PFLAG Queens Chapter 2019
Awardees Bio's
Awards luncheon to be held 2/2/2020

27th Annual Morty Manford Awardee

photo of MMA Recipient Rod Townsend

Rod Townsend is President of the Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City. In the past two years, he has guided the club’s grassroots efforts to elect its endorsed candidates, including the IDC challengers, and extended the club’s comprehensive reach in local and state politics to being an active voice in the upcoming presidential elections. He is active in Queens, his home borough of 24 years, serving in multiple political capacities and chairing the local community board’s Community & Economic Development Committee. To better connect LGBTQ people with the Democratic Party, Townsend created a national directory of LGBTQ Democratic Clubs, Stonewall Democrats US.

Outside of politics, Townsend works as a production manager in the home furnishings industry where his projects
have included furniture for the Obama Oval Office.

22nd Annual Carmel Tavadia Memorial Awardee

photo of CTMA Recipient Bibiana "Bibi" Parecki

Bibiana Parecki was born in Barranquilla, Colombia in 1968, and came to New York in 1993. She is the youngest of five, is married to Solomon Parecki, and is the mother of Jonathan, Matthew, and Juliana Parecki.

Bibiana became a teacher in Colombia. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years in New York until her kids got older. At this time she got a double masters degree in both special education and general education, after which she began to work with the NYCDOE as a special education teacher in district 75 in 2010.

She also volunteered her time as a clown, donating parties to less privileged children. Bibiana was also a chair member for the Latin American Cultural Center of Queens, where she became very involved in the community, fighting for their rights and providing them once a month with a get together to express their needs and wants. She made sure they had a place where they felt welcome and could receive advice about accepting their grown up children who came out. Coming from Latin American countries, some of them had closed minds about the LGBTI community and they didn’t know very much about the gay lifestyle. She always gave them advice of acceptance and love.

Bibiana is an advocate and ally of PFLAG, always correcting people when they make derogatory remarks towards members of the LGBTI community. She was chosen to be the New Yorker of the week in 2013 by NY1 for her kindness and the way she fights for the rights of students with disabilities. She was nominated in 2016, and again this year, for the Big Apple Awards.

In addition, she was honored in 2015 by PFLAG, receiving the Safe School Hero Award for expanding horizons, and in 2018, she was chosen to be a speaker during PFLAG’s 45th anniversary, advocating for the Safe School program and making sure that our students feel accepted and safe.

Every time Bibiana meets a person who is still in the closet and is afraid of coming out and feel insecure in their lives, she refers them to PFLAG. She’ll never forget a special case, when she met a man at her hairdresser’s place. He worked as a drag queen at night, and he left his outfits at her hairdresser’s so he could change there and get ready for work later in the night. He returned there after work to leave his outfits there, as his mother didn’t know he was gay, and she was always making derogatory remarks towards gay people. Recommending him to PFLAG so both he and his mother could receive help was one of my biggest priorities.

15th Annual Brenda Howard Memorial Awardee

photo of CTMA Recipient Robin Renée

Robin Renée is a performing songwriter, writer, and longtime activist and organizer in the bisexual community. Having served as a committee member of BiNet USA and BiZone (the Bisexual Network of NJ), Robin was a 2003 recipient of the Honor Award given by the New Jersey Lesbian & Gay Coalition for outstanding activism and visibility.

In 2004, Robin was named the Bisexual Favorite in the StoneWall Society Pride in The Arts Music Awards. Hir queer love anthem “My Bride,” which first appeared on the All Six Senses CD, has been included on two compilations – Hot and Sweet (Outmusic) and Marry Me (Fig Jam Entertainment). Robin’s writings have appeared in publications including Curve, PanGaia, That Takes Ovaries! - Bold Females and their Brazen Acts (Random House), Blessed Bi Spirit: Bisexual People of Faith (Continuum Press), Songwriter’s Market, Biff Bam Pop!, and Bi Women Quarterly. Currently, Robin is planning live performances for 2020 and is serving as one of the co-hosts of the progressive politics and culture podcast, The Leftscape.

Other Information

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Last updated 12/20/18 by LDN