Directed by Michelle Parkerson • 1987 • United States
“It ain’t easy . . . being green” was the favorite expression of Stormé DeLarverie, a woman who lived her life in defiance of prevailing attitudes regarding gender and race. During the 1950s and ’60s, she toured the Black theater circuit as a mistress of ceremonies and the sole male impersonator of the legendary Jewel Box Revue, America’s first integrated female impersonation show. And at the now legendary Stonewall uprising, it was DeLarverie who reportedly sparked the rebellion. Michelle Parkerson’s profile finds Stormé in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, now working as a bodyguard at a women’s bar and still singing in her deep silky voice. Through archival clips, STORME looks back on the grandeur of the Jewel Box Revue and its celebration of pure entertainment in the face of homophobia and segregation.