Profile Image of Marsha P. Johnson

Marsha P. Johnson

1945-08-24 - 1992-07-06

Marsha P. Johnson (August 24, 1945 – July 6, 1992) 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. Johnson was a founding member of the Gay Liberation Front and co-founded the radical activist group Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (S.T.A.R.), alongside close friend Sylvia Rivera. Popular in New York gay life, Johnson was also active in the City's art scene, modeling for Andy Warhol, and appearing onstage with the drag performance troupe Hot Peaches. Johnson was known as the "mayor of Christopher Street" for being a welcoming presence in the streets of Greenwich Village. Beginning in 1987, Johnson was an AIDS activist with ACT UP. Johnson's body was found floating in the Hudson River in 1992. While initially ruled a suicide by the NYPD, controversy and protest followed the case, eventually re-opened as a possible homicide.