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Velvetpark's Official Top 25 Significant Queer Women of 2010

Velvetpark's Official Top 25 Significant Queer Women of 2010

6. Calendar Bois - Ryann and Genesis, Founders, bklyn boihood

We got to know bklyn boihood this fall at the Butch Voices conference in New York. “Finally, a broader, browner perspective on masculine identity within our community!” exclaimed our editor-in-chief, and the rest of the team wholeheartedly agreed. Ryann and Genesis conceived bklyn boihood as a community entity with the mission to “provide visibility and promote empowerment for lesbian, queer, or trans identified studs, doms, butches, ag’s, and bois of color with gender presentation on a masculine spectrum,” which they do through video, blogging, photo galleries, online presence, and community organizing. Their latest project, the artful bklyn boihood calendar, was inspired by Brooklyn settings and the desire to celebrate a spectrum of identities. Calendar proceeds are shared with Brooklyn LBGTQ POC organizations, which makes it as good for our hearts as it is for our eyes.

7. The Perfect Storm - Storme DeLarverie, Drag King/Queer Legend

Storme DeLarverie, who turned 90 this December, is an undeniable legend. Storme was the sole person in masculine drag as part of the Jewel Box Revue, a collective otherwise made up entirely of female impersonators. Not only that, but he was doing it in the 1950s. She was also a beloved doorman at Henrietta Hudson’s, and served as Vice-President of the Stonewall Veterans Association. Most famously, DeLarverie was one of the key people fighting at the Stonewall Riots. Manny Fernandez of the New York Times writes that he may have even been “the cross-dressing lesbian whose clubbing by police was the catalyst for the riots.” Always an air of mythology surrounding her, Storme ultimately ended up living in the Hotel Chelsea along with so many other great queer New Yorkers. Now living in CABS nursing home in Brooklyn, we are proud to honor one of the greats in our rich history.

8. Grassroots vs. Goliath - Natasha Dillon, Co-Founder, Queer Rising

Late in the fall of 2009, Natasha Dillon saw a sign. Literally. Hanging on a wall at her LGBT Center, this sign had a mandate: form an LGBT civil rights group to take to the streets for social change. Dillon answered the call, and a year later leads Queer Rising, one of the emergent anti-establishment agitators for change. In 2010 alone, Queer Rising members—along with those of its rebel sister, GetEQUAL—chained themselves to the White House fence for DADT reform, crashed parties of elected officials for gay marriage and led a “die-in” at Grand Central to protest the rash of LGBT youth suicides this fall. Almost always at the forefront stood Dillon, bullhorn in hand. “There is a mindset some have that I think is best explained by MLK when he said ‘Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor, it must be demanded by the oppressed’—and I believe that LGBT people are oppressed,” Dillon says. “It is just the hand we all have been dealt, and we must do our part to fight against these injustices and demand equality now.”

9. Resident Scandal - Holly Hughes, Performance Artist/Professor