The Faces Behind Compton’s Transgender Cultural District, Including A Newly Elected Democrat

Ashlyn Davis Ashlyn Davis

Compton's Transgender District Democrat

The fascinating people behind this storied Tenderloin stretch.

Compton’s Transgender Cultural District is the first legally recognized transgender district in the world. It’s comprised of 6 blocks in the Tenderloin District and crosses over Market Street to include two blocks on 6th Street. You’ll notice the pale blue, pink and white stripes on the lampposts demarcating the stretch of the city that intends to become a thriving area celebrating and providing opportunities for the transgender community. [Featured image Honey Mahogany via Instagram]

The district got its name from the Compton’s Cafeteria Riots in 1966, which may be one of the first transgender riots in American history. Parts of Turk and Taylor were renamed “Compton’s Cafeteria Way” and “Vikki Mar Lane” respectively. Beyond this corner, this area is home to bars like Aunt Charlie’s and other long-standing places that have allowed a marginalized minority to be themselves. More than 50 years later and the city has pledged millions of dollars in funding this courageous project. These three women are leading the way.

Founding members

Aria Sa’id

Sa’id is a founder and the Executive Director of the Compton’s Transgender Cultural District is a transgender advocate and award-winning political strategist based in San Francisco Bay Area. She is the founder of Kween Culture Initiative which focuses on empowerment for Black transgender women.

Honey Mahogany

Honey Mahogany is a drag artist and Compton’s Transgender Cultural District co-founder and co-owner of the oldest gay bar in The City, The Stud. She can also proudly say that she is the first drag queen elected to the Democratic Party in San Francisco and the first black trans person elected in California, as she recently announced on Instagram.


Janetta Johnson

Johnson is a founder of Compton’s Transgender Cultural District and the executive director of TGIJP, a group of trans, GV, and intersex people creating a united family in the struggle for survival and freedom.

The diverse community

The Tenderloin has always been a place that welcomes people from all walks of life.

The vision behind the project

The ladies hope to preserve and recognize the heritage that the transgender community contributed to the area while creating new business opportunities, safe neighborhood spaces, and toolkits to support the LGBT community. They, also, aim to channel the funds into generating more funds and buying up real estate, keeping the area’s prices accessible to current residents. Above all, this project intends to create a place where transgender individuals are loved, respected and treated with dignity.

Find out more at https://www.transgenderdistrictsf.com/about
Tags: LGBT, transgender
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