Transgender activist Arianna Lint believes there’s a greater need for her community to be included in the rest of the LGBT community.

That’s why she’s a fan of South Florida’s first Trans Pride, which will be an official part of Pride Fort Lauderdale, dubbed “Love Pride” because of its proximity to Valentine’s Day and the message of love and acceptance being promoted – Sunday, Feb. 11 from 12 to 8 p.m. at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park, 1100 Seabreeze Blvd.

“We are happy with Pride. I think it’s a good first step to bridge Pride to the transgender community . . . We still need more inclusion. We still feel a little bit separate from the other communities on [getting access to] jobs, healthcare, and other issues,” said Lint, founder of TransLatina Coalition.

Richard Gray, vice president, LGBT market, of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, is also happy with Trans Pride. “We’re so excited to celebrate with residents and visitors from across the world in Greater Fort Lauderdale – where they can be free to be who they are. We are a welcoming destination to all people, regardless of whom they choose to love, how they choose to identify, the color of their skin, or what religion they believe in, and we are looking forward to another successful world-class festival,” stated Gray in a press release for the event.

Lint’s organization and other transgender groups were invited by Pride to be a part of the annual event. Miik Martorell, Pride Fort Lauderdale president, said there are about ten transgender organizations participating. Trans Pride, he said, will be the focus of this year’s event, but also given its own space. “It lets the rest of the community know we’re interested in letting them be a part of it,” he said.

The groups will focus on topics related to the transgender community, including gender transition-related information. Pride will also feature transgender models Carmen Carrera and Laith Ashley, and transgender musician Jamie Wilson.

Martorell said the transgender community has always been welcome and a part of Pride – board member Morgan Mayfaire is a transgender individual – but it’s important to put a spotlight on the T part of LGBT.

“They’ve always been a part of Pride in one way or another, but I don’t think we’ve had any kind of focused event or focused ideas. A lot of the time we don’t think about it. Honestly though, it’s a really important thing. My niece is transgender. So, for me, it’s really a positive, affirming, we’re all in the same boat kind of feeling.”

He added that Pride has also pledged to give at least $5,000 from the money it makes during the event to transgender organizations in the form of grants.

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