“Pay It No Mind”
Marsha “Pay it No Mind” Johnson (1945-1992) was an African American trans woman who was a force behind the Stonewall Riots and surrounding activism that sparked a new phase of the LGBTQ+ movement in 1969. Along with Sylvia Rivera, she established the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries now “Transgendered” (STAR) in 1970–a group committed to supporting transgender youth experiencing homelessness in New York City.
Marsha P. Johnson was tragically murdered on July 6, 1992 at the age of forty-six. Her case was originally closed by the NYPD as an alleged suicide, but transgender activist Mariah Lopez fought for it to be reopened for investigation in 2012. Marsha P. Johnson is now one of the most venerated icons in LGBTQ+ history, and has been celebrated in a series of books, documentaries and films. Her actions and words continue to inspire trans activism and resistance and will continue to do so well into the future.