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San Francisco invests $215K into world's first recognized transgender cultural district

Last month, city officials approved a measure to appropriate $3 million for cultural districts

Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

San Francisco city officials have invested $215,000 into the world's first recognized transgender cultural district situated in the Tenderloin neighborhood, The Daily Beast reported.

The Compton Transgender Cultural District is managed by Honey Mahogany, a drag performer who was a contestant on the fifth season of "Ru Paul's Drag Race" TV show. Mahogany's real name is Alpha Mulugeta.

"The Tenderloin has always held a really special place in my heart as a trans person with the way the community is accepting of gender variant and trans people of color," Mahogany told The Daily Beast. "There's friendliness and an energy to the Tenderloin. People say 'hello' and 'good morning' and 'how are you' and check in with each other, which I think often gets lost in a big city."

In November, city officials passed a measure that would appropriate $3 million for cultural districts. The Compton district received its share of more than $200,000 as part of that initiative.

The district's name came from the now-closed Gene Compton's Cafeteria where the first transgender riot was sparked by a confrontation between a transgender woman and a police officer in 1966.

The area once thrived with gay bars but now it's riddled with high crime rates, a rampant drug problem, and a growing homeless population. Police have made at least 600 drug busts in the neighborhood this year, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

But Tenderloin is still home to many transgender people. The city's investment will help provide affordable housing transgender residents, according to Curbed. A community center is also planned at the site where a gay bathhouse once operated.

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