One of the signs against transphobia | Photo: Twitter @pridetrainsf
San Francisco authorities are demanding the removal of signs that read ‘transphobia prohibited’ from public transit vehicles.
One of the signs, posted by Pride Train SF on Twitter, reads: ‘Transphobia prohibited. At all stops between Ocean Beach and Caltrain.’
It continues with several messages: ‘We’re still fucking here’, ‘If you fuck with us, we’ll fuck you up’, and ‘Be gay, do crime’.
Public TRANSit pic.twitter.com/I8c8UUfkB8
— Pride Train SF ? (@pridetrainsf) June 12, 2019
The anonymous person behind the signs, who is trans, told the San Francisco Examiner they are a ‘transit geek’. They grew up in Queens, New York before moving west. They added they were inspired by New York City’s Pride Train movement launched a few years ago.
‘Illegal use’ in San Francisco
‘This is an illegal use of the Muni logo and of our Muni vehicles,’ said San Francisco Municipal Transportation agency (SFMTA) spokesperson Paul Rose.
‘Legal action is also an option, if needed.’
Many consider San Francisco as one of the more liberal and LGBTI-friendly cities in the United States. Transgender activists, however, are concerned by the threat of legal action.
Aria Sa’id, executive director of Compton’s Transgender Cultural District, told the Examiner: ‘I think it’s really gross SFMTA would even consider pursuing legal recourse.’
The city’s biggest worry apparently was the message of ‘be gay, do crime’.
‘San Francisco is a city of tolerance, but violence or criminal activity is not something we would support,’ Rose added.
Io Ascarium, who popularized the phrase when they posted an adaptation of an 1880 political cartoon with the quote on Twitter, explained the meaning of it to GSN.
‘”Crime” is the word used to describe the survival tactics many marginalized people must use to survive under capitalism, one reason queers are among those most likely to be locked up,’ they said.
‘So what else should we do besides thumb our nose at the very idea of law? … We’re still out here risking arrest just to stay fed, housed and alive while waiting to drown in boiling sea water and no cis-gay winning elected office has done a whole lot to change that material reality.’
Rose did not immediately respond to GSN’s request for comment.
Update 18 June 2:27 pm PST: Rose responded to GSN, reiterating his previous statement.
‘For this specific issue, we simply removed the few flyers that were spotted last week,’ he said. ‘In general, Legal action is an option that can be pursued, if needed.’