On what would have been Marsha P Johnson’s 77th birthday, the founder of the institute that bears her name discusses her powerful, often misunderstood legacy.

Marsha P Johnson, born 24 August, 1945, holds a special place within the LGBTQ+ community for her larger-than-life spirit and trans rights activism. She was instrumental in the 1969 Stonewall riots which kickstarted the modern fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the US.

Along with Sylvia Rivera, who was also a key part of Stonewall, she established their landmark STAR organisation in 1970 to help homeless trans youth and other marginalised groups in New York City. She also was one of the founding members of the Gay Liberation Front.

Elle Moxley is founder and executive director of the Marsha P Johnson Institute. She say that Johnson has been “claimed by many people” over the years, but ultimately she was person who “belonged to herself… no matter how many people put a saint narrative or a heroic figure around her”.

“Marsha lived homeless for a majority of her life, faced the rejection of her community and was someone who was bigger-than-life,” Moxley told PinkNews.

Read more at PinkNews

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