Marsha P. Johnson is transgender and was a famous activist from the 1960s to the 1990s. An activist for the rights of homosexuals and transgenders. She was one of the leaders in clashes with the police in the early morning of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn, a famous bar in a neighborhood of New York City. These so called Stonewall riots were a series of demonstrations by members of the LGBT-community against the police. After years of harassment and violence by the police, the people decided to fight back. Marsha said: “I got my civil rights!” and then Marsha threw a shot glass into a mirror. And that’s what started all the riots. Started the outrage. It is widely considered to be one the most important events leading to the modern fight for equal rights.
Once, appearing in a court the judge asked Marsha, “What does the ‘P’ stand for?” Johnson gave her customary response “Pay it No Mind.” This phrase became her trademark. In 1974 Marsha was photographed by Andy Warhol, as part of a ‘ladies and gentlemen’-series of polaroids featuring drag queens.
In July 1992, short after the 1992 Pride March in New York City, Johnson’s body was found floating in the Hudson River. Police ruled the death a suicide. Johnson’s friends and supporters said she was not suicidal at all, and a people’s postering campaign later declared that Johnson had earlier been harassed near the spot where her body was found. Attempts to get the police to investigate the cause of death were unsuccessful, until November 2012, when the New York police department re-opened the case of Marsha P. Johnson.
(..) That was 1992. In 2013 238 transgenders were found dead. Worldwide. 238. Of what we know. That is why every year we remember. Remember people like Marhsa P. Johnson. To nog forget.
Antony and the Johnsons, a band from New York, was named in Johnson’s honor, and in honor of her Anthony wrote the song called ‘River of Sorrow’.