The Bronx is the only borough without an LGBT center, but some organizations are trying to fill the void until one can be built. NY1's Erin Clarke introduced us to a trailblazer who is part of the effort to make it happen, and was honored this week.
Seven years ago, Sean Coleman started Destination Tomorrow, a small agency to develop programs by and for the LGBT community.
"A lot of agencies that had experience, they would sit at these tables and no trans people, no people of color, no LGBT people of color and they'll decide ok we're going to put together a job readiness program and we're gonna do this and I'd be like 'well did you ask them what they want or did you ask them what they need,'" said Coleman.
Four years later, when the Bronx's only LGBT center closed, Destination Tomorrow stepped in to provide services—but Coleman realized there was another void.
While the LGBT community was becoming more accepted, transgender men and women, especially those of color like himself, still struggled to be understood and their needs were often overlooked.
"Service providers didn't understand that all trans-men are not heterosexual and that there are risk factors for trans-men, and not only did they not understand it, they don't engage that community," said Coleman.
So Destination Tomorrow began working to shed more light on the "T" in LGBT.
During Pride Month, it joined with a film festival to showcase transgender screenwriters, like Seven King, who produced a show called "Eden's Garden" about five black and Latino trans men from New York.
"For us to get our issues, our voice and our stories out on a public domain that could also inspire motivate and teach people," said King. "It's been on the backseat as far as the trans male voice."
Destination Tomorrow does all this work from a humble space in a business incubator in Hunts Point and with community partners like Bronx Works, which helps to host a drop-in safe space for LGBT youth at the Betances Community Center.
"It's making sure that LGBT residents do not have to leave their borough or their neighborhood to access quality services," said Coleman.
Doing a lot with limited resources until the dream of a new borough LGBT center one day becomes a reality.
Their address is:
890 Garrison Ave, Bronx NY 10474
Drop in Address:
547 E. 146th Street, Bronx NY 10455