"Marsha P Johnson" Prints
"Marsha P Johnson" is a print of a hand drawn polygonal drawing on 11 x 14" Bristol board paper using micron marker, prismacolor colored pencils, mars black acrylic paint and hand stamped with antique letter stamps and white ink.
Marsha P. Johnson (1945 - 1992) was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Marsha's childhood was difficult because she was raised in a Christian household that didn't accept her. After graduating high school, Marsha moved to Greenwich Village in New York City where she experienced homelessness. She was a sex worker, and found joy as a drag queen amidst the nightlife of Christopher Street. Marsha designed all of her own costumes (mostly from thrift shops). She quickly became a prominent fixture in the LGBTQ community serving as a “drag mother” by helping homeless and struggling LGBTQ youth.
Known for her outlandish hats and glamorous jewelry, she was fearless and bold. Whenever she was asked about her gender or sexuality, she quipped back with “pay it no mind.” That's how she got the P in Marsha P. Johnson.
As an African American trans woman, Johnson has consistently been overlooked as a leader in LGBTQ activism. Despite this, Marsha and her friend Sylvia Rivera co-founded the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) and they became fixtures in the community, especially in their commitment to helping homeless transgender youth. STAR provided shelter to homeless LGBTQ people for a few years in the early 1970s, but eventually disbanded.
Sadly, at the age of 46, Marsha’s body was found in the Hudson River off the West Village Piers. The police ruled she had committed suicide despite claims from her friends and other members of the local community that she was not suicidal. Twenty-five years later, Victoria Cruz, a crime victim advocate of the New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP) re-opened the case.
Marsha is an inimitable hero in the LGBTQ+ liberation movement. Her ability to be herself is the greatest gift she could have given to all of us -- a model of how to live one's life.
"I was no one, nobody, from Nowheresville until I became a drag queen. That's what made me in New York, that's what made me in New Jersey, that's what made me in the world." Marsha P. Johnson
20% of the proceeds of sale goes directly to Video Out an organization that emboldens members of the LGBTQIA+ community to share their stories.