The park formerly known as East River State Park in Williamsburg. (Photo courtesy of Harold Navarro/Flickr)

The 11-acre East River State Park in Williamsburg will be renamed to honor Stonewall riots activist Marsh P. Johnson, making it the first state park in New York’s history to be named after an LGBTQ person.

 The announcement came last Saturday from Governor Andrew Cuomo at the Human Rights Campaign gala in Manhattan.

Johnson was known for leading the fight against the city’s crackdown on gay nightlif, that culminated in the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion. More From Gothamist:

Johnson was the subject of one of the New York Times’ Overlooked obituaries, which you can read here. Her life and the murky circumstances of her death in 1992, where she was found dead in the Hudson River, were the subject of a documentary in 2017. Following Johnson’s death, Sylvia Rivera — another civil rights pioneers and transgender activist who worked closely with Johnson to found STAR (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries) — opened the Transy House in Brooklyn in her honor, which served as a shelter for transgender people through 2008.


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