San Francisco official apologises after saying trans electoral candidate wasn’t a human

A split image of Aaron Peskin and Honey Mahogany

A San Francisco elected official has apologised to the LGBTQ+ community after suggesting a transgender electoral candidate wasn’t real – or even human.

Aaron Peskin, a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors representing District Three, made the claim about District Six supervisor candidate Honey Mahogany while he was endorsing her rival Matt Dorsey, who is the current D6 supervisor.

In a 22 September interview with the San Francisco Examiner, Peskin said he was unsure as to what RuPaul’s Drag Race star Mahogany “stands for or believes in”.

“People who I think are real people and who are human and aren’t the stereotype of a political climber are people who are interesting to me, and people who I think are worthy of support,” Peskin said.

His bizarrely worded statement received a considerable amount of backlash from local LGBTQ+ community members, some of whom called for Peskin to resign.

“I’m so past apologies with all these politicians,” one person said, while others took the chance to show support for Mahogany, including California State representative Matt Haney.

“Now is a great time to support the very qualified, very real, very human, experienced, dynamic, brilliant [Honey Mahogany], who has already endured the unthinkable with grace & integrity, and will make an extraordinary, fierce, independent supervisor,” he said in a tweet.

‘Poor choice of words’

Peskin responded to the backlash by saying he had not intended to insult Mahogany with his “inelegant comments” in an apology posted to Twitter on Sunday (25 September).

“While it was very much not my intent, I can see how those words could cause harm,” he said.

“Anyone who knows me personally and in my professional life knows that I have long been an ally to trans people, the trans community, and the broader LGBTQ+ community which I hold dear.

“I acknowledge my poor choice of words and have been in touch with community members, including Honey Mahogany, to ensure that my intentions are made clear and to prevent any further harm.”

Mahogany said in an interview with San Francisco Chronicle that Peskin had left her a voicemail apologising for his words but she hasn’t “been paying it much mind”.

“I’ve been very focused on my race and really reaching the voters and talking to people. That’s what’s important,” she said.

“Certainly, I appreciate him reaching out to give me a call… but this is not something I am focused on personally.

She added that coming from the drag world has given her “pretty thick skin,” including her time spent on season five of RuPaul’s Drag Race, where she was eliminated in episode 4.

The non-binary politician and activist added: “The things that those shady queens have said are much worse than anything that Peskin could ever say.”