The Life of Marsha P. Johnson

The Activist Marsha P. Johnson, a transgender drag queen who stood up for Gay rights.

By Ethan McGinty, Staff Writer

Marsha P. Johnson, a transgender drag queen born on August 24th, 1945, is known for standing up for and liberating LGBTQ+ rights and being a prominent figure during the Stonewall Riots.  The Stonewall Riots were a series of violent protests by members of the gay community against a police raid that took place on June 28th, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City.

Johnson, was a leader for the riots, not only standing up for Gay Rights during the Stonewall Riot but advocating for rights during her life span, before being “increasingly sick” at the time of her death.  After the 1992 pride parade, her body was found in the Hudson River. There is speculation that her death may have been homicide or a suicide.

Marsha P. Johnson had an active life in the gay community and was very supportive of rights for everyone. She was a part of the ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) movement, an international direct group that advocated for people suffering or dealing with AIDS and the AIDS pandemic.

She was an amazing and inspirational leader to many and still is to this day and it’s truly devastating how her death came upon her and so unexpectedly. Marsha P. Johnson will forever be a legend and an inspiration to many LGBTQ+ people. There is a documentary about her on Netflix called The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson.