The Personal History Initiative Is for Everyone
For future historians to know and understand this time in history it is vital that every voice possible is included. This is especially true for historically unheard voices. Your perspective is needed, your voice is important, your experiences will show a fuller picture of life in New York at this time.
Marsha P. Johnson (1945-1992) is a clear example of someone who represents several historically unheard groups. A black transgender woman who dealt with mental health issues and was economically disadvantaged, Marsha was an outspoken gay liberation and AIDS activist who protested in the vanguard at the Stonewall riots in 1969. Following Stonewall Marsha and her friend Sylvia Rivera founded Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR), an organization which sought to help homeless gay youth. Marsha was also a member of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP), a group working to end the AIDS pandemic.
Though well known in her community, Marsha's legacy of kindness, caring, and wit coupled with fierceness and tenacity for the people and causes she loved went largely unrecognized in the wider world for a long time following her death. Thankfully her friends continued to tell her story, to highlight Marsha's work in and contributions to gay rights causes. Her legacy of advocacy has been recognized by those outside her community and her efforts celebrated more widely.
History is richer when it includes as many perspectives as possible. Please consider contributing your story.