Monday, September 16, 2019


Article Index

Marsha P. Johnson (1945-1992)



A pioneer for transgender rights, Johnson was a key figure in the 1969 Stonewall uprising, during which members of the LGBT community confronted police following a violent raid on a gay bar by New York City police. Stonewall is seen as a major turning point in the LGBT fight for equal rights, and Johnson was among the vanguard.

From her recent New York Times obit:

“Marsha P. Johnson could be perceived as the most marginalized of people— black, queer, gender-nonconforming, poor,” said Susan Stryker, an associate professor of gender and women’s studies at the University of Arizona. “You might expect a person in such a position to be fragile, brutalized, beaten down. Instead, Marsha had this joie de vivre, a capacity to find joy in a world of suffering. She channeled it into political action, and did it with a kind of fierceness, grace and whimsy, with a loopy, absurdist reaction to it all.”




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Vernellia R. Randall
Founder and Editor
Professor Emerita of Law
The University of Dayton School of Law