Miss Marsha P. Johnson
Miss Marsha P. Johnson could march. A true 1 2 3 4 step in place step march. She marched that march out of Hoboken and into the big apple when it was still called the big mary. She marched that march up Christopher Street to Sheridan Square where she carved out her place in history.
Where she sat morning to night and panhandled asking in that familiar rasp of a voice, " Got any spare change for a dying queen?" Miss Marsha P. Johnson marched across 8th Street, down St. Marks Place headed to Club 82 , now the Bijoux, but back then was when feathers and sequins were the rule. Marsha P. Johnson dressed casual on Easter Eve wearing pink and white Easter Bunny ears, Easter basket in hand, marching that march, wearing big rubber rabbit teeth and smiling a big Easter Bunny smile. The sidewalk parted in awe. Behold Miss marsha P. Johnson.
She marched that march up 11th Avenue into the parked cars of lonely married men from New Jersey who were looking for a taste of something special and she was it.
Miss Marsha P, as in pay it no mind, free as the wind at her back. On even the coldest of winter eves she would march that march onto the stage of life singing a simple song and speaking a simple tale to the people.
A tale of hope in darkness. A tale of love and acceptance. A tale about the importance of charity.
Miss Marsha P. Johnson spent the day and early evening working the crowds at Sheridan Square only to walk a block and find a sister of the streets in greater need than she, " How ya doin' kid?" she'd ask. "Not to good Miss Marsha , I been here all day and I only got a buck fifty." Marsha would empty her cup into her sister's and return back to her spot on the sidewalk and start over working the late shift.
Miss Marsha P. Johnson marched that march into the lives of those who knew and loved her.
Miss Marsha P. Johnson found floating face down in the Hudson River one hot July morning. No one knows for certain what happened. But you can place your bets that she went out the same way she came in, with a fight, with a faith that carried her over to the other side where she marchs still.
And those streets, so paved with gold, will hear the glorified click of her high heels forever, while she watches over the children of the streets and marching her way into history.
B.Miller 1989 nyc