Matt Nestel of DNAinfo has written an illuminating article on the recent plight of our friend and neighbor, gay rights activist Stormé Delarverié. Hospitalized for dehydration last month, Stormé—famous for the independent and assertive spirit that led her to throw the first punch at Stonewall—was subsequently transferred to the psychiatric ward at St. Vincent’s, and then to a nursing home in Brooklyn. Hopefully, Nestel’s article will bring this unfortunate situation to the attention of people in a position to aid Stormé. Though she’s 89 years old and need a little bit of help, Stormé is of sound mind and body and by all accounts ready to come home. We look forward to her swift return to the Chelsea.
Another problem that Nestel draws attention to is the disposition of Stormé’s personal effects. Stormé possessed an archives of documents and memorabilia relevant to both the early history of drag performance and to the gay rights struggle, as well as a collection of art works by early Chelsea Hotel residents. Though in the article minority shareholder Marlene Krauss disavows all knowledge of the whereabouts of Stormé’s possessions—some of which may have been “misplaced” when Stormé’s room was cleaned during her absence—we suggest that she take a more active role in guaranteeing the safety of this material.
Concerned friends and neighbors can visit Stormé at The Oxford Nursing Home,
144 South Oxford St., Brooklyn New York. (Photo from Bring Back the Bard's blog)