​tangerine’s mya taylor to star in marsha p johnson biopic

Grace Dunham will also appear in Happy Birthday, Marsha!, which follows the legendary trans artist and activist just before the 1969 Stonewall riots that started the gay rights movement.

by Charlotte Gush
23 November 2015, 8:05am

Mya Taylor, star of the awesome working-girls buddy comedy Tangerine, is set to play the legendary Marsha P Johnson in a new biopic that follows the trans artist and activist just before the Stonewall riots in 1969. Happy Birthday, Marsha! from directors Reina Gossett and Sasha Wortzel follows Marsha, a black trans woman, as she tries to gather friends to celebrate her birthday in the hours before the famous events at the Stonewall Inn, when many believe Marsha threw the first shot glass (at a mirror) in the fight against homophobic and transphobic police who had come to terrorise the community, one of the first acts to spark the gay rights movement.

"It's been 46 years since the Stonewall Rebellion yet the leading role that street queens, people doing sex work, trans women of colour and gender non-conforming people had during the riots hasn't received the recognition it deserves," the directors write on the film's Indie Gogo page. "Rarely do marginalized people drive stories about themselves on-screen, but this project is different," they explain, "Happy Birthday, Marsha! is written, produced and directed by a trans woman of colour".

The cast also reflect this diversity, with trans women playing all of the principal roles. Mya Taylor is joined by fellow trans actor Eve Lindley, who plays Latina trans activist Sylvia Rivera, and their friends Andorra and Bambi are played by Cherno Biko (niece of anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko) and Rios O'Leary-Tagiuri, respectively. Silas Howard, the first trans director of Transparent plays the Stonewall manager and Grace Dunham (Lena's sister) plays Junior, a character based on Jay Toole.

Happy Birthday, Marsha! is currently raising finishing funds on Indie Gogo. You can read more about the film and donate using the link below.


Mya Taylor
Gay Rights
Stonewall Inn
Silas Howard
Grace Dunham
happy birthday marsha
Cherno Biko
eve lindley
marsha p johnson
rios o’leary-tagiuri
sylvia rivera