Trans-affirming activities in the Bay Area
July 23, 2022 8:38 AM   Subscribe

A newly out trans relative of mine will be in the Bay Area on vacation and he is looking for activities that he can connect with as a trans person. Suggestions?

He is a 19-years-old and had a tough transition during the pandemic with relatives who were not supportive. He will be traveling with relatives who are a little more supportive of his transition, but still struggle with name/pronouns. Ideas might be queer exhibits at museums, bookstores that center on queer writing, events/shops/cafes where he would see/interact with other trans and queer people. Limitations are his age (not 21+), who he is traveling with (no clubbing), prefer to limit indoors (though bookstores and museum exhibits understandably are indoors). He will mostly be in Oakland/Berkeley and San Francisco at the end of August (if there are any specific events then).
posted by Toddles to Travel & Transportation around San Francisco, CA (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have not been, but the Transgender District sounds cool.
posted by lunasol at 9:06 AM on July 23, 2022

City Lights bookstore! It’s a wonderful queer bookstore in the North Beach area of SF with a lot of history.
posted by mekily at 9:43 AM on July 23, 2022

Best answer: City Lights is great, but not particularly queer, unless I've completely missed something, Allen Ginsburg connection aside.

There's the GLBT Historical Society museum. I haven't been to the museum, but going the the archives was extremely emotional and meaningful for me, though for reasons that probably don't apply to your relative.

The Pacific Center transmasculine group is Wednesday nights, but it looks like they're still on Zoom, and it looks like their youth stuff might be pretty much suspended. There's also the Oakland LGBTQ Center, which appears to have a youth club he could inquire about visiting in addition to support groups.

I swear there used to be a queer library on Telegraph in Oakland, but I can't think of the name, nor confirm that it exists.

I think you can get into the White Horse if you're under 21, which is, as far as anyone can tell, the oldest operating queer bar in the US.

From the perspective of your relative, I am a deeply uninteresting old, but would be happy to have coffee with him (with or without rounding up some other transmasculine people). I'll be in Oakland from the last week of August for several weeks. Me-mail me if that's a thing he's interested in.
posted by hoyland at 10:59 AM on July 23, 2022 [2 favorites]

Fluid Cafe in the Tenderloin is trans run. It's small and really I mostly just get coffee (vs. hanging out) but it gives me joy every time. The surrounding neighborhood is sketch as heck but I do not feel unsafe there.
posted by feckless at 12:41 PM on July 23, 2022

If he can make it down to the South Bay and the dates line up, Silicon Valley Pride is happening Aug 27 - 28.
posted by skunk pig at 1:15 PM on July 23, 2022

Best answer: Pegasus Books in Berkeley and Oakland have workers who are visibly GNC and friendly, and they are a great bookstore besides, just for a suggestion while out and about. Alchemy Coffee on Alcatraz is a worker coop with workers who are similarly visible.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 1:55 PM on July 23, 2022

To add a little background, the Transgender District is within the Tenderloin (and a little bit of the SOMA neighborhood), and that area is pretty rough around the edges. Not usually dangerous, but it wouldn't be unusual to see injection drug use, public urination, etc. Also, I don't think there's much to see there on an average day -- Compton's Cafeteria closed a long time ago and there's not much else to visit, or at least there wasn't last time I was in the area. (If my knowledge is out of date, please chime in and say so!) I wanted to specify this because I think heading out of your way to see the Transgender District might be a bit disappointing. However, it looks like there will be a fundraiser for the District in late August open to all ages. If the timing works, maybe that would be of interest?
posted by reren at 8:55 PM on July 23, 2022 [1 favorite]

How shy is he? LGBTQIA folks are usually really friendly if someone expresses interest especially someone younger, but he'll almost certainly have to be a bit outgoing and risk a few moments of awkwardness to make friends.

The SF LGBT Center has a newsletter for 16-24 year olds with info on events.

MilkSF is a Queer cafe in SF, run by the same people who run Glama Rama Salon next door. The Cafe has outdoor seating.

Out of the Closet is a a LGBTQIA thrift store chain, where profits go to the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. There's two locations in the east bay, two in SF. Indoors, but trying on and buying gender affirming clothing in a supportive environment can be really great, and the people who work there are almost certainly part of the LGBTQIA community.

He could also download Lex (a queer friends & dating app with written posts), I see queer and trans event stuff for the area, and people visiting the area posting looking to hang out with other gay or trans folks isn't unusual.
posted by Chrysopoeia at 1:26 AM on July 27, 2022

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