Founded by three black trans women in 2017 as Compton’s Transgender Cultural District, The Transgender District is the first legally recognized transgender district in the world. Originally named after the first documented uprising of transgender and queer people in United States history, the Compton’s Cafeteria Riots of 1966, the district encompasses 6 blocks in the southeastern Tenderloin and crosses over Market Street to include two blocks of 6th street. In 2016, the City of San Francisco renamed portions of Turk and Taylor to commemorate the historic contributions of transgender people, renaming them “Compton’s Cafeteria Way” and “Vikki Mar Lane” respectively.

     This urban region of the city’s Tenderloin District has held a documented, ongoing presence of transgender residents since as early as the 1920s- with the Tenderloin known as a “gay ghetto” during the 1930s to the 1960s- prior to the birth of the internationally renowned Castro District in San Francisco. This area is home to the city of San Francisco’s first LGBT bar, and various community spaces, gathering sites, and hotels with cultural significance for the broader transgender and queer community in the Tenderloin.

     We aim to create an urban environment that celebrates the transgender tipping point in the United States and the world, while educating the world of the deep profundity of transgender culture and our contributions to the liberation of humankind.

MISSION

     The mission of the Transgender District is to create an urban environment that fosters the rich history, culture, legacy, and empowerment of transgender people and its deep roots in the southeastern Tenderloin neighborhood. The transgender district aims to stabilize and economically empower the transgender community through ownership of homes, businesses, historic and cultural sites, and safe community spaces.

Guiding Values

     Within our founding are core values of creating an effort that facilitates the healing, economic empowerment, and cultural enrichment of transgender people in the Tenderloin district- who have been and continue to be plagued by social and structural violence, marginalization, disenfranchisement, and abject poverty, yet maintain a fiery resistance and unfaltering resilience.

 

  • To create a safe, welcoming, and empowering neighborhood, lead by trans people for trans people.

  • To create a place of healing, opportunity, and reparations in a neighborhood that, historically, has been a place of both violence and resistance.

  • To stabilize and economically empower the transgender community through ownership of buildings, businesses, homes, historic sites, and community space.

 

  • To preserve the places where transgender history took place for future generations.

OUR WORK

     The Transgender District is leading the way to provide innovative solutions for our community, ensuring the viability and stability of our project, our mission, and our goals in creating an atmosphere that celebrates and affirms the ongoing presence, resilience, contributions, and culture of transgender people in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, and creating safe spaces for trans people that inspire economic advancement, leadership development and community. 

 

     As a legally recognized Cultural District in San Francisco, we focus our work toward six major program initiatives:

Tenant Protections

     The district is actively in negotiations with the City and County of San Francisco and supportive housing agencies to stabilize transgender residents who are vulnerable to displacement due to development and gentrification in the Tenderloin area. Unfortunately, the majority of long-time transgender residents of the Tenderloin have been chronically homeless. The District aims to support, create, and facilitate efforts and initiatives that cure transgender houselessnes, and identify resources to stably house disenfranchised members of the transgender community.

Economics and Workforce Development

     We are implementing a multi-prong economic empowerment strategy that fosters both real-time, immediate employment opportunities for transgender people with multiple barriers to self-sufficiency and sustainability; while also creating an incubator entrepreneurship program that will provide monetary and educational resources for transgender entrepreneurs aspiring to open businesses and projects in the district area. We are committed to the creation of district- owned and operated social enterprise programs, in addition to facilitating business models that include monetary and sweat equity options to cultivate as many transgender business owners and ownership opportunities as possible.

Arts and Culture

     We celebrate the culture, resilience and resistance of transgender people in the city’s Tenderloin area by working with transgender and gender non-binary artists to lead neighborhood placemaking efforts, art exhibitions, informative and topical panel discussions, and varied music programs that are led by and for transgender people. In addition, the district aims to be the city of San Francisco’s hub of transgender culture—and with innovative partnerships—lead more unique and impactful events, exhibitions, cultural celebrations, festivals and more—with the aim of educating the broader world on acceptance, equality and liberation of transgender people- while economically supporting transgender artists, musicians, performers, business owners, cultural workers, and more.

Cultural Heritage Conservation

     We actively work with historical preservationists, the San Francisco Planning Department and California State Senator Scott Wiener’s office to identify, evaluate, and document buildings and areas of the district with significant cultural and historical assets to the transgender community. We also promote the legacy of transgender culture in the district through oral history and storytelling, in addition to partnering with archival institutions and museums that possess cultural artifacts related to transgender culture.

Cultural Competency

     As the transgender community is a marginalized and disenfranchised community—both in San Francisco and worldwide—we are creating an environment that affirms the lives and authenticity of transgender people living in a world that consistently tells us we should not exist. The broader goal in our efforts towards urban beautification, placemaking, art and cultural affairs, and more, is to continue a wave of cultural shifts in which the humanity and resilience of transgender people is celebrated, and respected. As we build the infrastructure for a thriving cultural district- we also are building a re-imagined world in which transgender people are socially, culturally, and economically empowered and genocide against us is eradicated.

Land Use

     We actively participate in policy meetings with various San Francisco City & County government agencies to help shape and guide protective City regulations, tools and programs (such as zoning and land use controls) to promote and protect safe spaces and commercial enterprises for the transgender community. The district has successfully begun implementing our placemaking and urban beautification efforts with the City of San Francisco’s Department of Public Works and San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency to ensure renewed crosswalks, increase of sidewalk trees, increase in restroom access, and more. The district aims to create ongoing urban beautification efforts that enrich the lives of longtime residents of the Tenderloin as a reverse gentrification model.

   

As part of our placemaking efforts, all of the light poles in the district are adorned with the Transgender Flag! 

Show your pride and support of the district - take your photo with a flag and share on social media with #transgenderdistrict.

Our Staff

Aria
sa'id

Co-Founder & Executive Director (she/her)

Aiden
Helmstrom

QTY Program Fellow
(he/they)

Sean
Greene

Director of Strategic Partnerships (he/him)

Spring Collins

Program Assistant (they/them)

WORK WITH THE TEAM

Program Associate

 

About the Position

The Program Associate will support and work closely with the Executive Director in leading innovative programming, community engagement, public policy, government relations, and campaigns for the Transgender District. Under the direction and vision of the project’s Executive Director, the Program Associate will serve in a project leadership capacity, aiming to achieve the project’s mission of creating an atmosphere that celebrates the ongoing presence, culture, history and resilience of transgender people in San Francisco’s Tenderloin area.

What You’ll Do

This is perhaps unlike any other job in the nonprofit/NGO sector you’ve ever had. Our project team is committed to free-thinking, pushing innovative ideas, and reimagining a world in which transgender people in the Tenderloin are socially, culturally and economically empowered. Every day we fuse our efforts and energies towards shaping a future in which transgender people are thriving. The role is part of a locally and internationally recognized endeavor where your day to day work features exciting and demanding challenges, growth, autonomy, think-tank style strategy, and bold curiosity and commitment towards social change. In our team, we focus on contributing transformative thinking, growth, and high impact change for transgender people, and our neighborhood. 

This role is a hybrid of program coordination, campaign coordination, community engagement, government relations and public relations.
 

Here’s a snapshot of what the position requires day to day: 
 

Program Coordination: Under the direction of the Executive Director, the Program Associate will provide leadership, oversight, and management of transgender empowerment programming, public awareness campaigns, short-term cultural projects, and more. 

Government Relations: The Program Associate will support the Executive Director in active participation of government alliance efforts, urban planning working groups, public policy development, and more. 

Community Engagement: Under the direction of the Executive Director, the Program Associate will lead day-to-day community engagement, town halls, and focus group efforts for transgender communities in the Tenderloin neighborhood. The PA will recruit and convene a Community Advisory Council of transgender community stakeholders and Tenderloin residents to support campaigns, the grand opening of our community center, and our historical, cultural, and socio-economic assessments that will shape our strategy for the next decade. The Program Associate will support efforts through stewarding and leveraging strategic partnerships and relationships with community leaders, public officials, Tenderloin residents, and key partners-  that help advance the most marginalized of the local transgender community through representing the cultural district in various arenas- city hall, community events, and everything in between. 

Events Management: In partnership with the Director of Strategic Partnerships, this role will executive produce and oversee the day-to-day management of upcoming events, street festivals, luncheons, summits, conferences and more. From cultivating sponsorships to cover costs of programming- to managing support staffing and venue, and much more- the Program Associate is skilled in producing mid to large scale events and programs. 

Campaigns & Short-Term Projects: Under the direction of the Executive Director, the Program Associate will actively participate in localized campaign efforts, including public awareness campaigns, place setting and placemaking activities, partnerships with real estate developers, and more. 

Project Administration & Operations & Strategic Planning: The Program Associate will support operations, project administration, project management, strategic planning and other duties as assigned/ as needed either intermittently or day-to-day. 

Professional Development: The Program Associate will actively participate in professional development opportunities, training, coaching, workshops, conferences, etc. as assigned to ensure sustainable impact in this role, as determined by the Executive Director. 

Compensation
The Transgender District is thrilled to offer a competitive salary for this role, with an intentional commitment to creating a workplace culture that prioritizes the morale, self-care, and investment of our staffers. The position is 32/hours a week with a salary range of $60-65k a year

Through our fiscal sponsorship relationship with St. James Infirmary- we are pleased to offer comprehensive medical, dental, vision insurance, 401k, and paid Holiday/Vacation/Sick time

Required Experience & Qualifications: 
5 years of experience in community engagement efforts in transgender communities, with a focus on culturally competent community engagement with Black and Brown transgender women in areas of high poverty and disenfranchisement. 
3 years of experience in event planning & event management for LGBT communities
3 years of experience in grassroots community organizing, political education and/or representing the lives, humanity and needs of transgender women of color in an advocacy context
Demonstrated commitment to a broad range of social, racial and economic justice issues and an understanding of the multiple transgender and gender non-conforming communities the Transgender District serves.
Demonstrated ability to code-switch as needed for multiple arenas of community engagement- from engaging with trans folks of color to engaging with public officials, to engaging with philanthropic institutions, etc. 
Ability to write and speak persuasively; excellent written and oral communication skills 
Impeccable attention to detail.
Discretion in handling highly confidential information
Ability to work collaboratively in a team environment.
Demonstrated experience in setting strategy and managing goals, developing and implementing plans, managing people and budgets
Outstanding organizational skills; initiate and complete multiple tasks on time with competing priorities and deadlines.
Demonstrated talent for recruiting, managing and inspiring volunteers.
Strong technology and analytic skills: proficiency in Word, Outlook, Excel, Salesforce, and other applications as needed and experience setting up and tracking data management systems.

Physical Qualifications
Regularly sit, talk, run, move equipment, hear, and visually interact with students/staff
Work at a desk and computer screen
Regularly use close and distance vision
Be able to occasionally lift up to 15 lbs.
Work in a traditional climate-controlled office environment

Candidate shall be a leader who is
Passionate about the Transgender District’s mission with knowledge of transgender communities and issues, and an intersectional analysis informed by economic, racial, social, and gender justice values.
Resourceful and innovative: bringing an optimistic, can-do, hands-on approach to achieving the most possible with the resources available and responding flexibly as opportunities and events arise.

A team builder and inspiring leader: able to work effectively in a diverse workplace; motivate and support volunteers; and promote high performance and accountability;
Straightforward and self-possessed; one who shares information readily, listens as well as gives advice and respects the abilities of others; diplomatic
Willing to do what it takes: including local and national travel and long hours across multiple time zones, when needed.

 

Interested candidates please email CV/Resume to: aria@transgenderdistrictsf.com

ABOUT THE DISTRICT

 
 
  • The Transgender District
  • The Transgender District
  • The Transgender District

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