Marsha P Johnson, a pioneer in the LGBTQ + rights movement, is celebrated for her relentless fight for the respect of all lives. Google Doodle closed Pride Month on June 30 by paying tribute to the icon. An illustration of her by Los Angeles-based guest artist Rob Gilliam is today’s Doodle.
Who was Marsha P Johnson?
Marsha P Johnson was a transgender African American woman from New Jersey. His fight for transgender rights had a big impact in the 60s and 70s. It was a time when homosexuals were mistreated, threatened in society. In the United States, homosexuals were classified among those who suffered from “mental illness”.
The life of Marsha P Johnson
She was born under the name of Malcolm Michaels Jr. on August 24, 1945 in New Jersey. One of seven siblings, his father was an assembly line worker at General Motors. She moved to New York after finishing high school in 1963. The Greenwich Village in New York, where she spent her time, was a cultural center for LGBTQ + people.
Malcolm Michaels Jr. legally changed his name to Marsha P. Johnson and the middle name “P” was apparently his answer to everyone who asked his gender: “Pay It No Mind”. Charismatic character, she was a self-proclaimed drag queen.
The Stonewall movement
In June 1969, New York police raided a gay bar called “The Stonewall Inn”. About 200 people were dragged out of the bar and beaten. Marsha P Johnson was 23 years old at the time. She was one of the few to oppose police brutality. Violent protests followed and for the first time, homosexuals went out on the road walking for their rights. It has become a global movement.
The New York Police Department in 2019 apologized and said that “the actions taken by the NYPD were wrong.”
The work of Marsha P Johnson
She was a founding member of the Gay Liberation Front and also co-founded the activist group Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (S.T.A.R.), alongside her close friend Sylvia Rivera. Marsha P Johnson performed on stage with the Hot Peaches troupe. From 1987 to 1992, she was an AIDS activist and worked hard to raise awareness.
Marsha P Johnson: 5 inspirational quotes
- “I may be crazy, but that doesn’t hurt me.”
- “I was nobody, nobody, from Nowheresville, until I became a drag queen.”
- “How many years has it taken people to realize that we are all brothers and sisters and human beings in the human race?”
- “No one promised you tomorrow”
- “No pride for some of us without release for all of us”