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Conference Gives Leadership Training For Transgender Rights

Diego Saldana-Rojas

The National LGBTQ Task Forceheld a conference focusing on advocacy for transgender and non-gender-conforming individuals Friday in Miami. Attendees at the Unity on the Bay building in midtown were instructed on how to canvass neighborhoods and given leadership training.

Russell Roybal, deputy executive director for the task force, says transgender youth and non-gender-conforming individuals face a large set of challenges: “Transgender people in general have higher rates of unemployment, higher rates of homelessness, higher rates of violence perpetrated against them.”

Roybal also said transgender women of color are particularly at risk.

“[They] are targeted because of racism and sexism,” he said. “They are two parts of the most marginalized people in the United States and are often looked at as targets of violence simply because [others] are afraid of them.”

Arianna Lint, a transgender Latina, has been living in the United States for 15 years, 10 of which she spent working with Orlando’s health department.

She’s happy to be in the U.S., where she feels there’s more opportunity for trans Latinas like her but says current federal legislation is lagging when it comes to transgender rights.

“Our legislation for transgender or gender identity is like 40 years back,” she said. “We are not growing now like the gay community as citizens.”

In early December last year, the Miami-Dade county commission voted 8-3 to expand the county’s human rights law to include transgender and gender non-conforming people.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly wrote Russell Roybal's name. We regret the error.

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