Just when you thought you were done with “pride month” California steps in and says, not so fast!

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Sacramento – Today the California State Assembly voted to declare every August moving forward, Transgender History Month. The move comes as over 500 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced in State Legislatures across the country with the majority targeting the human and civil rights of transgender people. A common message spread by anti-trans legislators is that trans people are somehow new, and that being transgender is a modern invention. Scholars and historians have confirmed that gender-nonconforming and trans people exist in historic written records dating back to antiquity. California in particular has a rich and documented transgender history going back to the Spanish colonial era.

“Trans people have always existed,” said Assemblymember Matt Haney (D-San Francisco) , the author of the bill. “In every era and in every culture they have existed. As long as there’s been the written word there has been a record of trans people. Ancient Egypt, the Romans, China, Native Americans — the history of transgender people is there if you look for it.”

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San Francisco’s Tenderloin District has been home to transgender people since the 1800s. Historians have letters written by trans women that describe their daily life living in the California city. In 2017 San Francisco designated a small part of the Tenderloin as the Transgender Cultural District making it the first legally designated area in the world to be declared “of historic importance” to the transgender community.

“Many Californians remain unaware of the real lives and experiences of transgender people, even here in California. This lack of familiarity has been exploited by those on the right to attack the trans community,” said Transgender District founder, and current Chair of the San Francisco Democratic Party Honey Mahogany. “We can change that through awareness, education, and outreach, and I believe that establishing a Transgender History Month in California is one way we can do just that.”

In 2021, San Francisco became the first city in the nation to declare August as Transgender History Month followed by Santa Clara County shortly thereafter. The Compton’s Cafeteria riots took place in San Francisco in August of 1966 and are largely recognized as the first LGBT Civil rights uprising in the United States. August is celebrated by many transgender advocates as a turning point in transgender civil rights history.

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h/t Dan

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