'Trans history month' to be imposed on US state from next year

California and trans flag composite

San Francisco and Santa Clara had already recognised the month prior to state-wide legislation

Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 11/09/2023

- 12:21

California is the first state to introduce the national awareness month

California is the first state in the US to impose a Transgender History Month, with the awareness campaign to begin from next year.

August will be the official Transgender History Month for the Golden State from 2024.

Some Californian cities had independently acknowledged the month, such as San Francisco and Santa Clara, prior to state-wide recognition.

The vote was cast in favour for the trans-inclusive month on September 7.

Matt Haney

Matt Haney helped introduce the new legislation

Wikimedia Commons

Trans activists then hosted a press-conference to celebrate the new measure.

Assembly member Matt Haney said: “As long as there has been a California, there have been transgender people here.”

He continued: “Contributing to their community, making history, expanding civil rights and helping to build a California that is more inclusive and prosperous for everyone.

“That is a history today that we are very proud to celebrate and that California will celebrate and uplift from this year and every year."

He also took to social media to celebrate the victory in implementing the trans-focused month state-side.

The assembly member said if someone was unaware of the existence of the month, then it was down to the failures of historians and politicians who “chose to erase the lives of trans people from our history rather than be faced with a narrative that did not conform with their own”.

Drag Queen and chair of the San Francisco Democratic party Honey Mahogany, who also spoke at the conference, said the month would help educate others on trans rights.

“All across this country, we have been seeing the attacks on the trans community, but it’s not just in other states.”

“Even here in California, where we have a sanctuary state, where we have an overwhelming [number] of Democrats representing us in the capitol, we are still seeing acts of violence, we are still seeing attempts at legislating against our community,” they said.

Honey Mahogany

Drag Queen and activist Honey Mahogany believed the month would help spread information about trans-rights

Wikimedia Commons

August was chosen as the month because of the 1966 Compton Cafeteria Riots. Trans activists and police officers clashed in the streets of San Francisco, after a trans woman threw coffee over a police officer.

It is noted for marking the beginning of the transgender rights movement in the state.

The awareness month is not the only way California lawmakers have stepped in to promote trans-rights state-wide.

In 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom brought in new legislation which offers legal refuge for trans youth who have fled from conservative states.

The democrat signed the Senate Bill 107 into law, which protects families of trans youth refugees from out-of-state summons if it “relates to efforts to criminalise individuals or remove children from their homes for having received gender-affirming care.”

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