We had the good fortune of connecting with Arianna Lint and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Arianna, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
As a transgender woman of color openly living with HIV, I have experienced first hand the gaps in services and resources for our community, including the lack of trans competent service providers. I knew that by using my own experiences and skills working within the community I could deliver effective trans-led leadership and support for my community.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I founded Arianna’s Center in 2015 to provide direct services and advocacy to the transgender community in South Florida, and now Puerto Rico. We focus on HIV testing and linkage to care and prevention, emergency housing, post incarceration support services, enrollment in educational programs, leadership training and emergency stipends. Our clients are predominantly transgender women of color, those released from incarceration and those navigating the immigration system. As a trans Latina openly living with HIV it hasn’t always been an easy path, we’re often taken advantage of and we aren’t always given a seat at the table. But perseverance has always been in my nature and the rewards of seeing my community empowered make it all worthwhile. I want the world to know that the trans community deserve that respect and opportunities that everyone enjoys. It can be an uphill battle at times, but that just make us more determined!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
South Florida is a beautiful cosmopolitan area with so many wonderful things to show visitors. The first place I would take them is to the heart of the LGBTQ community, Wilton Manors to experience the diversity of our community. We’re also blessed with beautiful beaches and a trip to Ocean Drive to enjoy brunch at one of the many great sidewalk cafes would be a must on the itinerary! We’d also have to check out some of the amazing Latin American food on offer, particularly food from my home country of Peru such as ceviche! I’d also make sure to take visitors to Wynwood to enjoy the street art and great outdoor dining option!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My mentors Ruby Corado of Casa Ruby in Washington D.C., Cecilia Chang of Positively Trans and Bamby Salcedo of Translatina Coalition have all been great examples to me of what real leadership in the trans community looks like. It’s their work and dedication that inspired me to start Arianna’s Center.