It’s been 25 years since the world lost the legendary transgender leader of the civil rights movement for gender nonconforming people, Marcia P. Johnson, under mysterious circumstances. Now her story is headed to Netflix by way of David France’s documentary, The Death and Life of Marcia P. Johnson.
France’s film reexamines Johnson’s death and recounts her incredible life alongside fellow trans icon, Sylvia Rivera, as they launched the modern gay rights movement in New York City. The two women were also the founders of the world’s first trans-rights organization, STAR (Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries), in 1970.
Johnson’s life ended tragically when the self-proclaimed “street queen” was found dead in the Hudson River in 1992. What’s even more tragic was that the New York Police Department refused to investigate her death.
The police ruled Johnson’s death a suicide, a conclusion that many of Johnson’s friends and followers disagreed with. Now, 25 years later, veteran crime-victim advocate Victoria Cruz decided that, at 70 years old, she would take on one last case and figure out what happened to Marsha P. Johnson.
The film follows Cruz’s investigation of the past, while educating viewers about the challenges the LGBT community still faces today.
He hopes that through Netflix streaming his film, Johnson and Rivera’s legacy will live on and viewers will understand how great of an impact these two women had on the gay and transgender community.
Keep your eyes peeled later this year for Netflix’s release of The Death and Life of Marcia P. Johnson. It’s a film that can educate us and help us strive towards a better, more inclusive, future.