In alphabetical order
This important award recognises and thanks those outside the LGBT+ community who support the challenges around equality and inclusion.
Singer, songwriter and model Dua Lipa has told Instagram followers that her track Swan Song, on the soundtrack to the movie Alita: Battle Angel, was inspired by LGBT advocacy group ACT UP and its work with people with AIDS. She also supported the community with her video Blow Your Mind, and was moved to tears when fans at her concert in China were removed by the police for waving LGBT+ rainbow flags. Dua Lipa hopes to use her music in bringing strength, hope and unity to people from all walks of life. Speaking to Billboard she said: “I believe in equality and everyone having the same opportunities and there being a lot more acceptance in the world.”
Singer-songwriter Janet Jackson has nurtured a long-standing LGBT+ following. She has expressed her fierce allyship to the LGBT+ community through music, in her 1997 album The Velvet Rope as well as her #1 hit Together Again, which she dedicated to the friends she lost to HIV and AIDS. Janet is the youngest child of the Jackson Family and began performing from age 7. Since then, she has become a staunch advocate for same-sex love and transgender rights, contributing to the community through working with various charities. In particular, Janet has worked with AIDS/HIV related charities.
Actor Jodie Comer has been back for a second season of Killing Eve, playing the bisexual assassin Villanelle. Her sizzling on-screen relationship and obsession with ex-MI5 agent Eve Polastri who is hunting her has resonated with LGBT+ audiences. Comer told Entertainment Weekly that Villanelle’s casual bisexuality has always been one of her favourite things about the character: “The fact that she’s unapologetically herself and free with her sexuality — that’s what’s so refreshing. It’s just a part of her. That’s what I love about her.” Comer has also just had a cameo appearance in the new Star Wars blockbuster The Rise of Skywalker.
THE JONAS BROTHERS
Joe, Nick and Kevin rose to fame as members of American pop rock band The Jonas Brothers, who melted hearts on the Disney Channel and are now back on a reunion tour. Nick Jonas is a regular visitor to gay nightclubs, and had a sultry kiss in his role as gay boxer Nate in the TV show Kingdom. Joe is also a fan of the gay nightlife scene, and all three brothers have enthusiastically embraced their gay following, which can only have been increased after Joe took on a role as the face (or more accurately the bottom) of the Guess brand’s first men’s underwear campaign.
Michelle Visage is a singer, television host, radio DJ, performer, producer and media personality, popular for her role as a judge on the reality competition series RuPaul’s Drag Race and its spin-off, RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars. She recently competed in Strictly Come Dancing and before her “couples dance”, performed to Madonna’s Vogue, she spoke about the debt she owes the LGBT+ community for welcoming her when she was a troubled teen in New York. Her dance performance, which led to her being voted off the show, was based on voguing, a dance style that was invented by drag queens in Harlem in the 1960s.
Naomi Campbell is one of the best known names in modelling. The English model as been continuously outspoken during her career, particularly highlighting struggles faced as a black woman in the industry saying “I may be considered one of the top models in the world, but in no way do I make the same money as any of them.” Her experiences in the fashion industry are perhaps what has made her a headstrong LGBT+ ally, declaring “I owe my life to gay men” in 2014. Campbell continues to fight for diversity in the fashion world, such as her advocacy for trans models.
SIR PATRICK STEWART
Sir Patrick Stewart OBE is an English actor whose career spans six decades, and everything from Shakespearean tragedies to Star Trek. He is a close friend of Stonewall co-founder Sir Ian McKellen, and is a champion of gay rights and equal marriage, as well as campaigning against domestic violence and belonging to Amnesty International. He felt his role as a starship captain in Star Trek gave him a powerful international platform to talk about equal rights: “My character Jean-Luc Picard always stood for equality, democracy, fairness, and he had no interest in materialism and he hated prejudice.”
The award winning Suranne Jones is well known for her portrayal of Karen McDonald in Coronation Street and the titular character Doctor Foster. Most recently, she has gained an LGBT+ following for her portrayal of Anne Lister in Gentleman Jack. Created by Sally Wainwright, the series is based on the collected diaries of Lister, written in secret code, which detail an array of lesbian relationships. Jones’ role in the show has been praised for depicting an “unapologetically butch” protagonist, who is the hero of her own story.
Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift has been increasingly vocal in support of LGBT+ rights. In June she launched her new song You Need To Calm Down, which tackles online trolling, bullying and homophobia and urges fans to to sign a petition in support of the Equality Act, to protect LGBTQ people in the USA from discrimination. In September’s issue of Vogue she explained: “Rights are being stripped from basically everyone who isn’t a straight white cisgender male. I didn’t realise until recently that I could advocate for a community that I’m not a part of.” Swift has also donated $113,000 to the Tennessee Equality Project.
The Spider-Man actor Tom Holland gained considerable press in the summer when he berated the Marvel Universe for its lack of diversity. He told the Sunday Times: “The world isn’t as simple as a straight white guy. It doesn’t end there, and these films need to represent more than one type of person.” He followed up in an interview with GC by saying that he would be happy to see a more “progressive” gay Spider-Man in the future. Tom studied as a dancer as well as an actor, and his first major role was in the West End musical Billy Elliot where he played Michael, Billy’s best friend, and later took the role of Billy.