Honoring the Trans Legacy of San Francisco

August is Transgender History Month

Pax Ahimsa Gethen

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San Francisco Mayor London Breed and trans activist Donna Personna raise the trans pride flag outside City Hall, surrounded by guests and photographers on the mayor’s balcony. Photo by Pax Ahimsa Gethen, CC BY-SA 4.0.

This week, the City and County of San Francisco kicked off Transgender History Month, an annual celebration that started in 2021. Mayor London Breed and trans activist Donna Personna raised the trans pride flag and held a ceremony at City Hall, alongside representatives from The Transgender District, San Francisco Office of Transgender Initiatives, and other guests and honorees.¹

Trans History Month was created to commemorate the anniversary of the Compton’s Cafeteria riot in August 1966. Taking place three years before the better-known Stonewall riots in New York City, trans women rose up in resistance to police harassment at Gene Compton’s Cafeteria in the Tenderloin. That site is now part of The Transgender District, the first trans cultural district in the country.

The Transgender District was founded in 2017 by three Black trans women: Janetta Johnson, Honey Mahogany, and Aria Sa’id. Each of these activists is notable in her own right. Johnson is the CEO of the TGI Justice Project, a prison abolitionist organization with a focus on the liberation of Black trans, gender-variant, and intersex people. Mahogany, the Trans District’s first director, was the first trans person to serve on the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee, and was elected its…

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Pax Ahimsa Gethen

Queer agender trans male. Black vegan atheist, pacifist. Pronouns: they/them/their. funcrunch.org, patreon.com/funcrunch