Most non-trans gay publications don’t ever mention trans people, which could be enough information to understand the interaction between the lesbian, gay, and trans communities. Despite the Compton Cafeteria Riots, it seems that San Francisco was still quite a dangerous place to be trans with heavy police policies regarding both cross dressing and prostitution. The incident where Becky Bella got thrown in the men’s jail is not uncommon for trans women today, and trans people are frequently denied hormone therapy while in prison.
The main purpose of this article is to provide a snapshot of trans news in the SF Bay Area in an issue of Angela Douglas’ Mirage, which is why the paragraphs seem jumpy. Angela’s ego comes through, however, as she claims that she heard that six people founded the Transsexual Action Organization. Of course, she chooses to take it gracefully, only adding to her image and the organization’s prestige.
It’s clear that TAO is marketed toward a transgender audience and not a drag audience. Although the piece touches on Manicure, an organization for gay male transvestites, it also refers to it as part of the “gay community” which shows a certain schism between trans and gay people. Furthermore, the article describes that the “so-called gay liberation front” is upset that trans people are organizing themselves and not aligning with the assimilationist gay lib movement.
Elliot Blackstone is the SFPD officer who patronizes the trans people during the 1968 KPFA interview, and he continued to work with the Transsexual Counseling unit after then through the 1970s. The language makes it hard to tell, but it seems that trans people view his impending resignation as a good thing, while perhaps the “Gay Crusader” admires Blackstone. In general, given the amount of police violence exerted toward trans people, as exhibited with Becky Bella mentioned in the article, the trans community tends to be fearful and disapproving of police intervention in trans spaces.