San Francisco is creating a “transgender district” and using public money as part of the process, according to a new report.
The Daily Beast reported that the district is called the Compton’s Transgender Cultural District, named after a diner near the spot of a 1966 altercation between transgendered individuals and police.
“We are proud of the work of our forbearers and proud of the work of our leaders. We are proud to be the nation’s first Trans Cultural District, and we look forward to continuing to honor our collective legacies and building our future in San Francisco,” reads the district’s Facebook page.
The district was ensured a steady stream of public money in November, after San Francisco voters approved a proposition that would share a hotel tax with arts organizations and send $3 million to the city’s cultural districts, which include Calle 24: Latino Cultural District and the LGBTQ Leather Cultural District.
The transgender district has received $215,000 from the city, according to the director of San Francisco’s Office of Transgender Initiatives, Clair Farley.
She said so far the city’s money has been spent on developing priorities and gathering input. Going forward, the district will assist transgendered individuals to open businesses and will offer job training to LGBTQ citizens.
Jane Kim, a San Francisco supervisor who represents part of the city’s Tenderloin district, has been pushing for the district to be created since 2017. She called it a necessary part of the opposition to President Donald Trump’s policies.
“The first transgender commemorative neighborhood in the nation’s history is well timed given the president’s attack on transgender people,” she said.
In her view, the center will be an economic center for transgendered individuals and businesses.
“We will have grants for small businesses and we need to be intentional to make the district an anti-displacement strategy,” she said.
She said it is time transgendered individuals have a neighborhood of their own.
“We don’t often think of nightclubs as safe spaces, but for the LQBTQ community, they’re a place people can be free to love and dance with the people they want,” she said. “That’s why we’re working so hard to have an intentional strategy to keep our small businesses here so they can grow and thrive.”
In addition to city money, the district will also share in the spoils after community advocates who had been battling to stop the development of a 12-story project reached an agreement with the developer of the project in which the developer would pay $300,000 to start building the major features of the district.
One of the first structures to be built is a community center, which is being built at the site of a former gay bathhouse.
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