Marsha P Johnson Institute, named after the Black trans campaigner, sex worker, mother figure for homeless queer youth and key figure of the Stonewall Riots.She was only five when Marsha — P for ‘Pay It No Mind’ — Johnson died at 46 in 1992.Since then, she has seen Johnson’s legacy soar as her calls for queer, racial and social justice gain recognition as if she was the new activist on the block.‘There are people who come across Marsha P Johnson who still assume that Marsha is alive,’ Moxley says.‘But when people hear about the Martin Luther King Jr Center or the Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz Center in Harlem, they do not consider these heroes, these Black figures of hope in justice, in resiliency and preservation, alive.‘So what’s the difference?’Teen gang member named for first time after gun attack left boy, 13, paralysedMillions could see annual mortgage payments rise by £5,000 in next two yearsMason Greenwood 'arrested for breaching bail on rape and assault allegations'There are two reasons, Moxley says.
Johnson wasn’t just Black. She was Black, trans and a woman.And when it comes to the history books, Black trans women’s names are often the first to be forgotten.‘That’s just the reality of what it is to be a Black trans woman in the world, it takes 30 or so years for our stories to come in the media,’ Moxley says.Johnson was born in 1945 in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
By 1965, she found herself in New York City with nothing more than $15 in her pocket and a bag of clothes. Life wasn’t easy for LGBTQ+ people.
New York State may have lowered sodomy from a felony to a misdemeanor in 1950 but discrimination remained rife.Johnson knew this.