In a win for LGBTQ+ representation, California has become the first state to recognise Transgender History Month.
On 7 September, the exciting decision was reached after lawmakers voted in favour of House Resolution 57 – which was first introduced by Assemblymember Matty Haney.
The Golden State will now recognize August as Transgender History Month starting in 2024
Before it gained statewide recognition, the trans-inclusive month was independently recognised in cities like San Francisco and Santa Clara.
Shortly after the vote was cast, Haney and various trans activists held a press conference to celebrate the state’s trans-inclusive measure.
“All across this country, we have been seeing the attacks on the trans community, but it’s not just in other states,” said Honey Mahogany, the chair of the San Francisco Democratic Party and former Drag Race star.
“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.”
Mahogany went on to say that Transgender History Month will allow the trans community to educate people at a time when misinformation and anti-trans rhetoric are running rampant.
Haney echoed similar sentiments during the San Francisco-based press conference.
“As long as there has been a California, there have been transgender people here,” he exclaimed.
“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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“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.”
Towards the end of the conference, trans activist Jupiter Peraza delivered a powerful statement about how Transgender History Month will help “humanise” the community.
“Recognising and learning about transgender history humanises a marginalised community, a community that has been the target of brutal and hateful legislative attacks in an effort to suppress self expression and personal liberation,” she explained.
“The way to do that is through education, awareness, history dissemination, mentorship and so much more.”
The introduction of Transgender History Month joins a growing list of measures California lawmakers have taken to make the state a supportive place for trans citizens.
Last year, Governor Gavin Newsom was praised by LGBTQIA+ activists when he signed Senate Bill 107 into law.
Under the legislation, families of trans youth refugees are protected from out-of-state subpoenas if it “relates to efforts to criminalise individuals or remove children from their homes for having received gender-affirming care.”
The law also labels out-of-state criminal arrest warrants related to gender-affirming care as the “lowest priority for law enforcement in California.”
Lastly, SB 107 also gives California courts the authority to make an initial child custody determination if the child is in the state for gender-affirming healthcare (per ABC News.)
Check out the full press conference below.