson: AnDre Christie. Portraiture artist Anthony Zito has created a dramatic acrylic-on-canvas portrait of Storme DeLarverie which was unveiled and presented to Storme at the tribute. For a portrait view, visit: www.ZitoGallery.com. For archival info about the event and its sponsor, the Artists of The Chelsea featuring Susan Olmetti, visit the artistic website: www.SusanOlmetti.com. Many of the paintings shown there were on display for sale at the Storme event, with one, "Mr. Minkel", donated by its artist Miss Olmetti to the STONEWALL Veterans' Association. Gay press coverage was provided by Storme's favorite paper, The New York Blade. At the S.V.A. meeting on August 30th, Storme provided an appreciative and earthy report of his event.
Storme, AnDre Christie and Williamson after the tribute at Hotel Chelsea
[Backstage photo by Rogers Hunt]
For more 411 and pix on Storme's longtime pal and fellow SW-vet Williamson, see:
* * * * *
Storme DeLarverie tribute story in the New York Observer
with godson AnDre Christie
[Photo at Hotel Chelsea by Ruthybird]
For more info on AnDre M. Christie,
* * * * *
=S.V.A. Annual Conference & Reunion=
King Storme DeLarverie will be on the dais of the STONEWALL Veterans' Association's "S.V.A. Annual Conference & Stonewall Veterans Reunion". Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, Storme is one of the 40 special speakers symbolic of the 40 years! Besides talking about the significance of the S.V.A., Storme is speaking on his longtime starring role in the famous Jewel Box Revue. Confirmed public officials include U.S. Congressmember Yvette Clarke, NYC Councilmembers Bill De Blasio, John "J-Lu" Liu and Rosie Mendez plus Council candidates Yetta Kurland, Ken Diamondstone and Margaret Chin. The yearly event in 2009 happens on Saturday, June 27th from 4:15 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the New York City GLBT Community Center in Manhattan. Folks will be greeted by Storme's cute godson AnDre Christie. Look for Storme during intermission and the finale dancing to the "Songs of The Stonewall Club"!
Williamson and Storme with future NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio
[grainy but happy photo by Rogers Hunt]
* * * * *
=Storme Co-Hosts S.V.A. Party=
STONEWALL Veterans' Association's
40th Anniversary Party
Monday, June 29th, 2009
The Stonewall Club
Stonewall Storme with Stonewall Veterans
at The Stonewall Club with Stonewall Songs
inside and the 1969 Stonewall Car outside on
Stonewall Weekend! That's all very Stonewall!
Storme's hot godson AnDre Christie will be at the door!
53 Christopher Street
Greenwich Village, New York
6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
with original Stonewall jukebox music
"Songs of The Stonewall"
* * * * *
SVA's Halloween Party at the NYC Gay
Shown above are Williamson Henderson (S.V.A. Director in orange
Halloween shirt), AnDre M. Christie (S.V.A. Office Manager), King
Storme (S.V.A. Ambassador) and character actress Ruthybird
Campbell (S.V.A. Recording
Secretary) in the lobby of the New York City GLBT Center in
Manhattan on October 31st, 2009 -- Halloween!
[Photo by Rogers Hunt]
* * * * *
Storme's Birthday Cake Party
Saturday, December 26th, 2009 @ 6 p.m.
after the S.V.A. monthly
meeting at the New York City Gay Community Center in Manhattan, NY.
Storme's proud godson AnDre Christie drove him in his car both ways!!
We know that Storme's real friends are gonna turn out for this his 89th!
* * * * *
Storme's 2010 Stormy Housing Crisis Story
See the story by Matti Nestel at the "DNA 411" website at:Stonewall Veteran Storme forced out of shuttering St. Vincent's Hospital in Greenwich Village
* * * * *
"A Post-Pride Interview with Stonewall Veteran Storme DeLarverie"
by Grace Chu (who attended 2010 "S.V.A. 41st Conference & Reunion") for AfterEllen.org
When Grace asked S.V.A. founder Williamson about "What pronoun to use for Storme", he precisely explained: "If it looks like a HE and talks like a HE and walks like a HE and acts like a HE and, particularly, dresses like a HE... then it's posilutely a HE! Storme has publicly lamented for decades that one of the psychotic problems of the GLBTQRS community is that it cannot even agree on what to call itself! My mother and Storme have met many times over the decades, including shows, dinners and forums, and my mother always described Storme as 'a perfect gentleman'! Storme is equally fond of 'Lady Mom'!"
* * * * *
Storme carefully atop the big trunk of the famous "Stonewall Car" in 1996
[Photo by Debbie Fierro]
The picture above is arriving in the classic "Stonewall Car" for a special SVA co-sponsored event for New York City judge and Surrogate Court candidate Karen S. Burstein, who is openly-Gay. Driving the car is Williamson Henderson, founder of the STONEWALL Veterans' Association. Seated next to the judge is her longtime and lovely girlfriend Marion Lee. Positioned across the trunk -- just for this photo -- is King Storme DeLarverie who refers to the famous Gay history car as his 'baby'. Note: This is not a parade photo; it is on Hudson Street in front of Rubyfruit's Gay Restaurant in Greenwich Village.
* * * * *
Klassic King Storme DeLarverie
King Storme in his fave "The Color Purple"
[Photo provided by the Storme DeLarverie Archive]
* * * * *
In life, only the STONEWALL Veterans' Association ever gave Storme DeLarverie
a business card and the S.V.A. provided it decade after decade after decade after decade!
The happiness and pride that this brought to King Storme would be hard to put into words.
However, Storme said it best with facial tears of joy and declaring: "I really am somebody!"
* * * * *
Storme Tribute on WNYC Radio + in Newsletter
Storme's Life Surveyed by Bend Magazine
This story rightly references Storme's involvement with the STONEWALL Rebellion Veterans Association.
*'Wake' for Storme
Village Funeral Home
199 Bleecker Street
off Avenue of the Americas
Manhattan, New York
Thursday, May 29, 2014
from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Lisa Cannistraci and Michelle
who were both the openly-Gay legal Guardians of Storme,
with significant assistance from 'Rainbow Dee' Johnson
Proclamation for Storme from N.Y.C. Public Advocate Letitia James
Speakers at the
service include Williamson Henderson representing
Cathy Marino-Thomas representing Gay Marriage Equality and
Rev. Magora Kennedy the Stonewall veterans chaplain.
Official Tribute to King
at the STONEWALL V.A. 45th Conference
Saturday, June 21st, 2014 at 5 p.m.
Please attend the "S.V.A. 45th Conference & Stonewall Reunion" on Saturday, June 21st with your photos and/or spoken remembrances of Storme DeLarverie! In the true spirit of Storme, all are welcome! New York City public officials present their tributes to Storme, who they virtually all know via the S.V.A., in their speeches on the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion.
To send a symapthy card or make a donation in Storme's name:STONEWALL Veterans' Association
31 May @ 5 p.m. (EST)
Special commemoration of King Storme with
testimonials at the SVA's monthly meeting
Remembering the SVA's
King Storme DeLarverie
Sunrise: 24 December 1920 * Sunset: 24 May 2014
Hospitality Committee -- headed up by Williamson, AnDre
Christie and Mendy Seltza -- visited King Storme in Brooklyn, NYC
at the C.A.G.S. nursing home until just days before Storme's demise!
Special God's blessings to the CABS's humanitarian Lena Sebastian.
*==2015: 46th Anniversary of the NYC Stonewall Rebellion==