Crego departing SF trans initiatives office

  • by John Ferrannini, Assistant Editor
  • Monday December 11, 2023
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Pau Crego is stepping down as executive director of the San Francisco Office of Transgender Initiatives. Photo: Courtesy Pau Crego
Pau Crego is stepping down as executive director of the San Francisco Office of Transgender Initiatives. Photo: Courtesy Pau Crego

After more than two years of leading the San Francisco Office of Transgender Initiatives, Pau Crego announced Monday he's leaving his role as executive director. His last day will be Friday, December 15.

In September 2021 upon the departure of his predecessor Clair Farley, a trans woman who had headed the city office since 2017, Crego was named its acting executive director, as the Bay Area Reporter previously reported. He became the permanent executive director of the office in April 2022.

A trans and nonbinary Spanish immigrant, Crego has been with the office since 2017. When asked why he is departing, Crego told the B.A.R. by phone in an exclusive interview, "I've been really grateful and thrilled to be able to do the work I've done over the last six years. I've gotten a lot done and I'm ready for the next professional challenge."

When asked where that will be, Crego said he is not sure. He did say he is weighing a future in the field of public health.

"I'm actually taking a couple months off just to rest and have time for myself," he said. "I have not had the opportunity to do that in my entire working life."

Crego said he did not expect budget cuts to impact the office; last week Mayor London Breed announced cuts as the city stares down a $1 billion budget deficit. Breed approved midyear budget cuts of 3% of the city's general fund.

"We've shown our value over the years," Crego said.

In a statement, Breed said, "Pau has dedicated his career to serve our diverse, vulnerable communities and I know he will continue to be a fierce advocate for San Franciscans of all backgrounds, especially our transgender residents."

Added Breed: "We thank him for his tireless work and dedication to ensure our city can continue to remain at the forefront of expanding LGBTQ rights and policies."

Sofía S. Ríos Dorantes, the deputy director of El/La Para Trans Latinas, pointed to Crego's work on behalf of trans Latinas, which included an economic development fellowship program the two of them worked on.

"His experiences and insights were instrumental to the success of this program," Ríos Dorantes stated. "As a beloved leader in our community, his legacy will inspire future generations of young trans leaders."

The mayor's office has yet to announce who will be taking over the office, either on an interim basis or permanently, as of next week.

Gay District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman thanked Crego for his service in a statement.

"Pau Crego has worked for nearly two decades to advance equity for LGBTQ+ people, particularly transgender and nonbinary communities," Mandelman stated. "As executive director, Pau has been instrumental in expanding transgender rights and resources in San Francisco, increasing city funding for critical transgender community services, designing a professional development program for transgender immigrants, and spearheading the passage of transgender inclusion policies both at the city and at City College."

In 2020, the San Francisco Community College District Board of Trustees, which oversees City College of San Francisco, passed a gender diversity and inclusion policy authored by the City College Queer and Trans Inclusion Project. One of the project's members was Crego, who at the time was director of policy and programs at the city's trans office.

The policy allows a formal complaint process for those who believe they were mistreated. It also makes the use of chosen names mandatory except for certain financial and legal documents, and came on the heels of the implementation of gender-neutral bathrooms, as the B.A.R. reported ( at the time.

City Administrator Carmen Chu praised Crego.

"Through his leadership, the city has moved forward tangible strategies to end trans homelessness, to create more economic stability and opportunities for the trans community, and to advance awareness and training for our citywide workforce," Chu stated. "I will miss working with Pau — his ability to build champions and partners throughout our city, and his dedication and selfless support and advocacy for the transgender and gender nonconforming community is inspiring in the midst of increasing discrimination and violence against the TGNC community across the country."

It was on homelessness that Crego said he had the biggest impact, touting he helped get "a commitment to end trans homelessness by 2027" from Breed.

Last year, as the B.A.R. reported, Breed budgeted $6.5 million in the city's two-year spending plan toward that goal.

According to a news release from Breed's office at the time, the plan to end trans homelessness will be a collaborative effort between the Mayor's Office on Housing and Community Development, the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, the Department of Public Health, the Office of Transgender Initiatives, and nonprofit organizations serving transgender and gender-nonconforming people experiencing homelessness or at-risk of homelessness.

Shireen McSpadden, a bi woman who is the executive director of the San Francisco Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, agreed that Crego has made his mark.

"Pau's legacy will continue to shape our work for years to come," McSpadden stated. "We are committed to building upon the foundation Pau has laid and prioritizing the needs of transgender individuals experiencing homelessness. Pau's work will serve as a guiding light as we continue our mission to create a more inclusive homelessness response system for all."

As the B.A.R. reported earlier this month, a conservative group has filed suit against the city for a pilot program providing a minimum guaranteed income to some transgender adults, alleging it violates the Civil Rights Act.

Crego was hesitant to talk about the program, saying at first that "the extra publicity has caused more threats to our organization," but went on to say there are 55 people in the program who are receiving $1,200 a month for 18 months.

The program is in its second year and ends in August 2024.

Crego also touted working on trans-inclusive employment policies for the city.

As the B.A.R. previously reported, Crego has lived in San Francisco since 2008 after moving from Barcelona, Spain to study queer studies at City College on a student visa. He later received a green card then became a U.S. citizen during the Trump administration. Prior to joining the trans office he worked at Larkin Street Youth Services and was the first case manager for El/La Para TransLatinas.

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