The conversation turned to the night in June of 1969 at the Stonewall Inn where she made history. Quite a few friends, writers and historians over the years have identified her as the tough cross dressing lesbian who was clubbed by the NYPD, which evoked enough indignation and anger to spur the crowd to action. She was identified as the Stonewall Lesbian in Charles Kaiser’s book The Gay Metropolis, and her scuffle with the police has been mentioned a few times in passing by The New York Times in the past couple of decades. Then in the January 2008 issue of Curve Magazine she identified herself as the Stonewall Lesbian in a detailed interview with writerPatrick Hinds, an excerpt of which is below:
”[The officer] then yelled, ‘I said, move along, faggot.’ I think he thought I was a boy. When I refused, he raised his nightstick and clubbed me in the face.” It was then that the crowd surged and started attacking the police with whatever they could find, she said.
I asked my last question hesitantly. “Have you heard of the Stonewall Lesbian? The woman who was clubbed outside the bar but was never identified?” DeLarverie nodded, rubbing her chin in the place where she received 14 stitches after the beating. “Yes,” she said quietly. “They were talking about me.”
And then, almost as an afterthought, I asked, “Why did you never come forward to take credit for what you did?”
She thought for a couple of seconds before she answered, “Because it was never anybody’s business.”
I asked her if she still remembered that night. She answered in the affirmative. After the cop hit her on the head, she socked him with her fist. “I hit him,” she said. “He was bleeding.”