Honey Mahogany, known to many as a contestant on the fifth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, is running for chair of the San Francisco Democratic Party.
Currently the vice-chair seat in her local County Central Committee, Mahogany would be the first Black person in modern history to lead the city’s Democratic Party and the first trans person. San Francisco is a stronghold of Democratic power and the home of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former home of Vice President Kamala Harris and California Governor Gavin Newsom.
A graduate of the University of Southern California and the University of California, Berkeley, Mahogany has a master’s degree in social work. Mahogany is a lifelong San Franciscan and the daughter of East African refugees. Since competing on Drag Race in 2013 as the series’ first San Francisco contestant, Mahogany has worked extensively in politics and advocacy. She previously served as president of the Harvey Milk Club, San Francisco’s LGBTQ+ Democratic club founded by the pioneering city supervisor in the 1970s. Four years ago, Mahogany helped establish the world’s first officially recognized transgender neighborhood in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district. Mahogany also helped save the city’s oldest queer watering hole, The Stud, by working to create the first co-operatively-owned gay bar.
“Drag Race was a great learning experience for me,” Mahogany said in a statement. “Having to work all day in heels, perform, be funny, be fierce, and face challenges all while being cut down by other queens… it’s basically San Francisco politics.”
Mahogany was appointed to the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee in 2018, and then in 2020 won election to that body and earned a vice-chair position, making her the first black trans person elected in the state of California. Mahogany currently works as a legislative aide to city supervisor Matt Haney and helped pass legislation advancing sanitation, mental health services, COVID relief, and police accountability.
Now, she’s ready for her next step, hoping to lead the city’s Democratic machine and address issues like homelessness, overdoses, housing costs, and violence against Asian elders.
“I continue to be inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement that has led people across the country to come together, stand up against injustice, and make their voices heard,” Mahogany said. “My hope is that my work and leadership will help bring people together in San Francisco at a time when this city needs it most, and that having a black trans person as head of the San Francisco Democratic Party will make a statement about San Francisco’s values at a time when state legislatures across the country are pushing through so many anti-trans laws. ”