Bianka Rodríguez, an LGBTIQ+ Activist who was recognized as the Americas Regional Nansen winner in 2019 for her leadership in the defense of the rights of LGBTI people in El Salvador, became UNHCR’s first trans woman high profile supporter.
Living in the midst of violence and impunity, LGBTI people in El Salvador are often exposed to murder, torture, ill-treatment, attacks, rape, hate crimes, internal displacement, persecution, extortion, threats, among other forms of violence. In 2015, Bianka adopted her true identity as Bianka Gabriela Rodríguez and started volunteering for COMCAVIS TRANS a local NGO. Now, as it Executive Director and President and despite this violent context, has spearheaded the fight for the rights of LGBTI in El Salvador, including those forced to flee their homes.
Bianka said: “I am committed to working with LGBTIQ+ people in the Americas. Working together, we can build a world in which we are all free to be who we are and love who we love – wherever we are.”
Under Bianka’s leadership, COMCAVIS Trans has developed into a pivotal organization, working to protect LGBTIQ+ forcibly displaced, particularly the HIV-positive population.
Bianka’s vision of the future is to continue empowering new leaders, particularly trans leaders, to provide attention to forcefully displayed LGBTIQ+ persons with lifesaving assistance, as well as small-scale entrepreneurship opportunities to mitigate the impact of displacement and rebuild their life.
UNHCR works with community-based organizations, as COMCAVIS Trans to enhance the protection of forcibly displaced LGBTIQ+ persons in Latin America and the Caribbean.