Documentary on transgender activist Marsha P. Johnson premieres on Netflix

Sun. October 8, 2017 2:10 PM by

Netflix on Friday began streaming a documentary about transgender activist Marsha P. Johnson.

In The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson, director David France takes a look at the life and death of Johnson, known as "the Rosa Parks of the LGBT movement." Johnson played a pivotal role in the Stonewall Riots of 1969 and co-founded the world's first organization devoted to transgender rights, Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries, or STAR.

Police fished Johnson's body out of the Hudson river in 1992. The NYPD ruled her death a suicide but questions lingered.

"Almost single-handedly, Marsha P. Johnson and her best friend, Sylvia Rivera, touched off a revolution in the way we talk about gender today," France said in a statement. "Their names should be household words. But Marsha's life was cut tragically short and Sylvia died shortly thereafter, the victim of a broken heart. Getting to know their story through the investigation undertaken by Victoria Cruz, a seminal activist in her own right, has been one of the great honors of my career. Now, with Netflix as our distribution partner, I am confident the legacy of these tremendous women will never be forgotten."

France received an Academy Award nomination for How to Survive a Plague, his 2012 documentary that looked at the efforts of protest groups ACT UP and TAG in the early years of the AIDS epidemic.

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine