The Brooklyn G.H.O.S.T. Project

Marsha “Pay It No Mind” Johnson is one of the great heroes of LGBTQ history.  She was a BLACK TRANSGENDER SUPERHERO.  Known as an outspoken advocate for gay rights, she was one of the prominent figures in the Stonewall uprising of 1969.  Andy Warhol immortalized her. RuPaul called her “the true Drag Mother who paved the way for all of us.” New Yorkers referred to her as the Queen of Christopher Street for decades.  She always wore flowers in her hair, marched to her own beat and she always had a smile for everyone.  

Marsha P. Johnson

Pay It No Mind

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Marsha initially called herself "Black Marsha" but later decided on "Marsha P. Johnson" as her drag queen name, getting Johnson from the restaurant Howard Johnson's on 42nd Street. She said that the P stood for "pay it no mind" and used the phrase sarcastically when questioned about her gender, saying "it stands for pay it no mind". She said the phrase once to a judge, who was humored by it and released her.

Marsha was said to be 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. Marsha was also to be a leader of the riots. 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 afterward.