"I am a woman born on the soil of New York City, who entered her adolescence in the less-populated rural region of the state of Georgia. Such duplicity has been the standard of my life, being also transgender and a woman of color. I am an advocate and one of the affected.I am me and I am you."

Aryah Lester is a national advocate, author, and public speaker. She is currently the Chairwoman of the state of Florida Health Department's transgender workgroup, working towards lower HIV infection rates statewide. Ms. Lester also sits on the advisory board for the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), and has founded Trans-Miami, TransArt (of South Florida) and the National Alliance of Transgender Advocates and Leaders (NATAL). Her work has been featured in the inaugural Journal of Public Interest at Harvard University, American Public Health Association, National HIV/AIDS Strategy of the United States, and various research publications. She has been recognized and awarded by the Miami-Dade Health Department, South Florida Gay Network, Florida Agenda, and the Trans100. Aryah Lester currently resides in Miami, Florida as a board member of Unity Coalition.

Why Aryah wants to be part of A Girl Like Me: It is important for a girl like me to blog my experiences to show the worth of the most down-trodden, the forgotten, and the ignored. Transwomen of color are the most severely disproportionate population at risk for HIV/AIDS. If my words or story can save just one, my tribulations will also have worth.

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