LGBT

Nadege Green / WLRN

Marco Ramirez graduates in about a month with a master’s degree in social work from Florida International University.

Ramirez, 25, is a transgender man and he says when looking for employment there are always unnecessary hurdles. 

Gender nonconforming and trans job seekers struggle to find inclusive workplaces.

And Ramirez adds,  when he does snag a job, there are always inappropriate questions about his gender identity. 

Where a mainstream fashion magazine might do a special "black issue," like Italian Vogue back in 2008, or a black lifestyle magazine might run a queer feature, the perspective of queer black folks tends to occupy occasional outskirts in fashion and lifestyle glossies, never the mainstay.

Tim Padgett / WLRN

Ana Marrero pulls back her shirt sleeve and holds out her left arm.

“Look, in Cuban prisons I tried on various occasions to kill myself with knives,” she says.

She counts the succession of healed scars on her forearm. They look like horizontal tally marks.

“Uno, dos, tres, quarto, cinco, seis, siete, ocho,” she counts in Spanish.

Eight times.

These days, it’s a lot easier to travel between the U.S. and Cuba, but some Cubans have no interest in going back to their homeland.

Ben Kushner

For a while in the late 1980s, Jeff Schmalz was the Miami bureau chief for the New York Times. That was before he was completely out of the closet, and Miami was one of the places in the country where he felt comfortable as a gay man.

Courtesy of LJ Woolston

November is Transgender Awareness Month and a number of events took place across South Florida to celebrate the trans community and raise awareness around key issues affecting transgender individuals including homelessness, unemployment and violence.  

As the month comes to an end, we asked members of South Florida's transgender community to share their thoughts. Here's what they had to say:

 

 L.J. Woolston, Homeless Liaison for LGBTQ Youth at ProjectSafe

Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau

Fort Lauderdale rolled out the rainbow carpet 20 years ago to gay travelers. Today, it is a go-to travel destination for the gay and lesbian community.

But something was missing.

Richard Gray, the LGBT managing director for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, said while the transgender community was always welcome, he felt there wasn’t enough focus on transgender travelers.

Courtesy Arianna Lint

The TransLatina Coalition, a national transgender advocacy group, has started its first Florida chapter in Fort Lauderdale.

The group plans to provide a wide range of services for the  transgender community,  including a safe space for trans women who are victims of domestic violence.

Arianna  Lint is a transgender woman and president of the Fort Lauderdale TransLatina Coalition chapter.

My TransHealth Video Screengrab

A new website will make it easier for Miami's transgender community to access healthcare providers who are experienced in working with trans individuals.

MyTransHealth is a website developed for transgender people by transgender people. The site will connect transgender people with qualified medical professionals and also allow users to rate and review them.

abcnews.com

07/21/15 - Join us for Tuesday’s Topical Currents, when we discuss what lies ahead for the LGBT movement, after the recent same-sex marriage Supreme Court ruling. 

miamigaychorus / instagram.com/miamigaychorus

Miami-Dade County has the highest number of new HIV infections in the country according the most recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- and the Miami Gay Men’s Chorus wants to change those numbers through song and dance.

Nadege Green / WLRN

A new coalition is working to empower Miami-Dade County’s transgender community by helping them come together and advocate as a larger force.

TRANSform Dade convened its first meeting Tuesday after about a year of planning strategies and objectives.

The group is made up of about a dozen transgender individuals and allies. Some of the founding members work for local nonprofits such as Survivor’s Pathway, CARE Resources and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

  Florida could become the first state to criminalize using the wrong bathroom. The Single Sex Bathroom Bill has cleared its second committee in the Florida House.

Morning Edition Host Nicole Creston spoke with Health Reporter Abe Aboraya.

CRESTON: I understand that the transgender community has rallied against this bill. The bill applies to everyone, but the transgender community are the ones caught in the middle since a man who has become a woman could be penalized for walking into a ladies room.

Nadege Green / WLRN

Six young people sat around a table sharing their personal stories to an audience of about 20 people.

Jack Lee Jordan was first. He said he knew he was a boy from a very young age and not his assigned birth sex of female. His mom took it hard.  She cried a lot and was in denial, he said.

He remembers a shopping trip where he asked his mom for a suit and tie.

“She said, ‘You’ll never be a boy, so stop asking me these things,’” Jack recounted.  

Nadege Green / WlRN

TransCon, a day-long conference at Barry University, called for more public education about trans issues.

There were workshops that covered health issues, employment and spirituality. But one of the best-attended gatherings addressed discrimination and transgender equality.

Charo Valero, a field organizer with SAVE DADE, a gay rights organization, was one of the moderators at the “Next Step With Prejudice Reduction Workshop.”

Cindi / Flickr Creative Commons

A state House committee has advanced legislation that would undo a Miami-Dade civil rights ordinance for the transgender community.

The bill would block transgender individuals from using single-sex restrooms that match their gender identity. 

House Bill  583 by Rep. Frank Artiles (R-Miami) requires men transitioning to women or women transitioning to men to use restrooms based on their birth gender, regardless of how they identify.

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