A lake of salt and color. Salado's Fashion film
Marsha P. Johnson
These days the LGBTIQ + Pride Day is celebrated internationally but not all of us know the origin of those days of celebration and vindication, which began officially on June 28 and now extends to a week or even a month depending on the state and the city.
Not all of us will have heard the name of Marsha P. Johnson but it is she who is identified as the first (or one of the firsts) to respond to police abuses against the LGBTIQ + collective, more specifically the abuses and physical aggressions that the Drag Queens and transsexuals suffered in the USA. It was a June 28, 1969 when she and her companions formed a mutiny of resistance against one of the attacks (which were already common) of the police, the rebellion of Stonewall.
There was no turning back, the fuse had ignited and what began as a local revolution spread to all the United States and little by little to the whole world. This past Friday was the 50th anniversary of this small gesture that changed the future of the world and that meant the advance without stops for the rights of the LGBTIQ + collective. Although we can not forget that today, in 2019, homosexuality is still criminalized in 70 countries around the world. Transsexuality, as in the case of Marsha, is not even contemplated in many countries.
Marsha was black, transgender, poor and at the end of her life HIV-positive, so it is not surprising that she gets overlooked so many times. She was a strong woman, very committed, a great activist for human rights. She founded the S.T.A.R., an organization that helped the young trans or drags who lived in the streets providing them with shelter, clothing and food.
But perhaps Marsha's facet that is less talked about, since her human part eclipses it, is her creative part. Like many other trans, her life is linked to the Drag, a performance artistic performance that in recent years has been recognized internationally thanks to the RuPaul program. In short, she was a performance artist whose figure was very present in the artistic atmosphere of New York, along with figures such as Andy Warhol. Marsha was photographed by the famous artist as part of his series "ladies and gentlemen", a series of polaroids of dragqueens. Johnson was also part of the group of drag queens for Warhol performances, "Hot Peaches."
In July of 1992, Johnson's body was found floating in the Hudson River, shortly after the Pride march in 1992. The police considered her death a suicide. Nothing is further from reality and although they have not been found any people responsible for her death, her memory and her struggle has not perished and these days we remember her again
I hope you liked this entry and that the figure of Marsha has inspired you. Personally, I think she is an example of a strong, committed and unforgettable woman.