San Francisco made history on Tuesday with the unveiling of the Compton's Transgender, Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual (TLGB) District—the first legally recognized transgender district in the world.
Named after the historic Compton's Cafeteria riots in 1966 (the first known incident of collective LGBT resistance to police harassment in U.S. history), The Compton's TLGB District will encompass six blocks in the southeastern Tenderloin and will cross over Market Street to include two blocks of 6th Street. The intersection of Compton's Cafeteria Way and Vikki Mar Lane (previously portions of Turk and Taylor Streets) will be a hub of services and economic opportunities for trans and gender-nonconforming communities, as well as a place to honor the community's history.
"The lower Tenderloin is one of the most important neighborhood in America for transgender history, culture, and civil rights," said Supervisor Jane Kim, who represents the Tenderloin. "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."
Although activists have discussed ways to recognize the unique history of the neighborhood for years, a recent report by the Obama Administration's National Parks Service outlining the national significance of the area spurred local activists to quickly form the Compton's District Coalition and fight to make the district a reality. Supervisor Kim will be introducing legislation this Tuesday that will provide support and create protections for the official Compton's TLGB District.
"In the last few weeks our federal government has made it clear that minority communities have never been more at risk in America," Kim said. San Francisco needs to do everything it can to stand our ground and be a place of sanctuary, for transgender people, and specifically trans women of color. Hopefully the Compton's TLGB District will be the start of a national movement to protect these communities and their history."