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Feature Doc 'Pay It No Mind: The Life & Times of Marsha P. Johnson' Released Online. Watch It

by Courtney
December 26, 2012 7:33 PM
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Directed by Michael Kasino and Richard Morrison, Pay It No Mind - The Life and Times of Marsha P. Johnson is a feature-length documentary that focuses on revolutionary trans-activist, Marsha "Pay it No Mind" Johnson - a Stonewall instigator, Andy Warhol model, drag queen, sex worker, starving actress, and Saint.

With her final interview from 1992, Pay It No Mind captures the legendary gay/human rights activist as she recounts her life at the forefront of The Stonewall Riots in the 1960s, the creation of S.T.A.R. (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries) with Sylvia Rivera in the '70s, and a New York City activist throughout the '80s and early '90s.

The film features interviews with Marsha, as well as in-depth interviews with gay activist Randy Wicker, former Cockettes performer Agosto Machado, author Michael Musto, Hot Peaches founder/performer, Jimmy Camicia, and Stonewall activists Bob Kohler, Danny Garvin, Tommy Lanigan-Schmidt, and Martin Boyce.

This documentary screened at the IFC Center in NYC about a year ago, and the British Film Institute in London earlier this year, and is now available online to watch for free.

In July 1992, Johnson's body was found floating in the Hudson River in NYC, just after the 1992 Pride March. Police ruled the death a suicide, however, further evidence revealed that there might have been foul play involved. But unfortunately, attempts to get the police to investigate the cause of death were unsuccessful.

The hour-long doc in embedded below:

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  • No | December 27, 2012 11:19 AMReply

    While I appreciate Ms. Marsha P. Johnson's contribute to the gay struggle and human rights, I did not consider this a very well-made documentary to watch. As inventive and as innovative as she was with her life, this documentary -- using standard techniques -- could have been and should have been more interesting to watch. I'm surprised that the filmmaker made no use of TV footage of the legendary Stonewall riots, and there certainly wasn't enough made of the fact that it was the drag queens and their disappearance from gay political put the gay agenda on the map. Ironically, the disappearance of drag queens from gay political culture has made gay rights more legitimate and "normal." This should have been explored more.

  • Michael Kasino | March 23, 2013 5:20 AM

    Re: I'm surprised that the filmmaker
    made no use of TV footage of
    the legendary Stonewall riots

    There is no TV news footage
    of the legendary Stonewall Riots.

    Re: disappearance of drag queens
    from gay political culture
    has made gay rights
    more legitimate and "normal.

    This was Marsha's story.
    Please feel free to tell your story.
    You seem to have thoughts to share.
    And spare.

  • Hummimg Loon | December 27, 2012 9:32 AMReply

    What a beautiful documentary. I really don't think I've ever seen amy other piece of film about the importance of black activists in the gay rights movement. I mean, Stonewall!! Only wish that Marsha's audio was crisper. But great nonetheless.

  • sosgemini | December 26, 2012 11:22 PMReply

    As an LGBT activist and a film enthusiast, I thank you for sharing this. I look forward to watching!

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