Founded 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.