Gabriela Herstik
March 23, 2017 1:33 pm

For this Women’s History Month, we continue to honor the women who have paved the way for marginalized communities. Violent crimes towards the trans community have risen by 13%  according to a 2014 study, and it is crucial to remember the women and men who have ushered actions towards trans equality. This includes restoring the legacy of  transgender pioneers like Marsha P Johnson, who will be getting a new documentary. And this time, the documentary will focus on the circumstances surrounding her death.

Johnson was a transgender woman of color and drag queen who moved to New York’s West Village in 1967 in an attempt to escape the bigotry she had faced growing up.

Johnson celebrated her 25th birthday at Stonewall the night she moved, and played a vital role in sparking the Stonewall riots, as well as the modern transgender and gay civil rights movement. Johnson also started a transgender rights group alongside Sylvia Rivera, which was called STAR (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries). It also served as a shelter for homeless trans teens and drag queens. Besides being an activist, Johnson was also a cultural figure, and is described as the true mother of drag.

Now, Johnson’s legacy continues in a documentary called The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson, which will be shown this year at Tribeca Film Festival.  Johnson died in 1992, with her body mysteriously appearing in the Hudson River. Her death was ruled as a suicide, although some friends claim that it wasn’t, reporting that they saw her getting harassed earlier in the day.

This documentary will follow a new investigation into her mysterious death, hopefully bringing justice to such an important woman.

Her legacy lives on.

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