“Every now and again, as you’re marching forward, turn around and wave back at us. We’re still here… Much the same way as I needed to acknowledge the shoulders that I stood on, I would like others to acknowledge us. We did a lot of work. And it wasn’t easy.” Last year, Stonewall vet, Fred Sargeant, told me all about his dear friend Ellen Broidy, one of the four founders of Pride. He was concerned about how media underplays (or ignores altogether) the contributions lesbians have made. Broidy tells me that since 2018, this has changed — that in the last few years, media has contacted her for interviews, lining up whenever Pride month rolls around. She says, “I feel like a bear that hibernates all winter, and then June comes, Pride month comes, and everyone is lined up in front of my den.”
And they should be lining up… Ellen Broidy, a Jewish lesbian shero from New York, holds the key to the past. A past that’s been aggressively revised over the last several years.
“Harper’s Magazine is not only ‘comfortable’ with ‘the decision’ to reinvent Stormé as a ‘he,’ they’re comfortable with any distress it causes the lesbian community that surrounded Stormé while she was alive… The very people she spent her life protecting.”
Harper’s Magazine has refused to print a retraction for an article in which Eileen Miles calls lesbian icon, Stormé DeLarverie, “they,”“he,” and “him,” and claims ” ‘He’ was Stormé’s chosen pronoun.”
If “he” was “Stormé’s chosen pronoun,” as Miles claims, the people she was closest to would’ve known. And her circle certainly wouldn’t be running around giving interviews that didn’t reflect her wishes. In fact, the people in her circle are the type of people who would acknowledge that sort of thing—no problem—had it been the case.
“The view from my window is of the house next door, and a little winding road that leads to a local co-op… I wish my life, like this view, could’ve been so simple.
When I was fifteen, I had a girlfriend who used to hold my hand in the halls. Our song was “I Will Wait” by Mumford & Sons. And when it ended, I got lost in screens, in an alternate reality. It’d be three years till I found my way. My childhood was interrupted. I can’t change that—but I can fight for other young people, in the hope that they might not have to go through the same thing. ”