Onetime Rupaul's Drag Race contestant Honey Mahogany, who more recently has been working in San Francisco City Hall as a legislative aide to Supervisor Matt Haney, announced this week that she's running to become the first Black trans person to run for SF Democratic Party Chair.
"We have someone who knows what it means to represent so many communities that have been discriminated against and left out of the political process for so long," said Supervisor Hillary Ronen at Mahogany's campaign kickoff event, per KPIX.
Mahogany, who also identifies as queer and nonbinary, said her experience being on stage as a drag performer and as co-owner of The Stud has helped her in her more recent political work. As she told KPIX, "being fierce, funny, and cut down by other queers" pretty well sums up what it's like to be in San Francisco politics.
"I’m proud to have the support of my community, to have the opportunity to take on the mantle," she said. "And I hope that this is just the beginning and that we’ll see many more people like me here in the future."
Former supervisor David Campos, who is now District Attorney Chesa Boudin's chief of staff and has been serving as SF Democratic Party chair for several years, tells KPIX, "To have a transgender black woman represent the SF Democratic Party sends a clear message as who we are as a city."
Local drag queen and recently crowned Empress of San Francisco Juanita MORE! was on hand at Thursday's event, and she said of Mahogany's candidacy, "It's checking off the box of black person getting into this office, a trans person getting into this office, a drag queen, a queer person..."
In addition to her work in Haney's office, Mahogany has spent several years working to establish San Francisco's Transgender District — formerly called the Transgender Cultural District — in the Tenderloin. Last August, she was also instrumental in getting a Black Trans Lives Matter mural painted on the street at the intersection of Turk and Taylor streets — beside the historic location of Gene Compton's Cafeteria, the site of the historic 1966 Compton's Cafeteria Riot.
Born to East African political refugees, Mahogany grew up in the Sunset District and attended St. Ignatius College Prep high school. She attended college at USC, as the Bay Area Reporter notes, and then got a master's degree in social work at UC Berkeley. Campos appointed her to a vacant seat on the Democratic County Central Committee (DCCC), and she was then elected to the seat last year. She also served as co-president of the Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club in 2018.
Campos is stepping down as DCCC chair in order to move into a role as vice chair of the California Democratic Party. He'll continue to hold a seat on the committee, and the other DCCC members are expected to elect Mahogany as chair at their next meeting on May 26.
Mahogany appears to have her sights set on a continuing career in San Francisco politics. And according to the LGBTQ Victory Fund, she'll be the third trans person in the country to take a high-ranking leadership role in the Democratic Party.
"I hope that this is just the beginning and that we’ll see many more people like me here in the future," she said Thursday.
Photo: Juanita MORE/Facebook