NYC Park Will Be Renamed For Marsha P. Johnson

Johnson was a Black trans activist and a prominent figure in the LGBTQ+ rights movement.

East River State Park | Wikipedia

An NYC park will be renamed in honor of Black trans activist Marsha P. Johnson.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the plan on February 1 during a speech at the Human Rights Campaign Greater New York Gala. To reaffirm the city’s support of the LGBTQ+ community, he said he will direct the State Parks Commissioner to rename Brooklyn’s East River State Park after Johnson.

"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. "We are going to name the first State park after an LGBTQ person and we are going to name it after Marsha P. Johnson — an icon of the community."

Johnson, who died in 1992 at the age of 46, was a Black trans woman and a prominent LGBTQ+ civil rights activist. She was one of the central figures in the Stonewall Uprising—a movement that erupted after a group of LGBTQ+ individuals stood up against a police raid at the Stonewall Inn in 1969. Johnson also co-founded Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) with fellow trans activist Sylvia Rivera.

After Johnson’s suspicious death, in which her body was found in the Hudson River, Rivera opened the Transy House, a Brooklyn shelter for transgender people, to honor her.

Chirlane McCray also launched She Built NYC in 2018 to introduce more female statues to the five boroughs, and announced that a monument to Johnson and Rivera would go up near the Stonewall Inn sometime in 2021.