GLAAD Miami Council Launches Thanks to Real Housewives Star Marysol Patton, Transgender Model Lauren Foster and Film Producer Sarah Arison

Thanks to the hard work and dedication of Co-Chairs Lauren Foster, Marysol Patton (pictured above) and Sarah Arison, GLAAD has launched a volunteer leadership council in Miami.

As part of her work with the Miami Leadership Council, transgender model Lauren Foster will be working with GLAAD to raise visibility for transgender Americans throughout next year. Earlier this month, she filmed a PSA for the Trans People Speak video series, a project of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition which is sponsored by GLAAD. The PSA, which will be released in 2013, also features Foster's friend Marysol Patton, star of BRAVO's Real Housewives of Miami.

"Lauren is a passionate and smart woman who has not only helped our organization, but our entire community," said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. "We are thrilled to work with her going forward in an effort to raise visibility for transgender people."

Lauren Foster (pictured left in a photo by Greg Gorman) is a South African model. She is one of the world's most recognized trans women, having been the first to be featured in a fashion editorial in VOGUE Mexico. In 2000 and 2001 she worked with the iconic performer, Grace Jones. Foster has counseled juvenile runaways facing questions on gender identity. This year she became the first transgender woman to appear on the Real Housewives franchise, recently appearing in two episodes of The Real Housewives of Miami. She has a successful career in public relations at the prestigious MIAMI Institute for Age Management & Intervention located in the Four Seasons in Miami's Brickell district. Earlier this year she participated in a popular discussion on Huffington Post with transgender musician Alex Davis.

Sarah Arison and Patton will work with Foster to plan upcoming events in the Miami area to support GLAAD's work to change the culture in support of LGBT equality.

"Allies like Marysol and Sarah are crucial to growing support and understanding for transgender people and the entire LGBT community," said Herndon Graddick. "With their help, we know we will be able to have a successful and impactful role in helping LGBT people in Miami and around the country feel supported and loved."

Arison is a native of Miami, Florida who relocated to New York City four years ago after graduating Emory University to begin a career with W Magazine.  She is currently working as a film producer and participates in various local charities and organizations.  

"I am surrounded by so many wonderful friends and family who are part of the LGBT community. I'm honored to be able to work with GLAAD to grow acceptance and build support for them in our community" said Arison.

Since 2002, Miami native Marysol Patton has run one of the strongest and most respected public relations firms in the country, The Patton Group (TPG). She was nominated as the Miami Chapter of the American Cancer Society's Most Dynamic Woman of the Year in 2003 and has served as Honorary Chair of the Make-A-Wish Gala, Board of the Vizcayans, Viscayan Gala Co-Chair, Vizcaya Preservation Luncheon Chair, Lucky Brand Gala committee and Saks Fifth Avenue's "Key to the Cure" committee, among others. 

The GLAAD Miami leadership council is comprised of volunteer leaders who provide critical on-the-ground support and leadership for GLAAD in the Miami area. We are thrilled to have such amazing voices as a part of GLAAD!