Every June, Pride gives us the opportunity to come together and celebrate our City’s LGBTQ communities. Pride is one of my favorite times of year, and I am so proud to be Mayor of a city that celebrates and honors the diversity of our residents. San Francisco is a beacon of hope for LGBTQ people around the world.
All month, there have been events throughout the City in honor of Pride, and we have so many more important and fun events coming up this weekend. From the Trans March and Dyke March, to the Pink Triangle Ceremony and the SF Pride Parade and festival (join me!), there are so many ways to reflect on and celebrate the diversity that makes San Francisco great.
As President Trump and states around the country threaten the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals, it is more important than ever that San Francisco continue to be a place of love, acceptance, and compassion. We welcome diversity, and we’re proud to be a City where everyone belongs, no matter who you are, where you come from, who you love.
San Francisco is a place that stands up for our LGBTQ communities. I’m honored to be featured in the most recent issue of the San Francisco Bay Times, which highlights the work we’ve done to support LGBTQ individuals in our City, including budget investments, citywide initiatives, and the appointment of a number of LGBTQ Commissioners and department heads.
I’ve proposed spending an additional $3 million for transgender and LGBTQ services. This funding is in addition to the existing budget allocations for LGBTQ services. The funding includes:
· $2 million for Our Trans Home SF. This funding will create the first program of its kind in the nation that will provide flexible housing subsidies to help trans community members find and keep their housing.
· Continued support for LGBT homeless youth services through housing, employment, and case management services.
· Establishing an ongoing LGBT Immigrant Fellowship program through the Office of Transgender Initiatives. This fellowship program, piloted this year, prepares LGBT immigrants with the professional development skills they need to engage with the everyday workforce, internships, and continuing education.
· Continued support to backfill federal HIV funding cuts and support for the Getting to Zero initiatives.
These budget investments go hand-in-hand with our existing initiatives to make San Francisco a more inclusive place and make sure that LGBTQ individuals are treated with dignity.
In March of this year, I declared that San Francisco is Open to All. Open to All is a nation-wide public engagement campaign to build awareness and understanding about the importance of protecting people from discrimination — and to defend the principle that when businesses open their doors to the public, they may not refuse to serve someone because of who they are. In San Francisco, our businesses, healthcare services, workforce, and housing will always be Open to All.
This past fall, I issued an Executive Directive to expand gender and self-identifiers on City forms and applications. The Executive Directive directed City agencies to provide inclusive administrative forms and applications that represent all gender identities, allowing people to more broadly choose how they self-identify when demographic information is collected.
My budget includes funding for a new Training Officer in the Office of Transgender Initiatives to implement the Executive Directive to track the expansion of gender options on all City forms and provide trans inclusion training to City employees that work with the public.
Along with all the fun that comes with Pride, it’s also an opportunity to build momentum for the work that remains. We know that the fight for equal rights is not over. Far too many LGBTQ individuals are the victims of violence and hatred, and we must all fight together to ensure that no one is erased or marginalized because of how they identify or who they love.
I wish everyone a safe and fabulous Pride weekend!