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California State Assembly Officially Declares August ‘Transgender History Month’


Queer Politics: two rainbow flags bookending the White House.

In a historic first, the state of California has just voted to declare that beginning in 2024, August will be officially recognized as Transgender History Month. Officially titled, House Resolution 57, the state's assembly voted last week to officially designate the month to honor the great transgendered Americans who changed this country for the better.

The resolution highlights the contributions of such Americans as Charley Parkhurst, a famed stagecoach driver of the 1800s, and "Jenny O." who was an early correspondence of famed sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld. The resolution celebrates Sandy Stone, who was not only an iconic media scholar but was also Jimi Hendrix’s recording engineer to boot. Stone is considered one of America's parents of transgender studies as an academic pursuit, because of her “Posttranssexual Manifesto,” which she wrote while earning her PhD in History of Consciousness Studies at UC Santa Cruz. Those are just a few of the people that the resolution acknowledges.

Announced at a press conference outside of the California State Capitol, Assemblymember Matt Haney, who represents San Francisco and who introduced the resolution, led the group of Democrats in releasing the news. They were also joined by Honey Mahogany (RuPaul's Drag Race) and Jupiter Peraza. Honey Mahogany is the co-founder of the Transgender District, the first legally recognized transgender district in the world, and Peraza is the program associate for the district. Explaining how important this moment is, Mahogany said, "It’s really important to us that we stop spreading misinformation about the trans community and take this opportunity to actually tell the truth and educate people about who we are and what we need."

Then they introduced Haney, who reiterated just how important this moment is, and how vital transgender Americans are to this country's history. "As long as there has been a California, there have been transgender people here," he said. "Contributing to their community, making history, expanding civil rights, and helping to build a California that is more inclusive and prosperous for everyone."


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A post shared by Matt Haney (@matthaneysf)

House Resolution 57 also acknowledges some of the violent history that goes with the fights for Queer rights. Moments like the 1966 Compton's Cafeteria Riot, which occurred three years before the famous Stonewall Riots of 1969, the event that is widely accepted as the spark that lit the flame of LGBTQ+ rights in America and around the world. But the resolution aims to not only celebrate America's history of great transgendered citizens, but also goes a step further in that it officially acknowledges the "suppression of gender variance" that was forced on our country's Indigenous peoples by colonization.

If you want to watch, here's the full video of the historic moment in California:

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