Bronx Trans Collective raises awareness for Pride Month

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For LGBT Pride Month, the Destination Tomorrow Center is raising awareness about its mission to provide a sense of community and support for transgender and gender non-conforming Bronx residents.

"I would be dead, and that is the God's honest truth," says Sasha Washington, 30, who turned to the center after her adopted parents disowned her as a teenager.

"They didn't understand me," she says. "They always thought I was going to be a gay man, but now, I turned the table, and I'm a lady."

But Washington met Sean Coleman, the founder of Destination Tomorrow and its new subsidiary the Bronx Trans Collective. 

"He has molded me and pushed me and motivated me," Washington says.

The Bronx Trans Collective opened in 2016. It is the first transgender-specific center in the borough. Statistics show New York City has about 25,000 transgender residents. It's estimated that the Bronx has a high population due to its lower cost of living, which drove demand for the center.

"It helps them a lot with dealing with isolation and depression," Coleman says. "It gives them an opportunity to see some folks that look like them."

One of the staff members there is Dominique Jackson, who was part of Oxygen's hit TV show "Strut."

"It's time we realize, we can be productive members of society" the model says. "As long as we can be our true selves and not bring harm to others."

Destination Tomorrow will host this year's Bronx Pride Festival Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. at 152nd Street and Brook Avenue.

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