In 1966 in San Francisco, tensions between transsexuals and police were about to turn violent.
Many transgender men and women had migrated to the city to be treated at Dr. Harry Benjamin’s clinic, which specialized in the relatively new sex reassignment procedures. Part of the therapy required the patient to dress as a member of the sex they were becoming. That made it difficult to find steady employment, so many turned to hustling to survive.
As for the police, they were corrupt – helping themselves to a generous slice of the profits that prostitution and drug trafficking raked in.
Anyone caught in drag in public was often arrested, strip searched, and placed into drunk tanks where they could get beaten and raped.
But that August, the transsexuals fought back with a vengeance. All about that tomorrow.
In recognition of the Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20, “The Rainbow Minute” is committed to bringing to light the often under-represented history of the transgender community by featuring 10 new episodes during the month of November. “The Rainbow Minute,” a radio show on WRIR, Richmond Independent Radio, is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and airs on 97.3 FM every Weekday at 9:03am, 12:30pm and 4:30pm. Listen to the WRIR’s audio stream here.
The Rainbow Minute is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and airs on 97.3 FM, WRIR Richmond Independent Radio, every Weekday at 7:59 a.m, 12:29 p.m. and 4:59 p.m. Listen to the WRIR’s audio stream here.