Listen to Marsha P. Johnson Talk About the Stonewall Riots In Her Own Words – “We didn’t start the rebellion.” [RARE AUDIO]

Before her tragic death in 1992 , Eric Marcus of Making Gay History interviewed self identified gay, transvestite, drag queen activist Marsha P. Johnson (aka.Malcolm Michael Jr.) and longtime gay activist Randy Wicker about the Stonewall Riots.

I was uptown and I didn’t get downtown until about two o’clock, because when I got downtown the place was already on fire.  And it was a raid already. The riots had already started.  And they said the police went in there and set the place on fire.  They said the police set it on fire because they originally wanted the Stonewall to close, so they had several raids.”   – Marsha P. Johnson

In this rare and informative audio the details of that fateful night on June 28, 1969 come from Johnson’s own mouth and puts many of the rumors and folklore of the Stonewall Riots to rest once and for all.

History matters.

Accurate history matters even more.

Will Kohler

Will Kohler is one of America's best known LGBT historians, He is also a a accredited journalist and the owner of A longtime gay activist Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced on such notable media venues as BBC News, CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The Daily Wall Street Journal, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story. Back2Stonewall has been recently added to the Library of Congress' LGBTQ+ Studies Web Archive. Mr. Kohler is available for comment, interviews and lectures on LGBT History. Contact:

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5 Responses

  1. Louis E Lafreniere says:

    This is astounding. Thank you so much for unearthing it. The combination of Randy and Marsha—roommates no less!—in this interview throws an entire new light on that era. I wish it was longer, but there’s so much here already.

  1. June 21, 2019

    […] #PRIDE50 -Listen to Marsha P. Johnson Talk About the Stonewall Riots In Her Own Words [RARE AUDIO] […]

  2. August 26, 2019

    […] Stonewall icon Marsha P. Johnson gave a journalist an interview before she passed away in 1992. The audio-only recording upsets some of the myths that have grown up around the Stonewall Riots. Listen to it on the BackToStonewall website. […]

  3. June 26, 2020

    […] the face of the mid-century gay rights movement, threw the first brick. By her own account, Johnson arrived late to the function. We don’t exactly know who threw the first brick, whether it was the iconic […]

  4. June 28, 2020

    […] stressed that it has never been proven or documented by any of those arrested at the Stonewall Inn, Marsha P. Johnson herself  has claimed that she was the one who told Sylvia about the raid after it…   Sylvia never mentioned being at the Stonewall Inn until well after 20 years after the riot.  […]

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