Marsha P. Johnson
Marsha P. Johnson
August 24, 1945
|Died||July 6, 1992 (aged 46)|
New York City, U.S.
|Known for||Gay liberation and AIDS activist, performer with the Hot Peaches and the Angels of Light|
Marsha P. Johnson (August 24, 1945 – July 6, 1992), born and also known as Malcolm Michaels Jr., was an American gay liberation activist and self-identified drag queen. Known as an outspoken advocate for gay rights, Johnson was one of the prominent figures in the Stonewall uprising of 1969. Johnson was a founding member of the Gay Liberation Front and co-founded the radical activist group Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (S.T.A.R.), alongside close friend Sylvia Rivera. Johnson was also a popular figure in New York City's gay and art scene, modeling for Andy Warhol, and performing onstage with the drag performance troupe Hot Peaches. Johnson was known as the "mayor of Christopher Street" due to being a welcoming presence in the streets of Greenwich Village. From 1987 through 1992, Johnson was an AIDS activist with ACT UP.
Johnson was born Malcolm Michaels Jr. on August 24, 1945, in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Johnson had six siblings and a father, Malcolm Michaels Sr., who was an assembly line worker at General Motors. Michaels' mother, Alberta Claiborne, was a housekeeper. They attended an African Methodist Episcopal Church during Michaels'/Johnson's childhood and remained devoutly religious in later life, often taking an interest in Catholicism, but also making offerings to the saints in a personal manner, keeping a private altar at home. Johnson first began wearing dresses at the age of five but stopped temporarily due to harassment by boys who lived nearby. In a 1992 interview, Johnson described being the young victim of sexual assault by an adolescent boy. After this, Johnson described the idea of being gay as "some sort of dream", rather than something that seemed possible, and so chose to remain sexually inactive until leaving for New York City at 17. Johnson's mother reportedly said that being homosexual is like being "lower than a dog", but Johnson said that Alberta was unaware of the LGBT community. After graduating from Edison High School (now the Thomas A. Edison Career and Technical Academy) in Elizabeth in 1963, Johnson left home for New York City with $15 and a bag of clothes. Johnson waited on tables after moving to Greenwich Village in 1966. After Johnson began hanging out with the street hustlers near the Howard Johnson's at 6th Avenue and 8th Street, Johnson's life changed. Johnson came out and said “my life has been built around sex and gay liberation, being a drag queen” and sex work.
Performance work and identity
Johnson initially used the moniker "Black Marsha" but later decided on the drag queen name "Marsha P. Johnson", getting Johnson from the restaurant Howard Johnson's on 42nd Street, stating that the P stood for "pay it no mind" and used the phrase sarcastically when questioned about gender, saying "it stands for 'pay it no mind'". Johnson said the phrase once to a judge, who was amused by it, leading to Johnson's release. Johnson variably identified as gay, as a transvestite, and as a queen (referring to drag queen or "street queen"). According to Susan Stryker, a professor of human gender and sexuality studies at the University of Arizona, Johnson's gender expression could perhaps most accurately be called gender non-conforming; Johnson never self-identified with the term transgender, but the term was also not in broad use while Johnson was alive.
The definitions used by Rivera and Johnson were not always the same as those documented in the more mainstream literature of the era. For instance, Rivera insisted on claiming transvestite solely for use by gay people, writing in the essay "Transvestites: Your Half Sisters and Half Brothers of the Revolution", "Transvestites are homosexual men and women who dress in clothes of the opposite sex." In an interview with Allen Young, in 1972's, Out of the Closets: Voices of Gay Liberation, Johnson discussed being a "Street Transvestite Action Revolutionary", saying, "A transvestite is still like a boy, very manly looking, a feminine boy." Johnson distinguishes this from transsexual, defining transsexuals as those who are on hormones and getting surgery. Also discussed are Johnson's experiences of the dangers of working as a street prostitute in drag, and Johnson's husband who was murdered. Johnson and Rivera's interviews and writings in this era also at times used terminology in ways that were sarcastic and camp, other times serious, or all of the above at once.
Johnson's style of drag was not serious ("high drag" or "show drag") due to being unable to afford to purchase clothing from expensive stores. Johnson received leftover flowers after sleeping under tables used for sorting flowers in the Flower District of Manhattan, and was known for wearing crowns of fresh flowers. Johnson was tall, slender and often dressed in flowing robes and shiny dresses, red plastic high heels and bright wigs, which tended to draw attention. As Edmund White writes in his 1979 Village Voice article, "The Politics of Drag", Johnson also liked dressing in ways that would display "the interstice between masculine and feminine". A feature photo of Johnson in this article shows Johnson in a flowing wig and makeup, and a translucent shirt, pants and parka – highlighting the ways that, quoting Kate Millett's Sexual Politics, White says, "she is both masculine and feminine at once."
There is some existing footage of Johnson doing full, glamorous, "high drag" on stage, but most of Johnson's performance work was with groups that were more grassroots, comedic, and political. Johnson sang and performed as a member of J. Camicias' international, NYC-based, drag performance troupe, Hot Peaches, from 1972 through to shows in the 1990s. When The Cockettes, a similar drag troupe from San Francisco, formed an East Coast troupe, The Angels of Light, Johnson was also asked to perform with them. In 1973, Johnson performed the role of "The Gypsy Queen" in the Angels' production, "The Enchanted Miracle", about the Comet Kohoutek. In 1975, Johnson was photographed by famed artist Andy Warhol, as part of a "Ladies and Gentlemen" series of Polaroids. In 1990, Johnson performed with The Hot Peaches in London. Johnson also became an AIDS activist and appeared in The Hot Peaches production The Heat in 1990, singing the song "Love" while wearing an ACT UP, "Silence = Death" button.
Stonewall uprising and other activism
Johnson was one of the first drag queens to go to the Stonewall Inn, after they began allowing women and drag queens inside; it was previously a bar for only gay men. On the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, the Stonewall uprising occurred. While the first two nights of rioting were the most intense, the clashes with police would result in a series of spontaneous demonstrations and marches through the gay neighborhoods of Greenwich Village for roughly a week afterwards.
Johnson has been named, along with Zazu Nova and Jackie Hormona, by a number of the Stonewall veterans interviewed by David Carter in his book, Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution, as being "three individuals known to have been in the vanguard" of the pushback against the police at the uprising. Johnson denied starting the uprising. In 1987, Johnson recalled arriving at around "2:00 [that morning]", that "the riots had already started" by that time and that the Stonewall building "was on fire" after police set it on fire. The riots reportedly started at around 1:20 that morning after Stormé DeLarverie fought back against the police officer who attempted to arrest her that night.
Carter writes that Robin Souza had reported that fellow Stonewall veterans and gay activists such as Morty Manford and Marty Robinson had told Souza that on the first night, Johnson "threw a shot glass at a mirror in the torched bar screaming, 'I got my civil rights'". Souza told the Gay Activists Alliance shortly afterwards that it "was the shot glass that was heard around the world". Carter, however, concluded that Robinson had given several different accounts of the night and in none of the accounts was Johnson's name brought up, possibly in fear that if he publicly credited the uprising to Johnson, then Johnson's well-known mental state and gender nonconforming, "could have been used effectively by the movement's opponents". The alleged "shot glass" incident has also been heavily disputed. Prior to Carter's book, it was claimed Johnson had "thrown a brick" at a police officer, an account that was never verified. Johnson also confirmed not being present at the Stonewall Inn when the rioting broke out, but instead had heard about it and went to get Sylvia Rivera who was at a park uptown sleeping on a bench to tell her about it. However, many have corroborated that on the second night, Johnson climbed up a lamppost and dropped a bag with a brick in it down on a police car, shattering the windshield.
Following the Stonewall uprising, Johnson joined the Gay Liberation Front and was active in the GLF Drag Queen Caucus. On the first anniversary of the Stonewall rebellion, on June 28, 1970, Johnson marched in the first Gay Pride rally, then called the Christopher Street Liberation Day. One of Johnson's most notable direct actions occurred in August 1970, staging a sit-in protest at Weinstein Hall at New York University alongside fellow GLF members after administrators canceled a dance when they found out was sponsored by gay organizations. Shortly after that, Johnson and close friend Sylvia Rivera co-founded the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) organization (initially titled Street Transvestites Actual Revolutionaries). The two of them became a visible presence at gay liberation marches and other radical political actions. In 1973, Johnson and Rivera were banned from participating in the gay pride parade by the gay and lesbian committee who were administering the event stating they "weren't gonna allow drag queens" at their marches claiming they were "giving them a bad name". Their response was to march defiantly ahead of the parade. During a gay rights rally at New York City Hall in the early '70s, photographed by Diana Davies, a reporter asked Johnson why the group was demonstrating, Johnson shouted into the microphone, "Darling, I want my gay rights now!"
During another incident around this time Johnson was confronted by police officers for hustling in New York. When the officers attempted to perform an arrest, Johnson hit them with a handbag, which contained two bricks. When asked by the judge for an explanation for hustling, Johnson claimed to be trying to secure enough money for a tombstone for Johnson's husband. During a time when same-sex marriage was illegal in the United States, the judge asked what "happened to this alleged husband", Johnson responded, "Pig shot him". Initially sentenced to 90 days in prison for the assault, Johnson's lawyer eventually convinced the judge to that Bellevue Hospital would be more suitable.
With Rivera, Johnson established the STAR House, a shelter for gay and trans street kids in 1972, and paid the rent for it with money they made themselves as sex workers. While the House was not focused on performance, Johnson was a "drag mother" of STAR House, in the longstanding tradition of chosen family in the Black and Latino LGBT community. Johnson worked to provide food, clothing, emotional support and a sense of family for the young drag queens, trans women, gender nonconformists and other gay street kids living on the Christopher Street docks or in their house on the Lower East Side of New York.
In the 1980s Johnson continued to play an active part in street activism as a respected organizer and marshal with ACT UP. In 1992, when George Segal's Stonewall memorial was moved to Christopher Street from Ohio to recognize the gay liberation movement, Johnson commented, "How many people have died for these two little statues to be put in the park to recognize gay people? How many years does it take for people to see that we're all brothers and sisters and human beings in the human race? I mean how many years does it take for people to see that we're all in this rat race together."
Mental health and death
By 1966, Johnson lived on the streets and engaged in survival sex. In connection with sex work, Johnson claimed to have been arrested over 100 times, and was also shot once, in the late 1970s. Johnson spoke of first having a mental breakdown in 1970. According to Bob Kohler, Johnson would walk naked up Christopher Street and be taken away for two or three months to be treated with chlorpromazine, an antipsychotic medication. Upon returning, the medication would wear off over the course of one month and Johnson would then return to normal. Between 1980 and Johnson's death in 1992, Johnson lived with a friend Randy Wicker, who invited Johnson to stay the night one time when it was "very cold out—about 10 degrees [Fahrenheit]" (−12 °C).
Though generally regarded as "generous and warmhearted" and "saintly" under the Marsha persona, Johnson's angry, violent side could sometimes emerge when Johnson was depressed or under severe stress. Some felt that it was more common for this to happen under Johnson's "male persona as Malcolm". During those moments when Johnson's violent side emerged, according to an acquaintance Robert Heide, Johnson could be aggressive and short-tempered and speak in a deeper voice and, as Malcolm, would "become a very nasty, vicious man, looking for fights". This dual personality of Johnson's has been described as "a schizophrenic personality at work". When this happened, Johnson would often get in fights and wind up hospitalized and sedated, and friends would have to organize and raise money to bail Johnson out of jail or try to secure release from places like Bellevue. In the 1979 Village Voice article, "The Drag of Politics", by Steven Watson, and further elaborated upon by Stonewall historian Carter, it had perhaps been for this reason that other activists had been reluctant at first to credit Johnson for helping to spark the gay liberation movement of the early 1970s. Watson also reported that Johnson's saintly personality was "volatile" and listed a roster of gay bars from which Johnson had been banned. At the time of Johnson's death in 1992, Johnson was said to be increasingly sick and in a fragile state, according to Randy Wicker.
Shortly after the 1992 pride parade, Johnson's body was discovered floating in the Hudson River. Police initially ruled the death a suicide, but Johnson's friends and other members of the local community insisted Johnson was not suicidal and noted that the back of Johnson's head had a massive wound. According to Sylvia Rivera, their friend Bob Kohler believed Johnson had committed suicide due to an ever-increasing fragile state, which Rivera herself disputed, claiming she and Johnson had "made a pact" to "cross the 'River Jordan' (aka Hudson River) together". Those who were close to Johnson considered the death suspicious; many claimed that while Johnson did struggle mentally, this did not manifest itself as suicidal. Randy Wicker later said that Johnson may have hallucinated and walked into the river, or may have jumped into the river to escape harassers, but stated that Johnson was never suicidal.
Several people came forward to say they had seen Johnson harassed by a group of "thugs" who had also robbed people. According to Wicker, a witness saw a neighborhood resident fighting with Johnson on July 4, 1992. During the fight he used a homophobic slur, and later bragged to someone at a bar that he had killed a drag queen named Marsha. The witness said that when he tried to tell police what he had seen his story was ignored. Other locals stated later that law enforcement was not interested in investigating Johnson's death, stating that the case was about a "gay black man" and wanting little to do with it at the time.
Johnson was cremated and, following a funeral at a local church, friends released Johnson's ashes over the river. Police allowed Seventh Avenue to be closed while Johnson's ashes were carried to the river.
In December 2002, a police investigation resulted in reclassification of Johnson's cause of death from "suicide" to "undetermined".
Former New York politician Tom Duane fought to reopen the case, because "Usually when there is a death by suicide the person usually leaves a note. She didn't leave a note." In November 2012, activist Mariah Lopez succeeded in getting the New York police department to reopen the case as a possible homicide.
In 2016, Victoria Cruz of the Anti-Violence Project also tried to get Johnson's case reopened, and succeeded in gaining access to previously-unreleased documents and witness statements. She sought out new interviews with witnesses, friends, other activists, and police who had worked the case or had been on the force at the time of Johnson's probable murder. Some of her work to find justice for Johnson was filmed by David France for the 2017 documentary The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson.
The 2012 documentary Pay It No Mind – The Life and Times of Marsha P. Johnson heavily features segments from a 1992 interview with Johnson, which was filmed shortly before Johnson's death. Many friends of Johnson's from Greenwich Village are interviewed for the documentary.
Johnson appears as a character in two fictional film dramas that are based on real events, including Stonewall (2015), played by Otoja Abit, and Happy Birthday, Marsha! (2016), played by Mya Taylor. Both movies are creative interpretations, inspired by the Stonewall uprising.
The 2017 documentary, The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson, follows trans woman Victoria Cruz of the Anti-Violence Project as she investigates Johnson's murder. Like Pay It No Mind, it relies on archival footage and interviews.
New York City artist Anohni produced multiple tributes to Johnson, including baroque pop band Antony and the Johnsons (named in Johnson's honor), and a 1995 play about Johnson, The Ascension of Marsha P. Johnson.
American drag queen and TV personality RuPaul has called Johnson an inspiration, describing Johnson as "the true Drag Mother." During an episode of his show RuPaul's Drag Race in 2012, RuPaul told her contestants that Johnson "paved the way for all of [them]".
A large, painted mural depicting Johnson and Sylvia Rivera went on display in Dallas, Texas, in 2019 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. The painting of the "two pioneers of the gay rights movement" in front of a transgender flag claims to be the world's largest mural honoring the trans community.
On May 30, 2019, it was announced that Johnson and Sylvia Rivera would be honored with monuments at Greenwich Village, near the site of the Stonewall club. Construction is rumored to be completed by 2021. These monuments of Johnson and Rivera will be the world's first to honor transgender activists.
On May 31, 2019, queer street artists Homo Riot and Suriani created a mural, as part of the WorldPride Mural Project and Stonewall 50 – WorldPride NYC 2019, and dedicated to Queer Liberation, featuring multiple images of Johnson. The mural, located at 2nd Avenue and Houston Street in New York City, was curated by photographer and filmmaker Daniel "Dusty" Albanese.
In June 2019, Johnson was one of the inaugural fifty American "pioneers, trailblazers, and heroes" inducted on the National LGBTQ Wall of Honor within the Stonewall National Monument (SNM) in New York City's Stonewall Inn. The SNM is the first U.S. national monument dedicated to LGBTQ rights and history, and the wall's unveiling was timed to take place during the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.
On February 1, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York announced that the East River State Park in Brooklyn will be renamed in Johnson's honor. It will be the first New York state park named after an LGBT person.
In August 2020 the Union County, New Jersey Office of LGBTQ Affairs announced Johnson's hometown, Elizabeth, New Jersey, would erect a monument to Johnson. A petition to remove the Christopher Columbus monument and replace it with a statue of Johnson received over 75,000 signatures. A mural of Johnson, also in Elizabeth, was vandalized during Pride Month in June of 2021. Community organizers vowed to fund restoration of the mural to honor Pride Month and Johnson's legacy.
- Lee Brewster – founder of the Queens Liberation Front
- Stormé DeLarverie – biracial lesbian whose resistance of arrest incited the Stonewall uprising
- Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt – fellow Stonewall veteran, artist, and Union County native
- Paris Is Burning – 1990 film about black drag culture in New York City in the 1980s
- Washington, K.C. (April 9, 2019). "Marsha P. Johnson (1945–1992)". BlackPast.org. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
- Sewell Chan (March 8, 2018). "Marsha P. Johnson, a Transgender Pioneer and Activist – The New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
- Scan of Birth Certificate. Name: Malcolm Michaels; Sex: Male; Place of Birth: St. Elizabeth Hospital; Date of Birth: August 24, 1945; Registration Date: August 27, 1945; Date of Issue: September 4, 1990. Accessed September 10, 2015.
- U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936–2007, Death, Burial, Cemetery & Obituaries: "Michaels, Malcolm Jr [Malcolm Mike Michaels Jr], [M Michae Jr], [Malculm Jr]. …Gender: Male. Race: Black. Birth Date: 24 Aug 1945. Birth Place: Elizabeth, Union, New Jersey [Elizabeth, New Jersey]. Death Date: Jul 1992. Database on-line. Provo, UT, US: Ancestry.com"
- Chan 2018.
- Kasino 2012.
- I've been involved in gay liberation ever since it first started in 1969, 15:20 into the interview, Johnson is quoted as saying this.
- Feinberg, Leslie (September 24, 2006). "Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries". Workers World Party. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
Stonewall combatants Sylvia Rivera and Marsha "Pay It No Mind" Johnson... Both were self-identified drag queens.
- "Two Transgender Activists Are Getting a Monument in New York". May 29, 2019.
'I was no one, nobody, from Nowheresville, until I became a drag queen,' Ms. Johnson said in 1992.
- Carter, David (2004). Stonewall: The Riots that Sparked the Gay Revolution. St. Martin's. pp. 64, 261, 298. ISBN 0-312-20025-0.
- "Making Gay History: Episode 11 – Johnson & Wicker". 1987. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
- Giffney, Noreen (December 28, 2012). Queering the Non/Human. p. 252. ISBN 9781409491408. Retrieved July 9, 2017.
- Jacobs, Shayna (December 16, 2012). "DA reopens unsolved 1992 case involving the 'saint of gay life'". New York Daily News. Retrieved June 15, 2015.
- Watson, Steve (June 15, 1979). "Stonewall 1979: The Drag of Politics". The Village Voice. Retrieved June 23, 2019.
- Kasino 2012: events occur at 4:21 and 4:41.
- Chan 2018: "Later, Johnson said in an interview toward the end of her life, she was sexually assaulted by another boy, who was around 13."
- Kasino 2012: event occurs at 46:52.
- Kasino 2012: event occurs at 47:22.
- Carter 2010.
- Kasino 2012: event occurs at 37:22; Carter 2010: "In the early days she tended to go out mainly in semidrag and call herself Black Marsha. (When she later dropped the Black and started calling herself Marsha P. Johnson, she explained that the P. stood for 'Pay it no mind.')"
- "#LGBTQ: Doc Film, "The Death & Life of Marsha P. Johnson" Debuts At Tribeca Film Fest – The WOW Report". April 6, 2017. Retrieved July 9, 2017.
- Chan 2018: "Many transgender people have also come to hail Johnson, and her longtime friend and colleague Sylvia Rivera, as pioneering heroes. (The term transgender was not in wide use in Johnson's lifetime; she usually used female pronouns for herself, but also referred to herself as gay, as a transvestite or simply as a queen.) 'Marsha P. Johnson could be perceived as the most marginalized of people — black, queer, gender-nonconforming, poor,' said Susan Stryker …"
- Rivera, Sylvia, "Transvestites: Your Half Sisters and Half Brothers of the Revolution" in Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries: Survival, Revolt, and Queer Antagonist Struggle. Untorelli Press, 2013. "Transvestites are homosexual men and women who dress in clothes of the opposite sex."
- Scarpi, Bebe (1992). Jay, Karla (ed.). Out of the Closets: Voices of Gay Liberation (20th ed.). New York: New York University Press. pp. 114–118.
A drag queen is one that usually goes to a ball, and that’s the only time she gets dressed up. Transvestites live in drag. A transsexual spends most of her life in drag. I never come out of drag to go anywhere. Everywhere I go I get all dressed up. A transvestite is still like a boy, very manly looking, a feminine boy. You wear drag here and there. When you’re a transsexual, you have hormone treatments and you’re on your way to a sex change, and you never come out of female clothes.
- Kasino 2012: event occurs at 10:11.
- Kasino 2012: event occurs at 8:42.
- Marsha P. Johnson 'A Beloved Star!'. – Randolfe Wicker. Published on January 22, 2007. Accessed July 1, 2019. Note: Collection of brief clips from a number of different performances.
- "Feature Doc 'Pay It No Mind: The Life & Times of Marsha P. Johnson' Released Online. Watch It". Indiewire. September 24, 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2019. 27:15
- NYC's Hot Peaches website. Accessed January 23, 2016.
- Gamson, Joshua (2005). The fabulous Sylvester: the legend, the music, the seventies in San Francisco. Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-8050-7250-1. Citation is for more information on the Cockettes, but does not mention Johnson.
- Marsha P Johnson & 2015 Stonewall movie. Event occurs at 51s. – Randolfe Wicker. Published on October 5, 2015. "Rumi, one of the original Cockettes, recalls discovering Marsha P Johnson & working with her in 1973." Accessed November 15, 2017. Note: Slideshow includes Warhol polaroids.
- Feinberg, Leslie (1996). Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to Dennis Rodman. Boston: Beacon Press. p. 131. ISBN 0-8070-7941-3.
- "Marsha P. in London '90". NYC's Hot Peaches. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
- Kasino 2012: event occurs at 29:00.
- Carter, David (2004). Stonewall: The Riots that Sparked the Gay Revolution. St. Martin's. ISBN 0-312-20025-0.
- Carter, David (June 27, 2019). "Exploding the Myths of Stonewall – Gay City News". Gay City News. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
- "Gay History Month- June 28,1969: The REAL History of the Stonewall Riots". Back2Stonewall. October 23, 2018.
- Shepard, Benjamin Heim and Ronald Hayduk (2002) From ACT UP to the WTO: Urban Protest and Community Building in the Era of Globalization. Verso. pp.156-160 ISBN 978-1859-8435-67
- Feinberg, Leslie (September 24, 2006). "Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries". www.workers.org. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
- Wicker, Randolfe (2014), "Marsha P Johnson Carols for Ma & Pa Xmas Presents", YouTube.
- Kasino 2012: event occurs at 17:20
- Davies, Diana (April 1973). "Gay rights activists Sylvia Ray Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson, Barbara Deming, and Kady Vandeurs at City Hall rally for gay rights". Digital Collections. The New York Public Library. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
Demonstration at City Hall, New York City, in support of gay rights bill "Intro 475," April 1973
- MARSHA P JOHNSON 'PIGS KILLED MY HUSBAND'. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
- "Rapping With a Street Transvestite Revolutionary" in Out of the closets : voices of gay liberation. Douglas, c1972.
- "Marsha P. Johnson (1944–1992) Activist, Drag Mother." A Gender Variance Who's Who. May 2, 2009. Under Creative Commons License: Attribution
- Kasino 2012: event occurs at 41:06
- Kasino 2012: event occurs at 17:34.
- Kasino 2012: event occurs at 20:12.
- Kasino 2012: event occurs at 19:42.
- Kasino 2012: event occurs at 9:40.
- Carter, David (2004). Stonewall: The Riots that Sparked the Gay Revolution. St. Martin's. p. 66. ISBN 0-312-20025-0.
- Kasino 2012: event occurs at 51:20.
- Wicker, Randolfe (1992) "Bennie Toney 1992". Accessed July 26, 2015.
- Wicker, Randolfe (1992) "Marsha P Johnson – People's Memorial". Accessed July 26, 2015.
- Randy Wicker Interviews Sylvia Rivera On The Pier. September 21, 1995. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
- "The Death of Marsha P. Johnson and the Quest for Closure". Inside Edition. March 30, 2019. Retrieved December 14, 2019.
- Kasino 2012: event occurs at 51:50.
- Kasino 2012: event occurs at 52:07.
- "The Death of Marsha P. Johnson and the Quest for Closure". Inside Edition. March 30, 2019. Retrieved December 14, 2019.
- Desta, Yohana (October 3, 2017). "Meet the Transgender Activist Fighting to Keep Marsha P. Johnson's Legacy Alive". Vanity Fair. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
- IMDB. "The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson (2017)". Retrieved October 9, 2017.
- Stonewall Clip "Marsha P. Johnson", In Theaters September 25, 2015, RoadsideFlix, YouTube. Accessed September 10, 2015.
- Blacklips Performance Cult Chronology of Plays Archived November 18, 2018, at the Wayback Machine. Accessed January 23, 2016.
- Tungol, JR (October 15, 2012). "LGBT History Month Icon Of The Day: Marsha P. Johnson". Huffington Post. Retrieved July 9, 2017.
- Parsons, Vic (December 12, 2019). "Mural of Marsha P Johnson and Sylvia Rivera vandalised with moustaches". Pinknews.co.uk. Retrieved December 29, 2019.
- Street, Mikelle (May 30, 2019). "Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera Monuments Are Coming to NYC". Out. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
- Jacobs, Julia (May 29, 2019). "Two Transgender Activists Are Getting a Monument in New York". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 14, 2019.
- Branigin, Anne (May 30, 2019). "New York City to Honor Revolutionary Trans Activist Marsha P. Johnson With Monument". The Root. Retrieved December 14, 2019.
- "Homo Riot, Suriani, The Dusty Rebel "Pay It No Mind"". Brooklyn Street Art. June 6, 2019. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
- Glasses-Baker, Becca (June 27, 2019). "National LGBTQ Wall of Honor unveiled at Stonewall Inn". www.metro.us. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
- SDGLN, Timothy Rawles-Community Editor for (June 19, 2019). "National LGBTQ Wall of Honor to be unveiled at historic Stonewall Inn". San Diego Gay and Lesbian News. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
- "Groups seek names for Stonewall 50 honor wall". The Bay Area Reporter / B.A.R. Inc. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
- "Stonewall 50". San Francisco Bay Times. April 3, 2019. Retrieved May 25, 2019.
- "Cuomo to rename Brooklyn state park for trailblazing transgender black activist". NY Daily News. Retrieved February 1, 2020.
- "Celebrating Marsha P. Johnson". Google. June 30, 2020.
- NJ.com, Rebecca Panico | NJ Advance Media for (August 27, 2020). "Marsha P. Johnson, late LGBTQ activist, to get monument in N.J. hometown". nj.
- "Over 75,000 sign petition to have Marsha P. Johnson statue replace Columbus monument". NBC News. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
- News 12 Staff (June 8, 2021). "Mural honoring prominent New Jersey transgender rights activist vandalized in Elizabeth". News12 New Jersey. Retrieved June 10, 2021.
- "Mural of Marsha P. Johnson in NJ Vandalized During Pride". NBC 4 New York. June 9, 2021. Retrieved June 10, 2021.
- Michelle Charlesworth (June 10, 2021). "Campaign underway to restore vandalized mural of transgender pioneer Marsha P. Johnson". WABC NBC New York. Retrieved June 10, 2021.
- Carter, David (May 25, 2010). Stonewall: the riots that sparked the gay revolution. New York, New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 9780312671938. OCLC 659681252.
- Chan, Sewell (March 8, 2018). "Marsha P. Johnson: A transgender pioneer and activist who was a fixture of Greenwich Village street life". The New York Times.
- Kasino, Michael (2012). Pay It No Mind – The Life and Times of Marsha P. Johnson (Documentary film).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Marsha P. Johnson.|
- Randy Wicker's Marsha P. Johnson album on Flickr
- Photographs of Marsha P. Johnson by Diana Davies at the New York Public Library Digital Collections (note: the photo of the much younger person, sitting on the table wearing a headscarf, has been mislabeled; it is actually GLF and Youth Group member, Zazu Nova, also a Stonewall veteran)
- "Stonewall 1979: The Politics of Drag" archive of Village Voice article by Edmund White, features photo of Marsha Johnson
- on YouTube (performance footage - clips from a number of different shows with Hot Peaches and at several benefits)
- Sylvia Rivera Reflects on the Spirit of Marsha P Johnson on Vimeo (excerpt from an interview with Randy Wicker at the Christopher Street Piers on September 21, 1995)
- on YouTube (conversations with friends of Johnson)
- on YouTube (interview with a friend who may have seen the men who assaulted Johnson)