On Thursday (21 November) night, representatives of the TCEN Secretariat appeared at the GAY TIMES Honours 500 ceremony, which honours queer people and their allies who have had a profound impact on the community over the last 12 months.
Commemorating the network's pioneering work upholding and defending the rights of the LGBTI+ communities across the Commonwealth, the award was received by representatives of the TCEN Secretariat on behalf of the network's 60+ member organisations hailing from Ghana to Sri Lanka, Cyprus to Belize, Jamaica to Fiji, and many more.
The award comes off the back of a series of regional convenings across the network in New Zealand, Botswana and Saint Lucia, where members came together and strategised to ensure LGBTI+ rights are on the agenda at the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda.
Rosanna Flamer-Caldera, Executive Director of EQUAL GROUND and Chair of TCEN, said:
"We are absolutely thrilled to receive this award. Such recognition is a testament to the tireless work of members of the network, many of whom continue to fight for LGBTI+ equality within their countries and regions at an enormous personal toll. We're sincerely thankful to GAY TIMES for centring our voices and experiences and paying tribute to the important work TCEN does. None of us are free until all of us are free."
Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, Executive Director of Kaleidoscope Trust, who host the TCEN Secretariat, said:
"For too long the voices of queer people across the Global South have not been included and celebrated. For too long we have overlooked the struggles of our siblings abroad, many of whom are grappling with British colonial-era laws which expressly deny them to the right to live and love freely. I am delighted that GAY TIMES has chosen to highlight the pioneering work of TCEN, who are at the forefront of the fight for LGBTI+ equality across the Commonwealth. Together, the network is creating meaningful change for queer people worldwide, and I am deeply grateful that Kaleidoscope Trust can support and steward this work."