Google celebrates pioneer transgender activist Marsha P Johnson

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This Google Doodle was illustrated by Los Angeles-based guest artist Rob Gilliam.

Google celebrates LGBTQ + rights activist, performer and self-identified drag queen Marsha P. Johnson, who is widely recognized as one of the pioneers of the LGBTQ + rights movement in the United States.

On this day of 2019, Marsha was posthumously honored as the Grand Marshal of the New York Pride March.

Marsha P. Johnson was born Malcolm Michaels Jr. on August 24, 1945 in Elizabeth, New Jersey. After graduating from high school in 1963, she moved to Greenwich Village in New York, a thriving cultural center for LGBTQ + people. Here she legally changed her name to Marsha P. Johnson. Her initial in the middle – “P” – would have represented her response to those who questioned her gender: “Pay It No Mind”.

A well-loved and charismatic member of the LGBTQ + community, Johnson is recognized as one of the main leaders of the Stonewall uprising in 1969, widely regarded as a turning point for the international LGBTQ + rights movement. The following year, she founded the Street Transvestite (now transgender) Action Revolutionaries (STAR) with another transgender activist, Sylvia Rivera. STAR was the first organization in the United States to be led by a trans woman of color and was the first to open the first shelter in North America for LGBTQ + youth.

In 2019, New York announced its intention to erect statues of Johnson and Rivera in Greenwich Village, which will be one of the first monuments in the world in honor of transgender people.

This Google Doodle was illustrated by Los Angeles-based guest artist Rob Gilliam.

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