Marsha P. Johnson

Black American queer liberation activist (1945–1992)

Marsha P. Johnson (August 24, 1945 – July 6, 1992) also known as Malcolm Michaels Jr., was an American gay liberation activist and self-identified drag queen. Known as an outspoken advocate for gay rights, Johnson was one of the prominent figures in the Stonewall uprising of 1969.

Marsha P. Johnson 1970s


  • "History isn't something you look back at and say it was inevitable, it happens because people make decisions that are sometimes very impulsive and of the moment, but those moments are cumulative realities."
    • [1] on 10th November, 2020.
  • "You never completely have your rights, one person, until you all have your rights."
    • [2] on 10th November, 2020.

Quotes about Marsha P. Johnson

  • The work was of course treacherous, as Marsha P Johnson, proudly brandishing a can of Mace, once said: "It's very dangerous being a transvestite going out on dates because it's so easy to get killed." She and her sisters had to protect themselves and each other, because they knew no one else would...STAR was more than a mutual aid project, as Marsha P. Johnson once said. "We believe in picking up the gun, starting a revolution if necessary. Our main goal is to see gay people liberated and free and have equal rights that other people have in America." Johnson and her comrades innately understood the intersectional nature of their struggle, even if those who should have been their natural allies did not. Sex workers like them provided crucial material and organizational support to the early trans rights movement as well as the broader gay liberation movement, yet due to the stigma attached to their labor, even the most pivotal activists were scrubbed from the narrative.
  • Marsha and I fought for the liberation of our people. We did a lot back then. We did sleep in the streets. Marsha and I had a building on Second Street, which we called STAR House. When we asked the community to help us [tears coming down face] there was nobody to help us. We were nothing. We were nothing! We were taking care of kids that were younger than us. Marsha and I were young and we were taking care of them. And GAA had teachers and lawyers and all we asked was to help us teach our own so we could all become a little bit better. There was nobody there to help us. They left us hanging. There was only one person that that came and help us. Bob Kohler was there. He helped paint. He helped us put wires together. We didn't know what the fuck we were doing. We took a slum building. We tried. We really did. We tried. Marsha and I and a few of the other older drag queens. We kept it going for about a year or two. We went out and made that money off the streets to keep these kids off the streets. We already went through it. We wanted to protect them. To show them that there was a better life. You can't throw people out on the street.
  • legendary Black trans activist and Stonewall rebellion participant Marsha P. Johnson