Skip to content
Arnolfini - est 1961

“‘Happy Birthday Marsha’ shows what the gay rights movement owes trans people…” (Vice) – A beautiful portrayal of this world famous trans activist.

Presented by Arnolfini as part of the Still I Rise expanded programme.

Happy Birthday, Marsha! is a film about iconic transgender artist and activist, Marsha “Pay it No Mind” Johnson and her life in the hours before she ignited the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City. 

Starring Independent Spirit Award winner Mya Taylor (Tangerine).


A lush and speculative portrait of Marsha P. Johnson…” – The New Yorker

A timely meditation on the events leading up to the Stonewall riots…” – Dazed Magazine

A moving celebration and evocation of trans activist and artist Marsha “Pay It No Mind” Johnson…” –Artforum


As queer and trans artists, we have found that oppression does not solely affect our material conditions. Our relationships with each other, our ancestors, and communities are also at stake. Our work addresses the systematic erasure of rich legacies of trans and queer activism and art by creating artworks that revisit and re-imagine these stories. We mine existing archives and create new ones to address how our relationship with the past shapes our understandings of the present. We look back in order to dream a way forward.

It’s been over 45 years since the Stonewall Uprising yet the leading role that street queens, trans women of color and gender non-conforming people played during the riots has never received the recognition it deserves. By making Happy Birthday, Marsha!, we are seeking to change that. We truly believe how we tell the stories of our heroes matters, so we are drawing upon our community to make this film because we have an opportunity to make a movie written, directed and produced by people living Sylvia & Marsha’s legacy through our own work. This is the first time trans women of color are on both sides of the camera. 

We are working to transform oppression through art.

– Tourmaline and Sasha Wortzel



Screening all day in Arnolfini’s Dark Studio, Level 2.

Provided courtesy of Frameline.