California Assembly Declares August ‘Transgender History Month’

The state of California may have a new month to focus on the history of transgender individuals after a decision in Sacramento. The California State Assembly voted this week which names August ‘Transgender History Month’ starting next year.

The Wednesday decision, if signed into effect by the governor, would be the first such public history month in the nation.

The bill was introduced by Assemblyman Matt Haney (D), who said that he “couldn’t be more proud to have introduced legislation that will designate August as the first statewide Transgender History month in the nation.”

The bill will soon go to the Democratic Party-dominated state Senate, where it will likely pass. California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has positioned himself as a champion of transgender issues and would be a likely signature to approve the measure.

The resolution states that the “suppression of gender variance among indigenous California cultures by Spanish and later Anglo settlers was a foundational event of the history of the state” and that the “social fluidity of Gold Rush-era California attracted countless people who lived transgender lives in the mid-19th century.”

Haney’s resolution also cites the Tenderloin neighborhood in San Francisco, which he calls a “residential district for transgender people since the second half of the 19th century.”

Furthermore, the resolution cites a number of riots in August 1966 in the Tenderloin District, which has since “been designated as the world’s first transgender cultural district.”

The member of assembly also stated that the August historical designation would also encourage “a culture led by research, education and scholarly recognition” of the contributions of transgender people in California “and will educate future generations of Californians on the importance of this state’s history.”

The Democratic cosponsors of the legislation stated that the state has long been “at the forefront of the transgender liberation movement” and that currently transgender and “gender non-conforming Americans” are being “politicized and dehumanized in recent culture wars.” The statement added that the historical contributions of such individuals are being “erased.”