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Stonewall Rioter Misses Parade

Stonewall Rioter Misses Parade


Thousands of people participated in or watched New York's gay pride parade this weekend, but one of the original Stonewall rioters wasn't among them.

Lesbian Storme DeLarverie, 89, now lives six miles away from the parade route in a Brooklyn nursing home and suffers from dementia. A reporter who met with the activist said she used to be a bouncer in the city's lesbian bars and was a cross-dressing emcee, according to The New York Times.

The actual facts of her involvement during the riot are murky, but there is no doubt she was there. Some people say she was the first person struck by police, an incident that incited the riot, while others say she was not. DeLarverie said that she was not struck by the police but later told the same reporter a police officer attacked her from behind: "He wound up flat on his back on the ground. ... I don't know what he hit me with. He hit me from behind, the coward."

Friends concerned about DeLarverie say it's hard to see her not recognized by the younger LGBT generation. "The young gays and lesbians today have never heard of her," a longtime friend said. "And most of our activists are young. They're in their 20s and early 30s. The community that's familiar with her is dwindling."

Regarding the parade, DeLarverie said, "I think they started already, they're probably wondering where I am."

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