QUEER VOICES

San Francisco Taking Down Sassy 'Transphobia Prohibited' Signs On Mass Transit

The Pride Train SF Alerts bring a message of inclusion and tolerance to the trains, but the Muni system says they go off the rails on language and logo.

San Francisco officials have ordered the removal of a series of snarky, unauthorized alerts on the city’s mass transit warning that “transphobia” is “prohibited.”

The signs, attached to straphanger rods on light-rail trains, look like similar official alerts and are stamped with the logo of Muni, the city’s Municipal Railway. But they’re far more provocative than anything the city would post.

“Muni ALERT,” reads one of the signs on the N-Judah line that carries some 43,000 commuters daily. “No transphobia on all stops between Ocean Beach and Caltrain.” The message is translated into Spanish. Then it goes a bit off the rails: “We’re still fucking here. If you fuck with us, we’ll fuck you up.”

Not only are the signs now being removed, but officials are also hinting at legal action against those responsible.

“This is an illegal use of the Muni logo and of our Muni vehicles,” Paul Rose, spokesman for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, said in a statement. “Legal action is also an option, if needed.” 

The San Francisco Examiner indicated that officials were particularly concerned about the last line of the guerrilla threat: “Be gay, do crime.”

“San Francisco is a city of tolerance, but violence or criminal activity is not something we would support,” Rose said.

The person largely responsible for “Pride Train SF” campaign declined to be identified, though she talked to the Examiner. She identifies as trans and told the newspaper she was inspired by a similar Pride Train campaign launched three years ago in New York City. That operation also uses messages on subways and stations that resemble official signs to raise awareness about violence against transgender people. 

Aria Sa’id, executive director of Compton’s Transgender Cultural District in San Francisco, suggested Muni officials adopt the Pride Train SF signs as their own.

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