A 24-year-old woman fighting for gay rights in a place where it is illegal to be gay will receive the award
Queen Elizabeth II is to give an award to a young gay woman for her activism work.
Donnya Piggott, a 24-year-old from Barbados, was chosen among hundreds as one of the 60 inspiring people inducted into inaugural Queen’s Young Leaders Programme.
The founder of Barbados Gays and Lesbians Against Discrimination (BGLAD) will fly to London in June where she will be given a medal by the monarch of the Commonwealth.
This is important as Queen Elizabeth II has never said the words gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender publicly (although she has shown support for gay causes).
‘I’m elated and happy for this award,’ Piggott told a Barbados newspaper.
‘What it does is it recognises the cause. Many Barbadians, especially older people, have great respect for the Queen, and these are the same people who are opposed to progression of sexuality and how it is seen in the modern world.
‘Hopefully, it will help people to open their eyes and see something honorable.’
In Barbados, homosexuality is illegal and punishable with life imprisonment. While it is rarely enforced, there is still a high rate of violence and threats made against the LGBTI community.
All 60 award winners, aged between 18 and 29 and who come from all over Commonwealth, are working to ‘support others, raise awareness and inspire change on a variety of different issues including; education, climate change, gender equality, mental health and disability equality.’
Dr Astrid Bonfield CBE, chief executive of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust said: ‘The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme is poised to unlock the potential of this diverse and talented group of young people and we are delighted to be supporting them to go further and achieve more.’
by Joe Morgan
Source – Gay Star News