tech2 News StaffJun 30, 2020 09:48:39 IST
On this day in 2019, a powerful LGBTQ+ rights activist, performer, and self-identified drag queen Marsha P Johnson was given the posthumous honour of "Grand Marshal" of the New York City Pride March.
In a decorative, colorful illustration by Los Angeles-based artist Rob Gilliam, the Google Doodle today celebrates the LGBTQ+ activist Johnson, who is widely credited as one of the pioneers of the LGBTQ+ rights movement in the United States. Johnson was born on 24 August 1945, in New Jersey as Malcolm Michaels Jr.
After graduating high school in 1963, she moved to New York City’s Greenwich Village, which is a burgeoning, thriving community of LGBTQ+ people and culture. After she arrived, she legally changed her name to Marsha P Johnson. Her initial "P" was allegedly also her response to those who questioned her gender: "Pay It No Mind", as per a Google blog post on the doodle.
Johnson grew to be one of the most beloved and charismatic figures in the LGBTQ+ community. She is regarded as among the key leaders that brought about the 1969 Stonewall uprising — a key event and turning point in the global LGBTQ+ rights movement.
The year following the uprising, Johnson founded the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (now 'Street Transgender Action Revolutionaries' or STAR) with fellow transgender activist Sylvia Rivera. In the USA, STAR was the first organization to be led by a trans woman of color and the first organisation to open the country's first shelter for LGBTQ+ youth.
In 2019, New York City announced plans to put up statues of Johnson and Rivera in Greenwich Village – one of the world’s first monuments in honor of transgender people.
Google put it best when it said, "Thank you, Marsha P Johnson, for inspiring people everywhere to stand up for the freedom to be themselves."
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