LA lesbian icon Nancy Valverde honored by LGBTQ+ community – NBC Los Angeles

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The LGBTQ+ community will honor the late Nancy Valverde just a few weeks after her passing.

Valverde is one of the first Chicana lesbians who publicly fought for acceptance as an out and proud member of the community.

She is remembered for her fight against Los Angeles police after being arrested several times for wearing masculine clothing and haircuts.

As she approached the end of her life at 92, Valverde spoke candidly to her friend, Marisol Sanchez, about the fight for equal rights in the LGBTQ+ community.

Sanchez recalls Valverde being shocked that in her lifetime the community was still struggling to meet basic human rights. It’s a regret she lived with until the end, according to Sanchez.

“She [Valverde] was the one that fought and said, ‘No…we can wear whatever we want.’ This doesn’t mean we’re trying to ‘pretend,” said Sanchez.

Valverde’s battles began back in 1949 when the LAPD first took note of the way she dressed and her demeanor. In those days they referred to it as “butch” or “masculine,” and started throwing her in jail because of it.

“They couldn’t wear short hair; they couldn’t wear jeans; they couldn’t wear short sleeves,” said Sanchez.

Valverde was found in violation of masquerading ordinances at least a dozen times, meaning she was not allowed to dress like the opposite gender.

The ordinances were used to target drag queens and others the department considered “immoral.”

The lesbian activist fought the department and established that wearing men’s clothing was not a crime and therefore her arrests were illegal. It was only then that she stopped being harassed.

Valverde will be honored at her memorial over the weekend for being a pioneer in the LGBTQ+ community in Los Angeles and inspiring the next generation.

“As lesbians in the community, we want to be sure that we honor our elders and she was one of those elders,” said Sanchez.

Read original source here.

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