California is officially the first U.S. state to recognize Transgender History Month.
On Wednesday, September 6, the California Assembly voted for House Resolution 57. This resolution, beginning in 2024, recognizes August as Transgender History Month.
After passing the bill, Matt Haney, a California Assembly member and the author of House Resolution 57, stated, “…our strongest defense against the anti-trans agenda is just to tell the truth. Let’s tell the truth about transgender people’s lives, and let’s lift up the history of the transgender Californians who left their mark on our great state.”
The chair of the San Francisco Democratic Party, Honey Mahogany, believes that establishing Transgender History Month will help bring awareness about the lives and experiences of transgender people.
San Francisco was the first U.S. city to recognize Transgender History Month. After the city of San Francisco signed the proclamation in 2021, the town began observing the month the following year. The recognition of the state occurring shortly after provides optimism that the nation may recognize Transgender History Month in a few short years.
August marks a landmark time in transgender history. Compton’s Cafeteria Riots took place in August of 1966. These riots occurred in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. This district was the home to many transgender or gender nonconforming people who, unfortunately, faced harassment from law enforcement officers. The riots began when a law enforcement officer grabbed a drag queen, and the patrons of the restaurant where this took place fought back against the officer. This harassment sparked a revolt and became the first large-scale act of resistance of transgender people against the police. This event is a significant milestone for San Francisco and the transgender community. California’s extensive history with the transgender community makes it the perfect state to begin recognizing Transgender History Month.
LGBT History Month, occurring in October, gained national recognition across the United States in 2011. Several countries recognize LGBT History Month, which honors transgender people. However, with the historical significance of August and the impact transgender individuals have on the nation, it is meaningful to take the month to recognize the history of the transgender community.