Atlanta mayor pledges support, funds for transgender community

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens has allocated $100,000 to support organizations that help the transgender community.

Matt Westmoreland, a member of the city council, leads the legislative effort.

The council member says the initial portion of funding will assist three organizations to provide mentorships, scholarships and legal help. Getting a name change must be exact and properly done, for example. That can be done for free under the program.

"We are here to help at a time when they may feel isolated and under attack," Westmoreland said in an interview with FOX 5.

Alex Santiago heads one of the organizations called Destination Tomorrow.

"I am surprised but also honored," Santiago said about the award of the funding.

"I think it speaks to the work that we have been doing on the ground with young people." 

Destination Tomorrow will lead a mentoring program. Santiago, who is 56 years old, said he "had to figure it out" when he was growing up.

He said for Black youth, especially, it is important to be able to speak with a mature individual who looks like them.

The measures passed two council committees unanimously. That will assure final approval at the Monday meeting.