Bill Text: CA AR57 | 2023-2024 | Regular Session | Introduced

Bill Title: Relative to Transgender History Month.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 61-3)

Status: (Passed) 2023-09-06 - Read. Adopted. (Page 2968.). [AR57 Detail]

Download: California-2023-AR57-Introduced.html


House Resolution
No. 57

Introduced by Assembly Member Haney
(Principal coauthors: Assembly Members Lee and Wilson)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Cervantes, Jackson, Low, Ward, and Zbur)

August 29, 2023

Relative to Transgender History Month.


HR 57, as introduced, Haney.

WHEREAS, 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, as documented in the journal of soldier Pedro Fages, who wrote in 1775 about native peoples he encountered near present-day San Diego, whom he described as “those Indian men who, both here and farther inland, observed in the dress, clothing, and character of women… They are called joyas, and they are held in great esteem.”; and
WHEREAS, The social fluidity of Gold Rush-era California attracted countless people who lived transgender lives in the mid-19th century, including legendary stagecoach driver Charley Parkhurst, whose life story was celebrated in the popular television show Death Valley Days, hosted by Ronald Reagan; and
WHEREAS, San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood has been known as a residential district for transgender people since the second half of the 19th century, when it was home to people such as “Jenny O.,” a trans woman who corresponded with the famous German sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld about her life in the Tenderloin; and
WHEREAS, Some of the earliest support organizations for cross-dressers were founded in Los Angeles by Virginia Prince in the early 1960s; and
WHEREAS, The 1959 Cooper Do-nuts Riot in Los Angeles and the 1966 Compton’s Cafeteria Riot in San Francisco were important acts of collective resistance to police violence targeting trans people, years before the better-known Stonewall Riot in New York; and
WHEREAS, The Black transfem performer Sir Lady Java filed the first antitrans employment discrimination lawsuit in the country in 1969 in Los Angeles, when she protested her firing from the Redd Foxx nightclub on La Cienega Boulevard, leading ultimately to the overturning of antidrag ordinances; and
WHEREAS, In the 1960s and 70s, Ojai resident Reed Erickson, a multimillionaire trans man, funded the establishment of university-based sex reassignment clinics at Johns Hopkins University, UCLA, and elsewhere, providing a foundation to support the work of San Francisco-based doctor Harry Benjamin and his landmark 1966 book The Transsexual Phenomenon, and whose Erickson Educational Foundation funded the nation’s first trans peer support group, the National Transsexual Counseling Unit, in 1968; and
WHEREAS, The 1973 West Coast Lesbian Conference at UCLA became the first national flashpoint for trans issues in the women’s movement when attendees voted on whether to accept the participation of trans lesbian singer Beth Elliott; and
WHEREAS, San Francisco resident Lou Sullivan, a trans man, founded FTM, the first national and international support organization for transmasculine people, in the 1980s; and
WHEREAS, Legendary media scholar and Jimi Hendrix’s recording engineer, Sandy Stone, launched the academic field of transgender studies with her “Posttranssexual Manifesto” while earning her PhD in History of Consciousness Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1987; and
WHEREAS, In 2017 San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood became home to the world’s first legally recognized transgender cultural district, which serves to create an urban environment that empowers transgender individuals residing in the neighborhood through cultural, economic, and historical preservation initiatives; and
WHEREAS, Each day more transgender Californians are elected to public office, star as leads in television shows and films, lead organizations, create educational initiatives, and serve in the United States Armed Forces; and
WHEREAS, Despite the national recognition of LGBTQ+ history month, there is no proper representation and emphasis on the imperative leadership of transgender individuals in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights throughout history, and the transgender community substantially trails behind the level of inclusion and acceptance afforded to the broader LGBT community; and
WHEREAS, Despite awareness of influence on other movements categorized by resistance and liberation, prominent portions of transgender history remain undiscovered, unrecognized, and outside mainstream consciousness; and
WHEREAS, Transgender and gender-nonconforming Americans are being dehumanized and politicized in recent culture wars and their contributions to the history of the United States are being erased and their existence being portrayed as a recent cultural development, despite having existed throughout all known human history; and
WHEREAS, We are now at a new pinnacle of transgender visibility, with violence towards transgender and gender-nonconforming people continuing with high prevalence and frequency without being met with adequate responses of justice and accountability; and
WHEREAS, California has long been the epicenter of the trans liberation movement, possessing suitable historical qualities sufficient for the recognition of Transgender History Month as an opportunity to provide education, insight, and awareness of the monumental contributions to Golden State history by transgender Californians; and
WHEREAS, Discrimination, exclusion, and ignorance towards the transgender community continue to perpetuate violence and disparity; and
WHEREAS, Demonstrating actions led by principles of respect, value, and honor will aid a community that continues to fight for proper acknowledgment; and
WHEREAS, The month of August has particular significance to the trans community as it is the month when the Compton’s Cafeteria Riots are commemorated. One of the first LGBT civil rights uprising in the United States, the Compton’s Cafeteria Riots took place in August of 1966 in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District, which has now been designated as the world’s first transgender cultural district; and
WHEREAS, Supporting the transgender community by designating August as Transgender History Month will create a culture led by research, education, and scholarly recognition of the contributions of transgender Californians to our great state’s history, and will educate future generations of Californians on the importance of this history; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, That the Assembly declares the month of August of each year as Transgender History Month; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.