Google Doodle | On this day in 2019, Marsha was posthumously honored as a grand marshal of the New York City Pride March.
- Last Updated: June 30, 2020, 8:21 AM IST
Pride Month | Google on Tuesday honoured LGBTQ+ rights activist and self-identified drag queen Marsha P Johnson for emerging as one of the pioneers of the LGBTQ+ rights movement in the US. Today’s Google doodle, illustrated by Los Angeles-based guest artist Rob Gilliam, has shown Marsha with all smiles and sporting her iconic flowery and colourful headgear.
On this day last year, Marsha was posthumously honored as a grand marshal of the New York City Pride March. New York City had also announced plans to erect statues of Marsha and her fellow transgender activist Sylvia Rivera Rivera in Greenwich Village, which will be one of the world’s first monuments in honor of transgender people.
Marsha was born Malcolm Michaels Jr. on August 24th, 1945, in Elizabeth, New Jersey. After graduating high school in 1963, she moved to New York City’s Greenwich Village, a burgeoning cultural hub for LGBTQ+ people. Here, she legally changed her name to Marsha P. Johnson. Her middle initial-“P.”-allegedly stood for her response to those who questioned her gender: “Pay It No Mind.”
Marsha is credited as one of the key leaders of the 1969 Stonewall uprising-widely regarded as a critical turning point for the international LGBTQ+ rights movement. The following year, she founded the Street Transvestite (now Transgender) Action Revolutionaries (STAR) which was the first organisation in the United States to be led by a trans woman of color and was the first to open North America’s first shelter for LGBTQ+ youth, said Google.
“As a queer person of color I owe Marsha so much. She was the catalyst for our liberation, the driving force behind the movement that has given many of us the rights and freedoms that we previously couldn’t even dream of. Marsha created a space for us in western society through her empowering bravery and refusal to be silenced,” said artist Rob Gilliam.