From defending her sisters from police violence to hosting secret parties where Black people could dress and do as they pleased, The Queen was well loved and well respected. But she was also far more than that.
The precursor to Stonewall and Drag Ball culture, William Dorsey Swann was born into slavery just before the Emancipation Proclamation. As an adult, Swann had become part of a cohort of Black people, assigned “male” at birth, who dressed or identified as women.
Violence. This group of formerly-enslaved butlers, coachmen, and cooks were often beaten, jailed, and publicly shamed - as much because of their Blackness as because they broke gender rules. The Queen always fought back. But her fight didn’t stop with police brutality.
Swann’s request was denied, and she spent 10 months in jail. However, as we continue to fight for liberation, we must remember ALL members of the Black community have sacrificed for our freedom, including trans women and queens of drag.