WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – June 1 marks the start of Pride Month. People can expect to see parades, festivals, and concerts to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. As we celebrate Pride Month, we present to you a local nonprofit that continues to fight for the LGBTQ+ community. The organization gives people the resources to live drug-free.
Yessinia is a trans woman. She now trusts her peers. But it didn’t start like that. Yessinia tells me she was addicted to drugs.
“A lot of it started with there not being a lot of support for me. I’m from Kentucky so I was alone here in the state and that led to my addiction,” said Yessinia.
Yessinia said her addiction had sent her into a spiral to the point that she had exhausted all her options.
“I was homeless and I slept in my car. I had no support around me. At the time, I was fed up,” Yessinia said.
Yessinia was recommended to get help from Help sweat in West Palm Beach. Donna Weinberger is the founder of the nonprofit organization. Weinberger says that often LGBTQIA-plus people generally struggle to be authentic as children and might find harmful ways to cope as they grow older.
“If they make it into adulthood, maybe they’ve chosen drug and alcohol use so they don’t let all the trauma get them down to the point where they can’t,” Weinberger said.
Transpire Help offers social and medical interventions for the LGBTQ+ community, especially for trans people. The resources, according to Weinberger, save lives for a growing need.
“If we can’t provide the life-saving interventions that we know work. Our LGBTQ people will eventually increase their drug use, the increase in self-harm could eventually lead to suicide,” Weinberger said.
A major fundraiser for Transpire Help, called Pride On The Block, will take place this weekend. Adam Sessa will be the MC for the event.
“We are too numerous and not enough resources. So with that, bring everyone together for community, for joy, for pride. It allows everyone to come out of their shell and be who they are.
Yessinia has been sober since September of last year, all thanks to the strong support system she now has.
“Being able to have this support has really given me an outlook on life where I’m so excited about the opportunities that are going to present themselves. And for the first time, I really feel like I’m going to succeed in life,” Yessinia said.
Pride on the Block is an annual block party and fundraiser on the 500 block of Clematis Street in downtown West Palm Beach. Started in March 2020, this event draws crowds from across South Florida to celebrate Pride Month and raise funds for local LGBTQ+ charity, Transpire Help.
The block party will take place on Saturday, June 4 from 1 p.m. to 12 a.m. at 500 Clematis Street in West Palm Beach. There will be an after-party from 9 p.m. to 4 p.m.