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

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

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 MindJohnson – 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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Michael Kasino

As per the comment above that the filmmaker made no use of TV footage of the legendary Stonewall riots, that is because there is no footage of the Stonewall riots. All footage you have seen is, in fact, ‘recreation’ footage taken from other riots.
To note the other concern in the comment section that this documentary fails to address the disappearance of drag queens from the mainstream gay political agenda, and their contributions to society, is a legitimate one. Those issues are not addressed in this documentary because this doc is primarily a personal biography about Marsha P. Johnson.
To clarify, this documentary was directed, videotaped, and edited by Michael Kasino, (including Marsha’s interview). (And I also wish the audio was clearer.)
I also wanted to point out that the above photo is not Marsha P. Johnson, but it is Nova, another GLF member.


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.

Hummimg Loon

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.


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

J Bonnot

Thank you for sharing this beautiful person with the world. Legendary and heartbreaking. Love docs that allow the subject to tell their own story.

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