Honey Mahogany on Politics, Drag Race & The Stud | Out In The Bay

Honey Mahogany

Honey Mahogany is a San Francisco native, and the first trans chairperson of the San Francisco Democratic Committee. Mahogany worked as a social worker before appearing on the 5th season of RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2016. She says the platform the reality show provided her allowed her to further serve the community in the decade since, “I am really proud of the work that I have been able to do, and fulfilled by that work,” she adds, “If I was just doing drag like I was at that time, I don’t know if I would feel that same way.” After Drag Race, Honey Mahogany released some music, and toured with her drag act before returning home and rolling up her sleeves.

In 2018 Mahogany, became the first transgender person to serve on the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee, in 2021 she became the chairperson.

San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney and his legislative aide Honey Mahogany present Lynn Breedlove with a certificate of honor at a Board of Supervisors meeting during Transgender Awareness Week. (Photo: Pax Ahimsa Gethen)

Politically, there are two battles brewing in San Francisco that have Mahogany’s attention. The first being the April 19th State Assembly runoff between District 6 Supervisor Matt Haney and Vice Chair of the California Democratic Party David Campos. Mahogany — who has endorsed Supervisor Haney — says though Campos and Haney (both Democrats) aren’t far apart on policy, she trusts Haney, “Matt is a practical progressive, he makes sure we aren’t putting ideology ahead of the practical needs of our city.”

The other battle — that in the past week’s has come directly to the steps of City Hall — is over redistricting. Historically, District 8 has had a high LGBTQIA population, and Mahogany wants to make sure that voice is preserved there. But she adds, “the reality is that in District 6 between he Tenderloin and SoMa we have another queer voice which is more poor, more black, more brown, more immigrant, and that voice isn’t necessarily being heard.”

The Leather Pride Flag (Wikimedia Commons)

Mahogany lives in District 6, and has witnessed a housing boom along Mid-Market and Civic Center. She says the district needs to shrink, “But I think it can be shrunk in a way that is equitable, and that preserves these communities.” Mahogany says that these dense districts (and their supervisors) have done their part to try to solve the housing crisis and says that due to the resulting population growth, “they are now being punished, and we’re seeing these communities destroyed.”

Mahogany is part-owner of the now-closed LGBTQIA nightclub co-op The Stud. Host Christopher Beale shares the story of the final Saturday night in this 2021 write-up, and asked Mahogany about the future of the iconic San Francisco nightspot, “we will definitely be back.”

Lady Camden (RuPaul’s Drag Race Promo Photo)

As for this season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Mahogany admits to not having seen a single episode, “I’ve been a little busy, “ she says sarcastically but adds that she is expecting hometown queen Lady Camden to win the crown, “She is an incredibly dynamic performer, she’s stunning and adorable, and I am so proud of her!” The season finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race airs April 22 on VH1.

As for Honey Mahogany, she is excited about the future in San Francisco. A future where we get to be a part of what happens next, “re-investing in so many things that made San Francisco so special for so long. Revitalizing our cultural districts, invigorating the nightlife, and uplifting the voice of people of color and trans people.”

“We are a city that has always had a mind to equity,” she says, “sometimes we fail at reaching it, but here we are with another opportunity to get it right.”

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The Executive Producer of Out In The Bay is Eric Jansen. This edition of Out in the Bay produced, hosted and engineered by Christopher Beale.

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Christopher J. Beale

Christopher J. Beale

Independent radio host, journalist and producer in San Francisco. Covering LGBTQIA issues, arts, transit and culture.