Activists erected a bust of transgender icon Marsha P. Johnson in New York City’s Christopher Park.
A year after the city declared plans to create monuments for multiple LGBTQ figures, activist Eli Erlick and sculptor Jesse Pallotta created and planted the bust themselves. “We cannot stay idle and wait for the city to build statues for us,” Erlick said in a statement. “We must create representation by and for our own communities.” Since the monument is not properly registered, the NYC Parks Department can not guarantee the activist’s work will remain untouched or protected.
“My end goal is that the city reinitiates the project to give monuments to Marsha and that the current Black trans women leaders of NYC are involved in the process, including artist selection and design of a monument,” the sculptor, Pallotta, said.
Johnson’s bust mirrors a viral photo of the transgender drag queen wearing a flower crown. Pallotta, designed the flower tiara to allow onlookers to weave real flowers into the statue. A plaque on the monument reads, “Marsha ‘Pay it No Mind’ Johnson,” and includes the poem: “History isn’t something you look back at and say it was inevitable. It happens because people make decisions that are sometimes very impulsive and of the moment, but those moments are cumulative realities.”
ARTICLE: ANTOINETTE AHO
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: CNN
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