We proudly empower and elevate the community we serve.
Our organization is 100% by trans for trans. Our leaders come from all different walks and experiences in life that have led them to serving our community in beautiful ways.
Our core group of founding members come from all different parts of the world with the same goal of living their lives with the truth and happiness they deserve.
One night, Colton, the Executive Director, met Arianna, a founding board member, off an online app and learned all about her story about immigrating from El Salvador and the various experiences she's faced while in the USA. These stories were beautiful, tragic, all all sorts of emotions.
Later on, both Colton and Cathy, another founding board member, met through being selected as speakers on an AAPI Trans Panel. Despite Cathy living in Hawaii and Colton in DC, the distance couldn't compare to their connection of trans-resilience.
This was the start of an amazing unity of Trans Leaders looking to change how the community is served and how our needs of Trans+ Health is being met.
MEET THE TEAM
Colton Gibbons (he/they)
Founder & Executive Director
Colton is from Hanoi, Vietnam and is currently finishing his PhD in Business Psychology. He was nominated 2021 Rising Activist of the DMV, and enjoys spending time with his pet dog and rabbit.
Cathy Kapua (she/her)
Cathy has been effective at providing organizational capacity building to trans-led groups as she has worked in social services since 2003. She has been successful in advocating
for transgender laws and policies throughout the United States, but prides herself mainly
on being a role model for young transgender women in Hawai`i.
Arianna Sanchez (she/her/they/them)
Ariana Sanchez is salvadorean and is 28 years old. They are a non binary person. Arianna speaks Spanish and English and is learning Italian. They like to workout and earn about history. Arianna loves animals. One of their biggest dreams "is a world where we all can respect and love animals, a world without HATE but lots of love and respect equal human rights for every human".
Sam Jesner (they/them)
Sam Jesner is a mental health activist, artist, educator, and future art therapist. Their artwork focuses on mental illness and gender identity/expression through photography, mixed media, printmaking and other mediums. They teach art to people of all ages as well as working in special education. Additionally, they volunteer with NAMI and DCATS and received NAMI Metro Baltimore's Newcomer of the Year award in 2021. Sam is also currently in school working towards their art therapy license. They enjoy baking, kayaking, and autumn hikes with their dog.
Divinity Gatewood (she/her)
Divinity Gatewood is a 22 year old black woman of transgender experience born in Boston, MA but raised in Richmond, VA. She is an aspiring entrepreneur who is working on the launch of her own cosmetic brand, production studio, and non-profit organization. Ms. Gatewood uses her platform to document her transition and to be an advocate for embracing intersectionality of identity, especially in the faith-based, African American, and LGBTQ+ communities
Stephania Cruz (she/her)
Stephania Duckers is a trans girl in process. She is from El Salvador, and a person with many aspirations. Despite the economy of her country and the violence, she learned to fight and learned three vocations to put into action her dreams,. Which are sewing on industrial machines, make-up and styling beauty. She lived in Mexico for two years to come to fight for what she always wanted to be in life, since she can remember and continues in the fight against transphobia and xenophobia.
Asteria Summers (she/her)
An creative role-playing gamer girl who loves to work on her fan-fiction and her original novel writing in her free time, Asteria LaFaye Summers is not only someone who has intersectional identities including, but not limited to her Afro-Indigenous roots, being a trans woman, and also someone who is Deaf/Disabled. She is someone that is also a passionate activist when it comes to social justice issues, and illustrating not only the impact, but also comes up with innovation solutions as to minimize the impact of systematic racism, sexism, etc. She is also someone who is well-known in her circle of friends for being that ‘extra’ friend that always makes sure to bring a bit of seasoning and spark when she walks into the room and commands the attention of the entire room with her astonishing amount of self-confidence that flows out of finding herself not only content, but empowered by the fact that she is unapologetically Black and Native and so much more outside of her identities and the fact that she has friends that embraces her entire essence without question or hesitation period.
J-Way is a gender nonconforming, Afro-Latino from the Bronx,NY. He uses their social media platform to spread positivity and love through the art of makeup. Their goal is to be an outlet for people to feel comfortable and inspired to be their true authentic selves.
Theo Ng (he/they)
Community Outreach Liaison
Theo is a DMV native pursuing bachelor’s degrees in Sociology and Public Policy at the University of Maryland. He has been active in the LGBTQ+ community since age 14 and is a current member of the DC Area Transmasculine Society (DCATS), Asian and Pacific Islander Queers United for Action (AQUA), and Pride Alliance at the University of Maryland. He enjoys playing trumpet, thrifting, drinking boba, and hanging out with his dog.”
Rylee is a 31 year old trans activist, business owner of Purely Human Apparel, lgbt model, YouTuber and a social media influencer. His goal in life is to be able to work from home, to travel bringing my business and advocacy to people all over the world!
Desmond Ace (He/Him)
Desmond is a 27 year old promoter, model and mentor. He has been a model for KXJ Apparel, and an independent model. Desmond also is an entrepreneur by nature, and has owned and operated numerous businesses. Recently, Desmond has moved from Philly to Florida and is bringing advocacy to the LGBTQ+ in the south!
Benjamin Beach (He/they)
When not working as a cook, you can find Benji playing board games or D&D with friends, kicking about a soccer ball or facilitating a DC Area Transmasculine Society support group session. Benji has experience in community and event planning with their roles in the Football Club and Psychology Society at the University of Edinburgh, So come to Benji with your event ideas and lets make them happen!
Arielle Mary Ann (she/her)
Lauren Evangelista (she/her)
Lauren Evangelista was born and raised on Long Island in New York. She received her Bachelors of Arts from Marist College in psychology with a minor in studio art. During her time at Marist she interned at a therapeutic arts program geared to benefit inner city youth in Poughkeepsie, New York. After college she worked with special needs preschoolers as a teachers assistant. During this time she helped to conduct research on the use of mindfulness with veterans for a doctor of psychology student’s dissertation. Following her time as a teaching assistant Lauren worked in an Occupational Therapy- Hand Therapy Clinic. She is currently working on her Doctorate of Occupational Therapy at the New York Institute of Technology. As her doctoral capstone project she is conducting research on the mental well being and societal treatment of transgender people. Lauren is currently creating a therapeutic creative arts program to be implemented to benefit the mental health and social participation of transgender and gender expansive youth.