Marsha P Johnson, the trailblazing LGBT+ activist, played a vital part in the Stonewall Uprising of 1969 and dedicated her life to fighting for the rights of queer people.
Were Johnson alive in 2020, she would be 75 years old and without doubt still on the frontlines of the battle for civil rights.
An institute in her name continues her fight for the rights of Black trans people almost three decades after her tragic death in 1992, aged 46, and more than 50 years after she took part in Stonewall, she is rightfully remembered around the world as one of the pioneers of the LGBT+ rights movement.
As calls for Black trans lives to be recognised and uplifted are echoed around the world, Johnson’s work and incredible life story are perhaps more relevant now than ever. Here, we round up 13 facts about Marsha P Johnson that you probably didn’t know.
1. Marsha P Johnson started wearing dresses at the age of five.
Johnson started expressing her gender by wearing dresses when she was just five years old – but she quickly stopped after boys in her neighbourhood started harassing her.
It would be years before she felt comfortable enough to express her gender identity openly again.
2. She grew up in a staunchly religious household where being LGBT+ was frowned upon.
Life was very different for queer people in the United States when Johnson was born in 1945. Like many people of her generation, she grew up in a strictly-religious home where being LGBT+ was not only frowned upon, but was strictly forbidden.
Johnson’s mother once told her that being gay was like being “lower than a dog”.
3. Johnson suppressed her identity until she was old enough to leave New Jersey behind.
Marsha P Johnson coped with being queer in a non-affirming home in the only way possible: she suppressed her identity completely.
When she was 17 years old, she packed her bags and moved to New York City with just $15 to her name. It was there that she met other LGBT+ people and felt comfortable enough to come out while waiting on tables in Greenwich Village.
4. Marsha P Johnson’s name was inspired by a restaurant.
Marsha P Johnson initially identified herself as “Black Marsha”, but later came up with her full name from the restaurant Howard Johnson’s on 42nd Street. The “P” in her name stood for “pay it no mind” – her response when people asked her about her gender.
5. She became well-known in New York City for her drag performances.
Johnson became involved with the drag performance group Hot Peaches in 1972, and continued performing with the theatre company until the early 1990s.
One of her last performances with the group came in 1990, when she appeared in The Heat while wearing an ACT UP t-shirt.
6. Marsha P Johnson initially had her role in the Stonewall Riots erased.
In Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution, David Carter concluded that Johnson may have been excluded from accounts of the Stonewall Uprising due to fears that her identity “could have been used effectively by the movement’s opponents”.
Johnson herself said she arrived at the Stonewall Inn shortly after the riots kicked off, at around 2am. Some accounts suggest that, on the second night of rioting, Johnson climbed a lamppost and dropped a bag with a brick in it on a police car, shattering the windshield.
7. She was banned from a gay Pride parade because of discriminatory attitudes among queer people.
Johnson and her friend and fellow activist Sylvia Rivera were banned from marching in the 1973 gay Pride parade by gay men and lesbians, who insisted that they didn’t want “drag queens” at the event.
They claimed that Johnson and Rivera were “giving them a bad name”, leading to the pair being pushed out of the movement they had helped to kickstart.
8. Johnson dedicated much of her time to helping homeless gay and trans youth.
Johnson and Rivera set up the STAR House in 1972, a home where homeless gay and trans youths could seek refuge. They paid the rent on the house using their own money.
While the house was in operation, Johnson provided young people with clothes, food, emotional support and a sense of family.
9. The pioneering activist claimed to have been arrested more than 100 times throughout her life.
Marsha P Johnson claimed to have been arrested more than 100 times throughout her life – with the first of many taking place in 1970.
In the early 1970s, she was arrested for hustling – and responded by hitting police officers with a handbag with two bricks inside it. When the judge asked her why she had been hustling, she claimed to be raising funds for a tombstone for her husband.
When the judge asked what had happened to her “alleged husband”, she replied: “Pig shot him.”
10. She once modelled for acclaimed artist Andy Warhol.
Andy Warhol is known as one of the leading figures in the pop-art movement, and during his incredible career, he created an early portrait of Marsha P Johnson.
Warhol created the portrait of Johnson for his Ladies and Gentlemen series, which focused on trans women and drag queens.
11. Marsha P Johnson’s death has never been solved.
Marsha P Johnson went missing in the summer of 1992, shaking the New York queer community to its core.
Sadly, its worst fears came true on July 6, the her body was discovered in the Hudson River.
Her death was ruled a suicide, but friends and supporters have maintained that this was not the case. It was been widely suggested she was the victim of a hate-fuelled murder,
Two decades on, in 2012, a campaign to have her case reopened was successful, with the NYPD reclassifying her cause of death from suicide to undetermined.
12. Residents in her hometown recently campaigned for a statue of Christoper Columbus to be replaced with one of Marsha P Johnson.
While Johnson felt the need to get out of Elizabeth, New Jersey, in order to live her life fully and freely, she is remembered as a beacon of hope in her hometown today.
Recently, more than 3,500 residents signed a petition calling for the statue of Christopher Columbus in the town to be torn down and replaced with one of Johnson.
13. Johnson’s life has been commemorated in several New York City spots – but it took years for her to gain the recognition she deserved.
Sadly, Marsha P Johnson never received the recognition she deserved as a champion of LGBT+ rights during her lifetime.
She has been paid increasing attention in recent years, and several memorials have helped to commemorate her life.
In May of last year, it was announced that Johnson and Sylvia Rivera would have monuments dedicated to their memories in Greenwich Village.
Earlier this year, New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the East River Park in Brooklyn would be renamed in her honour – thus proving.
Check out the original story here: Pink News.
Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?
Join a gay dating site where you can meet single guys from any town or city. Rely instead on Gay Dating Solutions to do the work for you! Don’t get fooled by free offers made by other sites. Gay Dating Solutions is offering a FREE 6 month promotion ABSOLUTELY no strings, request for credit card numbers, etc…it is the only site that is truly free to join!
Sign-up now: www.gaydatingsolutions.com
Download our mobile apps: https://appurl.io/jd0jaqp0
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/GayDating101
Tweet us: twitter.com/GayDating101
Tags: #BigBankChallenge #BohemianKissChallenge #EqualityActJapan #StopAsianHate 2020 Olympics Aaron Schock Adam Castillejo Adam Rippon addiction ageism Aging AhTave AIDS Aime Wichtendal Alaska Alex Morse Almost Love America's Next Top Model American Medical Association Amy Coney Barrett Annise Parker Antes Que El Mundo Se Acabe Anti-Asian Violence Anti-LGBTQ ANTM anxiety Aptima HIV-1 Arizona Armie Hammer astrology At-home date Atlanta Atlanta Black Pride Atlanta Nightlife Atlanta Pride Atlanta Pride Run Austin Swink Austin Texas Backpacks for the Street Basel Abou Hamrah BFI Flare Bisexual BLACK GAY MEN Black LGBTQ Atlanta Black Lives Matter Black Love Bohemian Rhapsody Boston Boston MA Brian Sims Broadway bully Bullying California Call Me By Your Name Canada Capital Pride Capitalism Cason Crane Celebrity News censorship Chemistry Chemsex Chicago Chicago IL Chris Evans Christian proselytizing Christianity Christmas Christmas movie Christmas Movies Chucky Circus of Books civil unions Cody McCook Colorado Comedy coming out commentary compatibility Confidence Congress conspiracy theory Conversion therapy CoronaVirus COVID COVID-19 Covid-19 vaccine daddy Dallas Dallas Gay Bars Dallas Gayborhood Dallas Texas Danica Roem Daniel Harding Daniel Howell Date night dating Dating Apps dating rut dating tips DC Pride Dead to Me Denver Depression discrimination Disney Documentary Dolf Pasker Dolly Parton Domestic Violence Donald Trump Donna Price Drag Race drag racing Dustin Lance Black election Election 2020 Election Day Elite Employment Entertainment Entertainment news epidemic Fabio Fasoli Family family gatherings Film Finding True Love First Date First Date Etiquette first date ideas first date tips Flirting Tips Flirty Dancing Florida Fort Lauderdale Franklin Graham Freddie Mercury Garrett Clayton gay gay asian gay asian men Gay Atlanta Gay beaches Gay Boston Gay Chicago Gay Couple Gay Couples Gay Culture Gay Dallas Gay Dallas Nightlife gay dating gay dating advice gay dating app gay dating apps Gay Dating Solutions Gay Dating Tips gay discrimination gay film Gay Florida Gay Fort Lauderdale Gay Health Gay Holiday Movie Gay Houston gay kiss Gay Love Advice gay marriage gay marriage proposal gay men Gay Miami gay midlife Gay Mountaineer Gay Movies Gay New York Gay Nurse Gay Panic Gay Pride gay relationship advice gay relationship tips gay relationships Gay Scene gay seniors gay sex gay singles Gay Soldier Gay Travel Gay Twitter Gay Wedding gay weddings Gay Widower Gays Over COVID gaysian Gen Z Generation Z Georgia Gert Kasteel Ghosting GLAAD GOP Gorsuch Guy Vandenberg Gym Gays Haaz Sleiman Hallmark Halloween Hate Crime Health HGVT HIV HIV prevention HIV stigma HIV treatment HIV vaccine HIV/AIDS hobbies Holi-date Holiday Film Holiday Movies Holidays Hollywood Holyoke Homophobia hooking up hookup hookup culture Hot Vax Summer House Hunters Houston Texas Houston TX Hulu Ian Jordan Indya Moore Instagay Instagram intersex Intimacy Iowa Iowa caucus isolation It's A Sin Jake Gyllenhaal James Bushe Japan Jaymes Vaughan Jayson Conner Jeffrey Newman Jennifer Tilly Jewish Jewish persecution Joe Biden Jonathan Bennett Josef Salvat Jussi-Pekka Kajaala Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg JVN Jwan Yosef Karamo Brown Kristine Stolakis Lady Gaga Lesbian lesbian couple Let It Snow LGBT LGBT Travel Guide LGBT-Free Zones LGBTQ LGBTQ Asians LGBTQ Atlanta LGBTQ Boston LGBTQ Chicago LGBTQ Dallas LGBTQ discrimination LGBTQ employees LGBTQ Family LGBTQ Film LGBTQ Film Festival LGBTQ Films LGBTQ flag LGBTQ Fort Lauderdale LGBTQ Health LGBTQ Houston LGBTQ Miami LGBTQ movies LGBTQ New York LGBTQ NYC LGBTQ Pride LGBTQ retirees LGBTQ retirement LGBTQ Rights LGBTQ Seniors LGBTQ Victory Institute LGBTQ Youth Life Lifetime Lifetime TV Network Linda Warren lockdown London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival loneliness Love Victor Luke Evans Male Nurse Malik Brown marriage equality marriage proposal Marsha P Johnson Marvel Marvin Cortes Massachusetts mature gay dating mental health Mexico Miami Miami Beach Miami Beach Pride Miami Florida Michael Cashman Michael Henry Middle-aged gay men midlife Modern Family mormon Mr. Right Muscle gays music video My Gay Match NASCAR National Coming Out Day Nationwide Conversion Therapy Ban Neil Gorsuch Netflix Netflix Special Nevada New Year's Resolution New York New York City Nonbinary North Dakota Northern Ute tribe Nurse Appreciation Week NYC NYC Events NYC Pride NYC Pride 2021 Oak Lawn Obergefell v. Hodges older gay man Omander Omar Ayuso One True Pairing online dating online dating apps online dating tips online gay dating Online trolls Open Relationship Operation Hyacinth OTP Outfest Outfest LA 2021 Outfest Los Angeles Pan-African Pride pandemic Paper Moons Pat Robertson Pennsylvania Perez Hilton personality personality type Pete Buttigieg Pink Capitalism Poland Politics polyamorous polyamorous relationship polyamorous relationships Pope Francis Pose power bottom Pray Away PrEP pride Pride 2021 Pride Afrique Pride Flag Pride Month Prince Harry profile pic Puerto Vallarta quarantine Queer eye Queer Film Queer Films Queer Holiday Movies Queer Lawmakers Queer Love Story Queer Santa Queer Youth racism Rafa Olarra Rainbow Wave Reddit Relationship relationship advice Relationship Tips relationships religion Rep. Andy Biggs Republican retirement Ricky Martin rom-com Romantic Comedy Ryan Murphy Ryan O’Connell Samaritan’s Purse same sex marriage Same Sex Relationships Same Sex Wedding Same-Sex Couples Same-Sex Kiss same-sex marriage ban Schitt’s Creek Score Miami Score Nightclub Scott Evans Scott Wiener Section 28 self isolation self-care Senior Gay Dating Senior Gay Men senior gays Senior Prom Seven Summits sex Sex Education sex life sexual identity sexual preference sexual racism sexuality short film Shy Gay Guys Single All the Way single gay man Single Gay Men Single Gays Single Young Gays social distancing social isolation social media Social Security Somerville sports Stonewall Stonewall Riots straight men Super Bowl ads Super Bowl commercials Super Bowl LIV Supreme Court Switzerland Syfy Syria Tan France Television Tennessee The Boys in the Band The Center on Colfax The Christmas Setup The Eternals The First The Thing About Harry Threesome throuple TikTok Tom Daley toxic masculinity Transgender Travel Travis Shumake true love Trump administration Turner Free TV series Tweets Twitter Unconditional Love United Methodist Church US economy US Supreme Court Valentine's day viral video Virginia Washington DC Web Series Wedding Workplace workplace discrimination World AIDS Day World Pride young gay men Youth YouTube