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Marsha P Johnson becomes first LGBT+ person in history to be honoured with a monument in her home state

Patrick Kelleher August 28, 2020
Marsha P Johnson

Marsha P Johnson (pictured) and Sylvia Rivera's STAR House inspired the name of a new LGBT+ refuge centre. (Netflix)

Marsha P Johnson is set to become the first trans person to be honoured with a monument in her home state, New Jersey.

Johnson, one of the most prominent figures in the 1969 Stonewall uprising that kickstarted the LGBT+ rights movement in the United States, will have a monument erected in her honour in her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Officials in Union County have said that it will be the first time an LGBT+ person will be honoured with a monument in New Jersey history, ABC News reports.

A piece of land has been approved for the monument to be built on, county officials told Johnson’s family in a meeting on Thursday (August 27).

“Today, the family of Elizabeth native and LGBTQ+ civil rights activist Marsha P Johnson was joined by Union County Freeholders and LGBTQ+ advocates to announce the future site of a public monument on Freedom Trail in the City of Elizabeth in Johnson’s honour,” a statement released by county officials said.

“The monument is anticipated to be the first public monument in the state of New Jersey to honour a LGBTQ+ person and transgender woman of colour.”

The activist’s family and county officials will engage with the public during LGBT+ history month in October in “planning and creating” the monument.

Marsha P Johnson honoured with New York state park.

Johnson, who would have celebrated her 75th birthday if she was still alive on Monday (August 24), fought tirelessly throughout her life to advance the rights of the LGBT+ community.

She founded the Street Transgender Action Revolutionaries (STAR), which was dedicated to helping homeless queer youth, and was instrumental in the Stonewall riots.

Johnson died in 1992 at the age of 46. Her death was initially ruled a suicide, but the investigation has since reopened – while many who knew her, including her family, maintain that she was murdered.

The news comes just days after New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced that a Brooklyn park will be dedicated to her memory. 

Cuomo made the announcement to coincide with Johnson’s birthday (August 25). The decision makes her the first ever LGBT+ person to be honoured with a state park.

The park will feature a sprawling monument across a patch of the park bearing an image of Johnson clutching a megaphone against a trans Pride flag and various flowers.

It was announced in May 2019 that Johnson and her STAR co-founder Sylvia Rivera will be honoured with a monument in New York.

More: Brooklyn, Elizabeth, Marsha P Johnson, New Jersey

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