Marsha P. Johnson was a beloved and revered figure of the New York City LGBT community from the '60s to '90s, fighting back against the police raids during the Stonewall Riots of 1969. RuPaul, the host of "RuPaul's Drag Race," spoke of Johnson in an episode to the contestants, saying the late trans activist paved the way for all of them. Queer indie band Antony and the Johnsons named their band as a tribute to her.
Johnson, who claimed the "P" in her name stood for "Pay it no mind!" was regarded as a mother figure, helping the homeless and mentoring others like, Sylvia Rivera, a young trans youth and advocate. With Rivera, Johnson co-founded S.T.A.R, Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries, which was a group formed in the early '70s to feed street youth around the city.
In 1992, Johnson's body was found in the Hudson River and police wrote the death off as suicide, but many believe Johnson was the victim of a hate crime.
Each day in October, which is LGBT History Month, we'll be featuring a different LGBT icon. Check back tomorrow for a look at another incredible individual who changed history and visit our LGBT History Month Big News Page for more stories.