In alphabetical order
This important award recognises and thanks those outside the LGBT+ community who support the challenges around equality and inclusion.
Benedict Cumberbatch publicly cemented his status as an LGBT+ ally when he said that he’d “take up arms” against fundamentalists who attempt to force their doctrines about sexuality and religion, and “fight them to the death”. As a straight man who has played gay characters like that of computer programmer Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, Cumberbatch is aware of the stigma that LGBT+ actors face and believes that there is much more work to be done to achieve equality. He has also served as an officiant for the wedding of his gay friends in Ibiza. Cumberbatch is set to star in a biopic based on the life of LGBT+ activist and former fighter Mikey Walsh.
When fans at her concert in China were removed by the police for waving LGBT+ rainbow flags, singer Dua Lipa was brought to tears. In a social media post she promised to “stand by you all for your love and beliefs” and stated how proud she was of her fans who “felt safe enough to show your pride at my show”. Dua Lipa hopes to use her music in bringing strength, hope and unity to people from all walks of life. Speaking to Billboardshe said, “I believe in equality and everyone having the same opportunities and there being a lot more acceptance in the world.”
Ellie Goulding has a long history of supporting LGBT+ rights. In 2014, the English singer-songwriter declined an offer to perform at the Winter Olympics in protest to the anti-gay legislations in Russia. While performing in North Carolina in 2016, Goulding attacked the Southern state’s bathroom bill by displaying a rainbow flag on stage and later posting a picture of herself with the hashtag #WeAreEqual. She has performed at the LGBT Pride Reception in the UK, and even assisted a gay couple to get engaged during one of her live shows.
British actress, model, presenter and activist, Jameela Jamil has been a passionate advocate for LGBT+ rights. Founder of the ‘iWeigh’ movement and star of the hit NBC series ‘The Good Place’, Jamil has championed for adequate media representation of LGBT+ characters, especially those from BAME backgrounds, in hopes that we “continue to see on screen what we are living amongst in this world.” The ‘feminist-in-progress’ believes in learning more about LGBT+ issues in order to make her activism more intersectional.
Breakout star of BBC America’s critically acclaimed series ‘Killing Eve’, Jodie Comer who plays international assassin Villanelle has brought vital queer representation to mainstream audiences in a way like no other. With both violence and verve, Comer’s Villanelle allows her queerness to be at the forefront of the show’s narrative. According to Luke Jennings, creator of the character, a huge number of LGBT+ fans identify “profoundly with Eve and Villanelle, and they felt validated and made visible by the women’s relationship”.
Since performing on the X-Factor in 2011, Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirlwall have used their platforms to advocate for LGBT+ rights in several proactive ways. From creating the LGBT+ anthem ‘Secret Love Song’ that they then dedicated to the victims of the Orlando Pulse shooting, to shutting down homophobic trolls online, marching at Manchester Pride, dancing to RuPaul’s songs at London’s G-A-Y Heaven club, and featuring a same-sex romance in the music video for their song ‘Only You’ – they’ve done it all and then some. Thirwall even used her drag-themed 25th birthday party to raise money for LGBT+ charity Stonewall where she serves as an ambassador. The band also featured on the cover of LGBT+ magazine ‘Attitude’ for their activism.
MICHAEL B. JORDAN
Best known for his role in the hugely successful film Black Panther, Michael B Jordan is the first actor-producer to adopt an inclusion rider for his company Outlier Society. The clause is a formal declaration of diverse hiring practices stating that “women, people of colour, people with disabilities, and members of LGBT and marginalised communities who are traditionally under-represented be depicted on screen in proportion to their representation in the population.” Jordan has been an active champion for diversity and inclusion in all the projects he participates in and beyond.
Naomi Campbell has never shied away from vocalising her support for the LGBT+ community. When asked why she’s so passionate about advocating for LGBT+ rights, Campbell explicitly claimed to owe her life to gay men. “If it wasn’t for gay men I wouldn’t exist. Hair, make-up, designer, photographer, stylist, manicure, hair-dresser, I mean, I just wouldn’t exist. I owe my life to gay men. And it’s just what I’ve grown up with. It’s my family.” Campbell featured in Adidas’ 2018 Pride campaign to raise funds for the Albert Kennedy Trust and has been a champion of LGBT+ story telling, especially of the queer storylines on Empire – the TV series she’s a part of.
Oscar-nominated star Timothée Chalamet rose to fame by playing Elio, a gay teenager in the well-received coming-of-age drama Call My By Your Name by Luca Guadagnino. Chalamet who is the youngest man in 80 years to receive a best actor nod has donated thousands to LGBT+ causes including raising funds for New York’s LGBT Community Centre.