In honor of International Womxn’s Day, we want to make sure we are elevating the voice of ALL womxn, which is why this week, we are bringing awareness to an incredible organization – the Marsha P. Johnson Institute and the incredible woman who inspired its inception.
In case you don’t know about Queen Marsha, let us give you a little background about this hero. After moving to New York City with $15 in her pocket in 1963, only 6 years later she would become one of the leaders of the gay liberation movement when she spearheaded the uprising at Stonewall Inn. Aside from her work defending human rights against New York’s oppressive policing of the LGBTQ+ population, Marsha was a prominent champion of the transgender community. She committed her life to helping homeless, displaced transgender youth find safe spaces. Marsha managed to win over even the most cynical traditionalists in her neighborhood with her kind heart, smile, and love for people. Her fight against violence towards her community is far from over. Still today, the president of the Human Rights Campaign expresses how Black transgender women fall at the particularly toxic juncture of racism, sexism, and transphobia, making them incredibly vulnerable to the crisis of transgender violence.
Marsha knew that the fight would not be over until the LGBTQ+ community received 100% of the rights afforded to other citizens. It is this consideration of who she was and what she believed in that inspired the foundation of the Marsha P. Johnson Institute. MPJI champions the human rights of Black transgender people by elevating, supporting, and nourishing their voices. They saw the need to improve the circumstances of Black trans people who are resisting, struggling to survive, and in need of a community. The Institute’s vision is to eradicate systemic, community, and physical violence that silences the Black trans community from actualizing freedom, joy, and safety.
On a day that is so important to so many people, we wanted to shine light on a community of womxn that are often underrepresented. International Womxn’s Day should serve to inspire and incite community in all womxn, not just those traditionally recognized as so. We hope the story of this badass activist inspires you as much as it did us. Check out the Marsha P. Johnson Institute for more information on how they aim to uplift and protect the lives of Black trans people.
If you head to our latest Instagram post and share this story, we will donate to MPJI on your behalf. (Don’t forget to tag us!) If you would like to submit a personal donation, you can do so on their website HERE. We’ll leave you with some words about this day from the be.come project founder, Bethany C. Meyers: “WOMXN. To every person who has been held back, shut down, turned away, interrupted-assaulted-abused-ignored for presenting feminine in our society (be it their choice or their genetics), today is for you.”