SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Transgender activists, with the backing of officials in the city of San Francisco, have established the world’s first “Transgender Cultural District” in the Tenderloin section of the city in order to “create a safe, welcoming and empowering neighborhood lead by trans people for trans people” and to “preserve the places where transgender history took place for future generations.”
According to reports, Jane Kim, who serves on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and represents the district that includes the Tenderloin, introduced legislation last year that would authorize and affirm the creation of “Compton’s Transgender Cultural District.”
“The lower Tenderloin is the most important neighborhood in America for transgender history, culture, and civil rights,” she said in a statement. “By creating the Compton’s TLGB District we are honoring this vibrant community built by transgender people, and are sending a message to the world that trans people are welcome here.”
The area, which spans six blocks in the southeastern Tenderloin, as well as two blocks of 6th Street, includes the site of the now former Gene Compton’s Cafeteria, an eatery that would often call the police in the 1960’s as it felt that the loitering of men who dressed as women was bad for business, and sought to force them to leave.
In 1966, as a number of transgender advocates sought to protest what they believed was police harassment, Compton’s Cafeteria called the authorities to report unruly behavior. When one officer sought to arrest one protestor who was dressed in feminine attire, the man resisted arrest and rather threw his coffee in the officer’s face.
A number of those present then began to riot, throwing dishes, furniture, and smashing the restaurant windows, as well as those of a police car parked outside. The riot reportedly lasted for two days.
The cafeteria is now used for transitional housing, and last year, a developer agreed to use $300,000 for the establishment of the transgender district, which will include a community center at the site of a former homosexual bathhouse, The Daily Beast reports.
In November 2017, the city passed a proposal to designate $3 million for the various cultural districts, and the Compton’s district was later allocated $215,000 for its project.
The manager of the district is a man who goes by the drag name of Honey Mahogany, who is known for his appearances on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
“The Tenderloin has always held a really special place in my heart as a trans person with the way the community is accepting of gender variant and trans people of color,” he told the Daily Beast.
Mahogany is reportedly among those who pooled together to purchase the homosexual bar “The Stud,” when it faced closure.
“Many of our traditions are passed down through queer bars because those are the places where our elders interact with younger generations,” he stated. “Drag is often seen as a way of storytelling and passing on stories of previous generations.”
In keeping with the project’s aim to “stabilize and economically empower the transgender community through ownership of buildings, business, homes, historic sites, and community space,” Supervisor Kim said that the city will provide grants for small business in the district.
“The first transgender commemorative neighborhood in the nation’s history is well timed given the president’s attack on transgender people,” she remarked. “We will have grants for small businesses and we need to be intentional to make the district an anti-displacement strategy.”
Proverbs 14:34 says, “Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”
In his book “Holiness,” the late Anglican preacher J.C. Ryle also taught, “Let us remember … that every part of the world bears testimony to the fact that sin is the universal disease of all mankind. Search the globe from east to west and from pole to pole, search every nation in every climate in the four quarters of the earth, search every rank and class in our own country from the highest to the lowest, and under every circumstance and condition, the report will always be the same.”
“… Everywhere the human heart is naturally ‘deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.’”