Brooklyn Park Named After Marsha P. Johnson Coincides With Trans Activist's 75th Birthday

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Brooklyn's East River State Park was renamed Monday after Marsha P. Johnson on what would have been the transgender rights activist's 75th birthday.

Marsha P. Johnson State Park is New York's first state park to honor a LGBTQ person and transgender woman of color, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

State Parks staff have installed public art intended to reflect Johnson's style as well as interpretive signage outlining her life and role in promoting LGBTQ rights and treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS.

Additional art installations and a 1,200-square-foot education facility will be added to the seven-acre waterfront park by next summer, Cuomo said. The center will house classroom space overlooking the park, public bathrooms, park ranger contact station and a small maintenance storage area.

Digital rendering of Marsha P. Johnson State Park
NY State
Site rendering of Marsha P. Johnson State Park provided by New York State.

"Marsha P. Johnson was one of the early leaders of the LGBTQ movement, and is only now getting the acknowledgement she deserves. Dedicating this state park for her, and installing public art telling her story, will ensure her memory and her work fighting for equality lives on," the governor said in a statement.

Cuomo first announced the naming in February during the Human Rights Campaign's greater New York gala.

Johnson, who died in 1992 at age 46, is considered a pioneer of the movement for the rights of transgender people, although the term transgender was not widely used during her lifetime.

Some witness accounts say Johnson was a leader of the Stonewall rebellion of 1969, when patrons of a Greenwich Village bar resisted a police raid and sparked the modern gay rights movement.

Copyright NBC New York/Associated Press
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