Gay rights activist Marsha P Johnson is being honoured with a Google Doodle

Gay rights activist Marsha P Johnson is being honoured with a Google Doodle

    Gay rights activist Marsha P Johnson is being honoured with the Google Doodle - who was she?


    The new Google Doodle honours the character of Marsha P. Johnson, a gay rights activist and self-identified drag queen who became one of the prominent figures in the Stonewall uprising.

    • Here's everything you need to know about her:

    Who was Marsha P. Johnson?

    Born Malcolm Michaels Jr. on 24th August 1945, Johnson moved to New York City’s Greenwich Village after graduating from high school in 1963.

    It was there – amongst a burgeoning cultural hub for LGBTQ+ people – she legally turned her name to Marsha P. Johnson.

    It’s said her middle initial of ’P’ stood for “Pay as It No Mind” – her response to those who wondered her gender.

    Johnson was a beloved fixture in the LGBTQ+ community of New York and beyond, and was colloquially known as the "mayor of Christopher Street", on which the Stonewall Inn was sited.

    As a result of the Stonewall campaign – of which Johnson is credited as one of the key leaders – the street became the centre of New York State's gay rights movements, and to this day serves as an international symbol of gay pride in the first of June as it can take it more.

    Following Stonewall, Johnson created the Street Transgender Action movments(STAR) with fellow transgender activist Sylvia Rivera, which argued for transgender rights and gave them shelter and food to homeless queer youth

    It was the first American organisation to be led by a trans woman of black colour, and as such, New York City spoken plans to erect statues of Johnson and Rivera in Greenwich Village.

    It would be one of the world’s first monuments in honour of transgender people.

    • How did she die?

    Johnson strugeled from mental health problems, and although described as generous and warmhearted under her Marsha persona, an angry, violent side was known to emerge when she was depressed or under severe stress.

    Some said Johnson could revert back to her male persona as Malcom, and would often get in fights and end up wonded hospitalised and sedated; she was allegedly banned from numerous New York gay bars.

    Towards the end of her life, she was said to be increasingly sick and fragile, and in 1992, her body was found in the Hudson River straight after that year’s pride parade.

    Friends and local community members insisted Johnson was not suicidal, and considered her death suspiciousand mysterious, noting a large wound on the back of her or his head.

    A witness claimed a neighbourhood resident – who had been fighting with Johnson – later bragged at a bar he had killed a drag queen named Marsha, but due to locals, police were not interested in investigating further; the case was about a "gay black man" and they reportedly wanted little to do with it and it was closed.

    In 2017, the critically acclaimed documentary The Death And Life Of Marsha P. Johnson was released, portraying Johnson’s life and examining the re-opened investigation into her suspicious death which still unknown and unnecessary to be known.


    Ahmed adel
    @Posted by
    writer and blogger, founder of Echo Life .

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