San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed today will join with community members to raise the transgender flag at City Hall in honor of the beginning of Trans Awareness Month. Mayor Breed will be joined by Senator Scott Wiener, Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, the Office of Transgender Initiatives, and trans community leaders. Following the flag raising, Mayor Breed and others will provide remarks at the Trans Awareness Month kick-off celebration, outlining San Francisco’s major accomplishments on trans policies and programs to date.
Trans Flag Raising
Friday, November 1, 2019
City Hall, Room 200
“In San Francisco, we celebrate our diversity,” said Mayor Breed. “Despite transphobic and bigoted efforts around the country to dismantle the rights of trans people, our trans community will never be erased. We are committed to continuing our investments in the trans community, providing support through policies and programs, and maintaining our unyielding commitment to equal rights for all.”
Each year in November, the trans community, allies and organizations across the country come together to celebrate Transgender Awareness Week followed by observing Transgender Day of Remembrance. Last year Mayor Breed and Office of Transgender Initiatives extended the event to declare November as Transgender Awareness Month in San Francisco.
San Francisco’s Office of Transgender Initiatives is a historic trans-led City government office launched to develop innovative policies and programs that support the transgender, gender nonconforming, and LGBTQ communities. The Office was created by then-Mayor Ed Lee and is the first and only municipal office of its kind.
“Here in San Francisco we celebrate Transgender Awareness Month to highlight the way that the community and the City are working together to advance equity for trans and gender nonconforming communities,” said Clair Farley, Director of Office of Transgender Initiatives. “This is also a time to ground ourselves in our observance of Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day where we pay respect to the lives of the predominantly Black transgender women we have lost to anti-trans violence. As transgender people are under attack across the country San Francisco will not rest until everyone in our community is thriving and has a safe place to call home.”
“Itali Marlowe, Elisha Chanel Stanley, Bailey Reeves, and Jordan Cofer are just a few of the beautiful trans souls we‘ve lost this year to the epidemic of hateful, tragic murders,” said Senator Wiener. “As our federal government turns its back on and attacks the transgender community, we must recommit to stand with our transgender neighbors. In San Francisco, we will always uplift transgender people, and I remain committed to the fight for safety, dignity, and equality.”
“The trans civil rights movement started in San Francisco at the Compton’s Cafeteria riot,” said Supervisor Mandelman. “This year the City has made historic investments in trans housing with Our Trans Home SF and opened the state’s first shelter for trans youth. These are major milestones but we still have a lot more to do.”
San Francisco has invested over $2 million annually in transgender programs and services. In the City budget for Fiscal Year 2019-20 and 2020-21, Mayor Breed has increased that funding amount to $3 million per year. Under Mayor Breed’s leadership and commitment to the community, the Office of Transgender Initiatives has launched the following programs with the community:
Trans Housing Support
Notably, Mayor Breed has funded the Our Trans Home SF program to provide rental subsidies and housing navigation services to low-income trans people. The goal of the trans housing program is to support the community in finding or keeping safe and inclusive housing. The program is spearheaded by St. James Infirmary and will include flexible rental subsidies, housing navigation, and a transitional housing program that will support trans community members on their pathway towards housing stability.
Fellowship for LGBTQ Immigrants
The fellowship is intended to equip LGBTQ immigrants with the skills and training necessary to achieve their career goals. The first of its kind program helps address a critical gap in San Francisco for many LGBTQ immigrants who have very few options to survive financially which can lead to unsafe and non-inclusive work environments. In partnership with the Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs (OCEIA) and community organizations, the fellowship will provide paid internship and training to address the unique economic development needs of this community.
Investing in Arts and Culture
San Francisco’s trans and gender nonconforming community has a long history within the arts and culture of the city. Under Mayor Breed’s leadership the City has increased its investment in vital LGBTQ arts and culture programs including the Transgender Film Festival and the Compton’s Transgender Cultural District. The annual San Francisco Transgender Film Festival takes place during Trans Awareness Month, screening films that promote the visibility of trans and gender nonconforming people. The Film Festival will run from November 7 until November 10, 2019. More information about the film festival can be found at http://sftff.org/.
Trans Inclusion Across the City
Last November, Mayor Breed issued an Executive Directive to expand gender and self-identifiers on all City forms and applications to support trans community to be recognized and respected. The Executive Directive also requires that all City employees working with the public receive trans inclusion training. The City budget includes funding to hire a Training Officer to track the expansion of gender and self-identifier options on City forms and provide transgender inclusion training.
The Office also worked with the other City departments to implement an All Gender Bathroom Policy, and to implement Senate Bill (SB) 310 (Name and Dignity Act), SB 179 (Gender Recognition Act), SB 396 (Transgender Work Opportunity Act), Admin Code Chapter 12X (Anti-LGBT State Ban List) and the SOGI Data Collection Ordinance.
The trans flag raising marks the beginning of a month full of events. For a full schedule of Transgender Awareness Month events, please visit: https://sf.gov/departments/city-administrator/office-transgender-initiatives.