Brooklyn Park To Be Renamed After Trans Icon Marsha P. Johnson
The governor called Johnson an “an icon of the community”…
A state park in Brooklyn is set to be renamed after trans icon, Marsha P. Johnson. The park is currently known as the East River State Park, and it will now be the first park in New York to be named after an openly LGBTQ+ person.
The plan was announced Saturday by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a speech at a Human Rights Campaign gala. While speaking about expanding protections for the LGBTQ people, Cuomo said that the state was “fighting back” against hatred toward marginalized communities.
“New York State is the progressive capital of the nation, and while we are winning the legal battle for justice for the LGBTQ community, in many ways we are losing the broader war for equality,” Cuomo said Saturday.
The governor called Johnson an “an icon of the community” and explained that the East River State Park in Brooklyn would be the first in New York to be named after an openly LGBTQ person.
Johnson was a transgender entertainer and activist at the forefront of some of the most pivotal moments in LGBT history. She was a transgender woman of colour who worked waiting tables in New York City, becoming a fixture in the Greenwich Village neighborhood and earning the nickname the “Mayor of Christopher Street.” A veteran of the Stonewall Riots, she worked with Sylvia Rivera in the 1970s to found Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR), an organization that provided shelter to homeless queer youth in New York City. Johnson also left her mark on the NYC cultural scene, posing for Andy Warhol and posthumously providing inspiration for the name of Antony Hegarty’s band, Antony and the Johnsons.
On July 6, 1992, her body was discovered floating in the Hudson River, near the Christopher Street piers. The police quickly ruled her death a suicide, despite the fact that her close friends and community members insisted Johnson was not suicidal and that the back of her head had a massive wound.
Finally, in 2012, transgender activist Mariah Lopez got the New York City Police Department to reopen the investigation. The case officially remains open.