A park in Brooklyn, New York, is set to be renamed after Marsha P. Johnson, a notable trans activist in LGBTQ+ history and integral figure in the Stonewall Uprising. The park is currently known as the East River State Park, and it will now be the first in New York to be named after an openly LGBTQ+ person.
“New York State is the progressive capital of the nation, and while we are winnign the legal battle for justice for the LGBTQ community, in many ways we are losing th ebroader war for equality, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a speech at the Human Rights Campaign gala on Saturday, where he announced the move.
Cuomo went on to say that attack against minorities like African Americans, Jewish people, Muslims and LGBTQ+ people that are motivated by “fear and intolerance” are on the rise. “We are fighting back, and we will continue achieving progress and showing the rest of the nation the way forward.” The news of the park naming joins an announcement from last year that Johnson and fellow activist Sylvia Rivera, with whom she cofounded Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries, which advocated for homeless LGBTQ+ youth, would be the subjects of a monument set in Manhattan. The permanent monuments will be among the first in the world dedicated to trans women.
“The LGBTQ+ movement was portrayed very much as a white, gay male movement,” New York first lady Chirlane McCray told the New York Times said at the time of the announcement. “This monument counters that trend of whitewashing the history.”
Johnson’s legacy of activism currently lives in in the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, which aims to uplift the trans community with an emphasis on Black trans women.”