California becomes first state to recognise Transgender History Month

A protestor wearing a trans flag during a Pride event.

The state of California has declared that August will now be recognised as Transgender History Month, starting from 2024.

Transgender History Month is already celebrated in some Californian cities like San Francisco, but this week’s vote makes California the first state in the nation to recognise it.

California’s State Assembly gathered on Wednesday (6 September) to vote on House Resolution 57, hearing from Assemblymembers Matt Haney, Lori Wilson, and Rick Zbur, and Chair of the San Francisco Democratic Party Honey Mahogany, who first introduced the resolution.

The proposed resolution noted that California had long been “the epicenter of the trans liberation movement”, and that supporting this movement would “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.”

Speaking at a press conference outside of the California State Capitol shortly after the vote, Mahogany acknowledged that, while this legislation marked huge progress for the state, there was still a long way to go.

“Even here in California, where we have a sanctuary state, where we have overwhelmingly Democrats representing us in the capitol, we are still seeing acts of violence. We are still seeing attempts at legislating against our community,” she told the press.

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“And so it’s really important to us that we stop spreading misinformation about the trans community and take this opportunity to actually tell the truth and educate people about who we are and what we need.”

Assemblymember Haney then noted the state’s strong links with trans history. 

California Assembly Democrats hold a press conference after voting that August will now mark Transgender History Month.
August will now be recognised as Transgender History Month in the state of California. (California Assembly Democrats)

“As long as there has been a California, there have been transgender people here,” he said.

“Contributing to their community, making history, and expanding civil rights, and helping to build a California that is more inclusive and prosperous for everyone.”

Commenting on the introduction of Transgender History Month, Jorge Reyes Salinas from LGBTQ+ Civil Rights Organisation, Equality California, told CBS News: “We will be reminded of the value, acceptance, and fights fought not only for the trans community but how it impacted LGBTQ+ rights and other communities who have fought so hard for the rights that we have now.

“Especially now, in a time that we are seeing constant, week-after-week attacks against the LGBTQ+ community, especially the transgender community.

“It’s really a reminder that California stands behind the trans community and now more than ever we are not giving up on reinforcing that value.”

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