activistMarsha P. Johnson was a gay liberation activist in America. He was born as Malcolm Michaels Jr. He passed away at the age of forty-six. Johnson was an outspoken activist who boldly fought for gay rights. He was part of the Stonewall uprising that happened in 1969 and one of the founders and members of the Gay Liberation Front. Know about Marsha P. Johnson Biography here as he was a popular person in the gay and art scene of New York life. He also performed as a drag queen.
The birth date of Johnson is August 24, 1945, and his date of the place is Elizabeth, New Jersey. He was born with five siblings. The name of his father is Malcolm Michaels Sr who was working in the assembly line. His mother is Alberta Claiborne who was a housekeeper. He grew up in a Catholic home and was religious. He began to wear dresses at a young age however he got bullied by boys of his age. In an interview, Johnson shared that he was a victim of sexual assault. He hid his feelings and remained inactive by not being in a relationship with anybody until he was seventeen. His mother also humiliated him however he told that his mother was not aware of the LGBT community.
Johnson studied at Edison High School and then after completing the studies he moved to New York to start a life on his own. He lived in Greenwich Village and became a waiter. In this place, he was able to meet many gay people and finally came out of the closet.
Performance and achievements
Johnson decided to use the moniker “Black Marsha” but later he chose the name “Marsha P. Johnson”. He identified himself as a transvestite, gay, and queen. Marsha was also called as Drag Queen because he did not wear expensive clothes but rather went with affordable fashion. He got leftover flowers from a shop in Manhattan. Marsha always dressed in shiny dresses and also wore flowers which drew a lot of attention wherever he went. Jonson was tall and slender so he appeared both masculine and feminine. He performed on the stage with many others and also became a part of many productions.
– Life of Activism
Johnson became one of the first set of drag queens who went to Stonewall Inn. At first, this bar was only frequented by gay men. In the year June 28, 1969, the event leading to Stonewall Uprising happened. It led to a lot of riots and police surrounded the place to stifle it. Then many gay people marched around Greenwich Village a week after the event to start a revolution because of the police raid.
Many people said that Johnson started the riot however he denied it. After this uprising, Johnson became a part of the Gay Liberation Front and he was an active member of it. He defended the rights of gays that led to many historical transformations in the treatment of gays. He got arrested many times because of his stand.
The event surrounding the death of Marsha Johnson is not clear. The police found his body floating in the Hudson River after the 1992 Pride parade. Initially, the police who investigated the case shared that it was a case of suicide. However, his friends claimed that he was not suicidal and there was also a big wound on his head. Some sources say that he got harassed by a group of thugs and killed in the process. His funeral happened at the local church and the last rites performed by his friends.
Personal life of Marsha P. Johnson
Marsha was well known for his warm and generous qualities. He was also saintly. However, sometimes he became angry and in his bouts of anger, he turned vicious. Many people shared that this persona showed the male side of Johnson and they called this personal Malcolm. He talked with a deep voice if he gets aggressive. He took part in many fights and got hospitalized many times because of sustained injuries. Then his friends would arrange money to bail him out of the jail. Moreover, Johnson because of his angry side got banned from many gay bars.
Few interesting facts about Marsha P. Johnson
- Marsha got the name as “mayor of Christopher Street.”
- He is also one of the AIDS activists working along with ACT UP.
- The P in his name is for “pay it no mind”.
- Once he explained the meaning of his name to a judge who got impressed by it thereby releasing him.
- To get justice for Marsha a documentary film got released by David France in 2017 titled The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson.
- The character of Johnson also appears in the fictional film called Stonewall that depicts the events that happened at the Stonewall Uprising.
- Governor Andrew Cuomo made an announcement that the East River Park situated in Brooklyn will receive the name of Johnson. So Johnson became the first LGBT person to have a park named after him.
Marsha P. Johnson is an inspiration to the people of the LGBT community. Many people celebrate the life he has led and how he helped to bring a lot of changes.
Also read: Everything You Need To Know About The LGBTQ Pride Month Which is Celebrated Every Year in June