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SF supe plans to create first transgender cultural district in nation

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(Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner file photo)

Supervisor Jane Kim announced plans Tuesday to create the first transgender cultural district in the nation in the Tenderloin, the home of a landmark riot against the discrimination of transgender people.

The cultural district would be called the Compton’s Transgender, Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual District and span several blocks in the southeastern part of the Tenderloin and the first two blocks of Sixth Street, an area that has historically been a hub of gay nightlife.

“The lower Tenderloin is the most important neighborhood in America for transgender history, culture, and civil rights,” Kim said in a statement. “By creating the Compton’s TLGB District we are honoring this vibrant community built by transgender people, and are sending a message to the world that trans people are welcome here.”

The symbolic district bears the name of Compton’s Cafeteria, a coffee shop frequented by transgender individuals at Taylor and Turk streets in the 1960s and the center of one of the first riots for transgender rights.

The announcement comes after Kim made a deal with the sponsors of an upcoming development at 950 Market St., which is situated inside the proposed cultural district and used to be home to gay bars.

The developers, which plan to build housing and hotels on the mostly vacant strip of Market Street between Mason and Taylor streets, agreed to pay $300,000 into a fund to help kickstart the cultural district, according to Kim’s office.

Opponents had appealed the Planning Commission’s approval of the project in an effort to preserve the block and its history, but now support the development under the agreement.

Kim was scheduled to introduce legislation to create the district Tuesday.

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