Legendary activist Marsha P Johnson becomes first LGBT+ person to be honoured with a State Park in US

The new Marsha P Johnson State Park will be renovated to celebrate her pioneering activism and will include a space to display art and hold festivals.

photo of Marsha P. Johnson on the left with a mock up of park on right

Legendary activist Marsha P Johnson has become the first LGBT+ person to have a State Park named in their honour. 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the historic Marsha P Johnson State Park on the birthday of the pioneering activist. On Twitter, he wrote, “NY is indebted to her for her brave advocacy and relentless fight for LGBTQ equality.”

Cuomo further expressed, “I’m proud to announce the dedication of East River State Park in Brooklyn to #Marsha P. Johnson. Today, Marsha P. Johnson State Park becomes the first State Park to honor an LGBTQ person.”

Extensive plans are being implemented towards improving basic infrastructures in Marsha P. Johnson State Park, including restrooms and fixing crumbling cement. There will also be new designs to celebrate Johnson’s incredible achievements as well as creating an area for displaying public art and festivals.  

In a released statement, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul wrote, “Today, we dedicate the first State Park in New York in recognition of an LGBTQ hero – Marsha P. Johnson. The Marsha P. Johnson State Park honours the transgender woman of colour, who led the fight for equal rights and justice for all.”

Alongside activist Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson led a revolution against police brutality targeting LGBT+ people. She became renowned for her advocacy of homeless queer people and sex workers.

In 2019, it was announced Marsha P. Johnson and Slyvia Rivera would be the first trans women to be honoured with a monument in New York. At the time, the city’s first lady Chirlane McCray said, “The LGBTQ movement was portrayed very much as a white, gay male movement. This monument counters that trend of whitewashing the history.”

On what would have been Marsha P. Johnson’s 75th birthday, ACT UP New York tweeted, “Happy 75th Birthday Marsha ‘Pay It No Mind’ Johnson. Co-founder of Gay Liberation Front, Co-founder of S.T.A.R. and ACT UP member. Black Trans HIV+ Sex Worker Lives Matter today and everyday. We honor you.”

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