Updated: June 30, 2020 10:32:02 am
Google is honouring LGBTQ+ rights activist Marsha P. Johnson, who is widely credited as one of the pioneers of the LGBTQ+ rights movement in the United States. On June 30, 2019, Marsha, who was also a performer, and a self-identified drag queen, was posthumously honored as a grand marshal of the New York City Pride March.
Born on August 24, 1945, in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Marsha was named Malcolm Michaels Jr. After graduating high school in 1963, she moved to New York City’s Greenwich Village, a burgeoning cultural hub for LGBTQ+ people, where she legally changed her name to Marsha P. Johnson. Her middle initial—“P.”—allegedly stood for her response to those who questioned her gender: “Pay It No Mind.”
Marsha, who is a beloved and charismatic fixture in the LGBTQ+ community, is credited as one of the key leaders of the 1969 Stonewall uprising— widely regarded as a critical turning point for the international LGBTQ+ rights movement. The following year, she founded the Street Transvestite (now Transgender) Action Revolutionaries (STAR) with fellow transgender activist Sylvia Rivera. STAR was the first organization in the US to be led by a trans woman of color and was the first to open North America’s first shelter for LGBTQ+ youth.
In 2019, New York City announced plans to erect statues of Johnson and Rivera in Greenwich Village, which will be one of the world’s first monuments in honor of transgender people.
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