HUMAN rights activist Brandy Rodriguez, a trans woman who was known for her work to support the trans community and advance LGBTQI rights in TT, has died.
A release from the Family Planning Association, where Rodriguez worked as a peer navigator, described her as a “big sister” who was passionate in her fight for the rights of LGBTQI people in Trinidad and Tobago.
“Brandy fought fearlessly against discrimination. And in this fight, she didn’t just ask for recognition or plead for equal access to quality healthcare, but she made the point that it was a right that must come without conditions. She was determined to settle for nothing less.
“Brandy wasn’t just a bright light, she blazed. She transformed. She gave us all focus and purpose. She made the world sit up and take notice. And now, she has transcended,” the release said.
Feminist civil society organisation CAISO: Sex and Gender Justice also paid tribute to Rodriguez in a release on Thursday.
"We at CAISO honour her work and continue the struggle against stigma and discrimination that she fought courageously to end. We celebrate the life and legacy of our sister and comrade Brandy Rodriguez, and we honour her passion and dedication to human rights and sex and gender justice."
Rodriguez, who served as the president of the TT Transgender Coalition, was recognised by Queen Elizabeth II in May, when she was awarded the 180th Commonwealth Point of Light. She was the 2nd transgender advocate in the Commonwealth to receive this award.
Tributes poured in on social media after the news of her death.
British High Commissioner to TT Harriet Cross said on Twitter post, "I am incredibly sad to hear...that Brandy Rodriguez has died. The Queen recognised Brandy's exceptional service supporting the trans comunity and LGBT+ rights, with a Commonwealth Point of Light award. Brandy was royalty and I'm proud to have known her."
One person said, “Shocked and saddened to hear of the untimely passing of Trinbagonian LGBTQ+ activist Brandy Rodriguez. Brandy has been a pillar of our community for decades and made huge strides in the fight for equality and freedom for LGBTQ+ citizens. Her fight for trans rights and her indomitable spirit will never be forgotten nor replaced. She truly was one of a kind. Rest in peace Brandy.”
Another person said, “Awakened and saddened by the news of the sudden passing of a very dear friend, human rights defender, and trans advocate out of TT, Brandy Rodriguez.”
One post on Rodriguez’s page alleged she died from covid19 complications, but there has been no official statement on her cause of death.