San Francisco is making history by designating the first trans historical district
Before it was known for Silicon Valley, San Francisco was a city known worldwide for its LGBTQ progressiveness. Places like Castro Street are an integral part of queer histories, but gentrification and other cultural forces are changing and in some cases erasing the city’s recent past. Now, some folks are trying to restore the city’s status as an LGBTQ safe haven.
San Francisco’s Tenderloin district is going to become a trans historical and cultural district — the first of its kind in the U.S.
The city’s formal designation for the trans space is Compton’s Transgender, Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual (TLGB) District. Why Compton’s? That’s the name of the restaurant where one of the first trans civil rights action took place. Though the name is a little clunky, the intention is solid: To put an oft-marginalized history front and center.
The entirety of the CTLGB district is a five-block square around the original Compton’s. This kind of ethnic/cultural cloistering is common in American cities. But in recent years, many of those same neighborhoods became targets of gentrification. San Francisco is trying to hold onto the city’s queer roots. In our nation’s cultural climate, these kinds of official efforts will mean more than ever.