IPR is featuring some of the many LGBTQ+ pioneers and modern-day heroes to celebrate Pride month.
Marsha P. Johnson was a Black trans woman and social activist. She legally changed her name after moving from New Jersey to Greenwich Village in 1966 and was recognized for being a central figure in the American LGBTQ+ liberation movement.
Johnson lived most of her life on the streets of New York without a permanent home or financial arrangements, a common struggle for transgender individuals. Johnson felt transgender people who just wanted to express their true selves deserved support from the growing LGBTQ+ community in New York. Along with fellow activist Sylvia Rivera, she founded the Street Transvestite (now Transgender) Action Revolutionaries (STAR) to help others facing the struggles of an unaccepting society.
Johnson also was one of the protestors at the Stonewall Riots, which lasted nearly a week after police raided a gay bar in New York City. The Stonewall Riots helped ignite transgender activism and reform and led to the formation of various advocacy groups. She also participated in the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) which sought political action and protection against oppressive laws and inequality based on sexual orientation. Due to her many contributions, Johnson is recognized today as a pivotal figure in the fight for Black and LGBTQ+ rights.
Stonewall Riots: The Beginning of the LGBT Movement
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
About Marsha P. Johnson
Office of LGBTQ+ Affairs – County of Union, New Jersey
Marsha “Pay it no Mind” Johnson