San Francisco invests $215,000 into world's first recognised transgender cultural district

The Tenderloin neighbourhood used to be a thriving gay district but is now riddled with crime


Words: Steve Brown

San Francisco city officials have invested $215,000 to create the world’s first recognised transgender cultural district.

The new district will be situated in the Tenderloin neighbourhood and the Daily Beast reported that the Compton Transgender Cultural District is managed by RuPaul’s Drag Race star Honey Mahogany.

Mahogany said: “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 colour.

“There’s friendliness and an energy to the Tenderloin. People say, ‘hello’ and ‘good morning’ and ‘how are you?’ and check in with each other, which I think often gets lost in a big city.”

Last month, the city officials passed a measure that would appropriate around $3 million for cultural districts and the Compton district received more than $200,000 as part of the initiative.

The area is named after the now-closed Gene Compton’s Cafeteria, where the first transgender riot took place after a transgender woman and a police officer got into a confrontation back in 1966.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the area used to be a thriving gay district but is now riddled with high crime rates, rampant drug problems and an increasing homeless population.

However, the area is reportedly still home to many transgender people and the new investment will provide affordable housing as well as a community centre on the site of a former gay bathhouse.