San Francisco May House the World’s First-Ever Transgender Cultural District

Thanks to a mix of community advocates, developers, historical buildings, and active city council members, San Francisco may be home to the world’s first transgender cultural district. Cheers from advocates were heard throughout the corridors of San Francisco’s City Hall after Supervisor Jane Kim said that a legislative package was introduced to welcome an appropriated district created to preserve the history of the transgender community, while embracing the city’s current TLGBT residents.

“This is a great thing.  Everyone ended up a winner. The SRO [Single Residence Occupancy] housing will be built. It will be a thriving district and not just a plaque on the wall,” Honey Mahogany of the Compton district.

The Compton TLGBT District could span nearly six blocks (in the current Tenderloin District) along Market and two blocks of 6th street. Within these borders is the site of the first-ever LGBT uprising (preceding Stonewall riots) in 1966. Police raided the Compton Cafeteria (owned by Gene Compton) after it was learned that it was a popular place for cross-dressers to hang out—an illegal activity at the time. The crack down started a feud between the police and the community, starting nights of unrest with demonstrations and riots.
If completed, the Trangender Cultural District could be known as the Compton Cafeteria Historic District after those fateful nights in 1966.
The plans so far include replacing an abandoned building (950 Market) with a hotel and condo that would also serve as a safe space for the local T community. Included in the housing are 20 units of step-up housing (housing assistance), a community center, and, hopefully, a museum dedicated to preserving the often overlooked history of the trans* community.
While the committee can celebrate, the city still needs permits before ground is broken—and the project may not be completed for another two and a half years. [KTVU]


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