By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, LONDON, England, Tues. May 18, 2021: A Caribbean-born transwoman has been named a Commonwealth Point Of Light by Her Majesty The Queen as Head of the Commonwealth.
The Points of Light award recognizes outstanding individual volunteers – people who are making a change in their community.
Brandy Rodriguez of Trinidad and Tobago, who has been a leading voice for the trans community and the advancement of LGBT+ rights there for over 20 years, was given the award Monday. She is only the second transgender volunteer from the Commonwealth to receive this award, which coincides with International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
As president of the ‘Trinidad and Tobago Transgender Coalition,’ Rodriguez of works to ensure safe health care services are available specifically for people from the LGBT+ community and people with HIV and AIDS. Brandy also provides training and workshops to workplaces across the country to reduce stigma, discrimination and violence towards the transgender community.
“For 22 years it has been an uphill battle, especially in the Caribbean. My conviction to not be silenced and to help vulnerable people keeps me committed to my goal of a better more inclusive future for all,” Rodriguez commented. “This award gives further encouragement and will allow me to continue shedding light on the importance of including all people, particularly the transgender community. I will also use it to shine a spotlight on the importance of sexual and reproductive health rights. I know that, together, we will all be able to create a Trinidad and Tobago where everyone is comfortable and free to be themselves.”
“Brandy Rodriguez continues to work tirelessly to champion equality in Trinidad and Tobago. In my recent discussions with her I was inspired by the work she has been doing over the past 20 years to promote inclusion, while driving progress on key issues like sexual and reproductive health rights,” added Harriet Cross, British High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago. “I am delighted that Brandy will join four others from Trinidad and Tobago who have received this prestigious award from Her Majesty the Queen. Brandy is the 180th person and the 2nd transgender advocate in the Commonwealth to receive this award. I wish her the continued strength to carry on this important work. I hope this award will remind us all that equality and inclusion are right and necessary and that all human beings deserve to be treated fairly.”