• Bio – Marsha P. Johnson

    Born on August 24, 1945 in New Jersey, she had six siblings. Although she started wearing dresses at age 5, it was not until she graduated high school and moved to Greenwich Village that she started doing drag. She would say that the P stood for “pay it no mind” and that was how she would respond to questions about her gender.  She identified herself as gay, a transvestite, and as a drag queen. She was a gay rights activist and an important figure in the Stonewall Riots. She was a founding member of the Gay Liberation front and with her friends Sylvia Rivera, founded STAR (street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries) to help serve queer street kids.  She lived on the streets for years and struggled with mental health issues. Shortly after the 1992 Pride Parade her body was found floating in the Hudson river. The police ruled it a suicide but there have been questions about the veracity of this conclusion. And activist Mariah Lopez succeeded in getting the police to reopen her case as a possible homicide in 2012. Her death was explored in the documentary “The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson.”

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