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On Dec, 2, 2014, the Miami-Dade County Commission approved an ordinance that would ban discrimination against transgender men and women.The measure expands the county's law that prohibits discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations to include transgender people. It already bans discrimination based on gender, religion, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation.

Aryah Lester was at the hearing, advocating for transgender rights. And her work in the trans community doesn’t end there. Lester is the current chair for the state of Florida Health Department’s Transgender Work Group, and co-director of Trans* Action Florida.   She also founded the organization Trans-Miami, as well as continued the network of her National Alliance of Transgender Advocates and Leaders (NATAL).

Lester currently assists the Switchboard of Miami as a nationally certified crisis hotline counselor, and speaks nationally towards transgender equality.

In addition, Lester, in collaboration with Unity Coalition, has instituted a monthly support group for transgender individuals in Brickell. It occurs every second Tuesday of the month (www.unitycoalition.com) and with Trans-Miami has scheduled the following workshops for 2015:

  • The Transitioning Workshop in which gender nonconforming people get information on presentation, especially in professional environments and get assistance with clothing, beauty etc.
  • The Trans-Employment Workshop where South Florida employers are educated in hiring-equality and connected to potential transgender employees.
  • Trans-Miami is currently recruiting local and national transgender artists to be showcased in a Transgender Arts Series in conjunction with the Betsy Hotel of South Beach this spring. For more information visit http://transmiami.org.

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