According to a report from The Daily Wire, residents of Washington D.C.’s iconic Dupont Circle are attempting to rededicate Swann Street, which spans about 5 city blocks in the Dupont Circle neighborhood, in honor of the William Dorsey Swann, a former slave and the first person to self-identify as a “queen of drag.”
“We thought it would be exciting to dedicate Swann Street after William Dorsey Swann, a Black Washingtonian who was a pioneer in a lot of different ways,” advisory Neighborhood Commission 2B member Matthew Holden told DCist.
From The Daily Wire:
Holden also shared a draft of the resolution with the outlet. The resolution notes that Swann, who referred to himself as “The Queen of Drag,” ran a secret social group called the “House of Swann” that organized balls for formerly enslaved men, where attendees would gather to “dance and crossdress.” The resolution also says that Swann was “persecuted by the authorities,” citing his multiple arrests for “‘impersonating a woman’” and “‘keeping a disorderly house.’” It also says that he sought a pardon from President Grover Cleveland, and champions him as “the first American on record to pursue legal action in defense of LGBT rights.”
The resolution thus urges the D.C. city council and Mayor Muriel Bowser to support, pass, and sign into law legislation that would rededicate Swann Street in honor of William Dorsey Swann. “Rededicating Swann Street in honor of William Dorsey Swann would honor the history of the Striver’s Section Historic District as a Black Neighborhood and Dupont Circle’s History as the epicenter of Washington’s LGBT Community,” the draft says.
Continue reading over at The Daily Wire: