Inclusive Teaching and Learning at Higher Education: GENDER #3

Pay it No Mind- The life and times of Marsha P. Johnson:

The life and times of Marsha P Johnson seem to summarize the subject of patriarchy and its damaging effect. Watching the film I discovered how positive, tenacious and determined Marsha P Johnson was despite physical and psychological abuse. During a heightened time civil rights movement Johnson intersected boundaries of race, sex, class and religion. Such historical characters as Marsha P Johnson through their lives of discrimination, abuse and struggle paved the way for those that are marginalised by the acts of prejudice derived from the acts of patriarchy. How tough it would have been for a black transgender to be so vocal (visually and verbally) during that turbulent time of the late 60’s and 70’s? The film reveals the hostility, torture and the effects it had on Johnson’s well-being and mental health. But then the interview showed the mental strength, awareness and insight Johnson had to be such a pioneering activist by nature. Her performance and poetry was inspiring. Watching the film, I made ‘coincidental’ connections to Marsha P Johnson in my review of the supporting trans students UAL website and selection of artist Andrea Bowers.  Beforehand, I was unaware Johnson, a black advocate for gay rights and social justice for street dwellers and teenage runaways that she mentored.  Neither the fact that Johnson was a co-founder of Street Transgender Action Revolutionaries (STAR), was depicted by Andy Warhol artwork and had such powerful prominence to be sadly taken away by her tragic death. Questions that surrounds her death has been highlighted by gay rights activists as the violence against transgender women.