Described by her colleague as a “Powerhouse,” Janiece Rodriguez arrived in Key West looking for a new start.
“I wanted a change. Situations presented the opportunity to try something new and flourish.”
What she found was an inclusive island and yet “so many roadblocks for basic things.” Rodriguez spent much time looking for local gender-affirming care providers.
“In transition, I was denied by doctors. I compiled all the LGBT resources, but it wasn’t there. It doesn’t make sense that it’s this hard.”
The LGBTQIA+ struggle, shared with her fellow Queer Keys Co-Founder, led her to act, “As outsiders coming into Key West, we were struck by the difference between how it’s advertised and the resources … If it took me so much work to find it, and I’m an adventurous and resourceful person, other people might not.”
Rodriguez sees her community-focused work as “gratifying at the most basic level.”
“I call myself a wounded healer. It’s my way of taking what happened to me – the injustice – and making it into something good. I never feel that my work is done.”
She added, “Right now in Florida, with all this legislation being passed, I’m not going to just lay here.”
Homepage: OUT & PROUD 50 2023