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Marsha P. Johnson and her impact to the trans community 

by Flavia Lobato

 

Marsha P. Johnson Drag Queen Transgender Break Rules talkingfashion

 

By throwing the first brick, she along with Sylvia Rivera began the historic Stonewall Riots that would forever highlight LGBT rights. Both Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera were gay rights activists,  transgender women, and people of color living in the tumultuous era of the 1960s. One morning in 1969 on Christopher St. in New York City, Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and a number of other LGBT individuals were enjoying their stay at the Stonewall Inn. This was until a police raid was conducted, and Marsha P. Johnson took matters into her own hands and stood up for not only her rights but also for the rights for the millions of other LGBT individuals that must live in ridicule just for being who they are. Ms. Johnson took to the streets along with her other activist friends and lead the first major wave of riots. The Stonewall Riots would be one of the most important events that would lead up to the gay liberation movement and later modern LGBT rights in America. 

As an African American transgender women, Johnson is often overlooked in the discussion of LGBT rights. The erasure of her perspective from both the media and our history books omits the contributions that people of color and the transgender community have contributed to the LGBT movement thus far. Without her bravery in starting those riots just 50 years ago, there would be no spark that would ignite not only the Gay Pride March but also the advancements in the human rights advocacy. We stand not only in solidarity with Marsha P. Johnson, but also with the millions of other transgender individuals around the world. We see you, we hear you, you matter, and your history won’t be erased from our pages.

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