Google Doodle honours trans pioneer and LGBTIQ+ hero Marsha P. Johnson

To mark the end of Pride Month in the US, Google has paid tribute to Black trans pioneer, HIV activist and Stonewall hero Marsha P. Johnson in the day’s Google Doodle.

A key figure in the 1969 Stonewall riots that were a major catalyst for the momentum of LGBTIQ+ rights around the world, Johnson was a founding member of the Gay Liberation Front and the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (S.T.A.R.), along with close friend Sylvia Rivera, another giant of LGBTIQ+ activism in the USA.

Johnson identified as gender non-conforming, though the term transgender was not widely adopted at the time. Johnson also performed as a drag queen, where the P reportedly stood for ‘Pay them no mind’, and was also dubbed the Mayor of Christopher Street – the location of the legendary Stonewall Inn.

In the late 1980s, up until her death in 1992, Johnson was a prominent member of AIDS Activism group ACT UP, fighting against the AIDS pandemic at its peak, alongside the legendary Larry Kramer who passed away earlier this month.

Johnson’s body was found in the Hudson River in 1992, shortly after New York’s annual Pride Parade. Initially her death was considered to be a suicide, but after years of campaigning the case was reopened and police reclassified her death as undetermined.

Johnson’s legacy lives on through her work, and numerous honours in her name. Most recently, A Brooklyn park was renamed after Johnson in a ceremony led by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

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