Bronx transgender center helps support growing community

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THE BRONX -

A transgender center is helping to support a growing community in the Bronx.

Sasha Washington says the agency "Destination Tomorrow" saved her life.

"I've come to understand that everyone is not going to be cool with your lifestyle and there is a bunch of people that will,” she says.

Her adopted parents disowned her when she was a teenager, she explains.

"They didn’t understand me, they always thought I was going to be a gay man but no, I turned the table and I’m a lady."

Eventually, forced to live on the streets and not knowing what the next day would bring, she met Sean Coleman, the founder of Destination Tomorrow, and the new subsidiary agency "Bronx Trans Collective,” which is the first transgender-specific center in the borough that opened in 2016.

"Folks don't really understand the trans community, right, and we get so caught up in what kind of body parts they have or what they are doing in their bedroom, and we don’t see them as human," Coleman says.

The most recent statistics show that 25,000 members of the trans community live in New York City. It’s believed there is a higher population in the Bronx because cost of living is lower.

Coleman says the center has become more like a family, offering transgender people things they need like medical and mental health resources, legal services and even a way to get their GED.

Staff member Dominique Jackson, who has appeared on Oxygen's TV hit show ‘Strut,’ says the center is also focused on developing programs which help Bronx residents understand transgender people better.

Destination Tomorrow hosted Bronx Pride Festival on Saturday at 152nd and Brook avenues in the Bronx.

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