William Dorsey Swann is remembered for his many firsts.
Swann was born into slavery. William Dorsey Swann (c. 1858) was an American gay liberation activist.

First drag queen, William Dorsey Swann was born into slavery in Maryland 1858  According to Channing Gerard Joseph, the author of The House of Swann, Swann fought for queer freedom nearly a … A fact from William Dorsey Swann appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the Did you know? His name was William Dorsey Swann, but to his friends he was known as “the Queen.” A large man named William Dorsey Swann—the queen of the ball—was “arrayed in a gorgeous dress of cream-colored satin.”[5] But unlike the others, he ran frantically toward the officers in a vain attempt to keep them from entering.

Swan was born as a slave in Maryland around 1858. William Dorsey Swann was a former slave who reigned over a secret world of drag balls in Washington, D.C., and fought for queer rights nearly 100 years before the Stonewall Riots. William Dorsey Swann was a former slave who fought for queer freedom decades before the Stonewall riots of 1969. William Dorsey Swann was a former slave who fought for queer freedom decades before the Stonewall riots of 1969.

Born into slavery, he was the first person in the United States to lead a queer resistance group and the first known person to self-identify as a queen of drag.

Beginning in the 1880s, Swann became the 1st American activist to lead an LGBTQ resistance group that had violent encounters with the police. William Dorsey Swann, a former slave that referred to himself as “queen of drag;” one of the first known open drag queens and the first person to organize a gay resistance. Born into slavery, he was the first person in the United States to lead a queer resistance group and the first known person to self-identify as a "queen of drag".. Life and activism. In an article published in The … He endured slavery, the Civil War, racism, police surveillance, torture behind bars, and many other injustices. This person was William Dorsey Swann.
In an article published in The Nation Friday, writer and historian Channing Gerard Joseph tells the little-known story of Swann, a cross-dressing black man born into slavery who was affectionately known as “the Queen.”

Close. In the 1880s and '90s, Swann inspired a rebellious group of black butlers, coachmen, and cooks — most of them former slaves as well — to create a secret world of balls in …

In the 1880s, he became the first known person to dub himself a “queen of drag” or a drag queen. House of Swann is the story of William Dorsey Swann, an African-American man born into slavery who became the world's first self-described "drag queen" and the leader of possibly the world's earliest-known gay liberation organization.

This person was William Dorsey Swann. William Dorsey Swann was a former slave who fought for queer freedom decades before the Stonewall riots of 1969.

William Dorsey Swann (c. 1858) was an American gay liberation activist. William Dorsey Swann was a former slave who fought for queer freedom decades before the Stonewall riots of 1969. 4.1k.