In alphabetical order
This category recognises an LGBT+ individual delivering news or content. The top 10s will have an impact the public’s view of the LGBT+ community.
The news that well-respected fashion editor Edward Enninful would be the new editor of style Bible British Vogue was greeted with delight by the fashion pack and beyond. His first cover – featuring Adwoa Aboah – was absolutely stunning, and reinforced his commitment to diversity when it comes to choosing models. Enninful has promised to use models of different shapes, sizes and ethnicities, and has earned plaudits from stars such as Naomi Campbell. He recently featured Paris Lees in the magazine, marking the first time an openly transgender woman had appeared in British Vogue.
It’s never too late to come out of the closet. The LGBT+ community will support people who want to live their truth, whenever they decide to live it. This year, former Olympic swimmer Mark Foster revealed he was gay. “I tiptoed around the issue for so long,” he said, “I got really good at the dance of telling half-truths.” The swimmer began seeing a therapist in 2017, and decided that now was the time to share his feelings. Despite living an openly gay life to friends and family, he’d hid his identity as a sportsman. Foster has supported the Terence Higgins Trust, Stonewall and Ben Cohen’s Stand Up To Bullying Campaign.
Famously erudite, Stephen Fry is a well-known and long-serving champion of LGBT+ history, culture and rights. This year he was the subject of a rather silly controversy when he, in a video for the National Trust, ‘outed’ Robert Wyndham Ketton-Kramer – much to the annoyance of his modern-day descendants. It’s a shame the video created such a furore, because the message at its heart was positive, aiming to shed light on the punitive anti-gay laws that terrified and criminalised gay people in Britain just 50 years ago. The past year also saw Fry star alongside his husband Elliot Spencer in a music video celebrating LGBT+ love, as well as – in traditionally genius fashion – verbally skewering Donald Trump.
Emmy Award-winning comedian and actress Kate McKinnon has never hidden her sexuality. In 2007, when her career began, she was a main cast member on all three seasons of Logo’s The Big Gay Sketch Show. Now, as a mainstream star of the blockbuster films and the iconic Saturday Night Live, she’s as out and proud as ever. Her incredible impression of Hillary Clinton is perhaps what McKinnon is chiefly renowned for. Throughout the US Presidential campaign, McKinnon assumed the gait of an awkward, but well-meaning Hillary. When Donald Trump won, that comedy turned to pathos, and she performed a touching rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. “As she sang, it seemed like she was fighting back tears,” said the real Clinton.
The tabloid news industry can be butch and macho, a noisy, rollercoaster world where the search for exclusives is noisy and competitive, and often you have to shout to be heard. In James Ingham, the Daily Star Sunday has found a showbiz editor who not only effectively conveys and promotes LGBT showbiz culture, but also helps educate a mass mainstream readership. Like many gay people, James has suffered considerable personal trauma. After feeling isolated and alone while growing up as a gay teenager, James has since helped others come to terms with their own coming out story, as well as raising more than £100,000 for charity.
In 2017, American transgender rights activist Janet Mock published her second memoir, Surpassing Certainty. It was a powerful reminder of the improbability of her journey – from working as a stripper to becoming celebrated media personality – and the sheer willpower and determination of a woman who transitioned at a time when trans figures were absent from the media and mainstream cultural life. Shaken by Trump’s election, Mock said the election result created an ‘urgency’ in her that means she cannot help but do what she always does – speak truth to power.
One of the UK’s most powerful LGBT individuals, Graham Norton is a giant of late-night TV. His show consistently attracts A-List talent, and it’s not unusual to see the toast of Hollywood spread across his ample sofa. He’s also renowned as the voice of Eurovision, peppering his witticisms throughout the broadcast and generally showing that while he finds it all a bit trashy, he loves it as much as we do. Graham has never been shy of voicing his opinions on the gay issues that matter, and recently upbraided the Australian government over the issue of same-sex marriage.
Winner! Sue Perkins
Sue Perkins might be one half of the legendary Mel and Sue duo, but the Cambridge-educated comedian is a formidable talent in her own right. Partly, it must be said, because she isn’t afraid to say what she thinks. This year saw Perkins slam Kevin Spacey for “setting back” the LGBT+ community after he attempted to distract the media from allegations of sexual assault by coming out as gay. Perkins wrote: “Well done Kev. You stay silent on your sexuality until the time comes when you can conflate it with an alleged sexual assault on a minor.”
Delightfully, spectacularly camp, Craig Revel-Horwood is fab-u-lous darling! The Strictly Come Dancing judge is the pantomime villain of BBC One’s ballroom spectacular, which this year was only beaten in the end-of-year ratings by the incredible Blue Planet. The issue of same-sex dance partners came up again this year, and it’s something Craig supports. He said: “I was rather hoping for a same sex couple. I doubt that it’ll happen this year. But I’d love it to happen because that might put a spanner in the works.”
When the new Great British Bake Off line-up was announced, many were sceptical. Already angered by the show’s move to Channel 4, fans were reluctant to imagine that Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding could ever replace Mel and Sue. But they there swiftly proved wrong. The reaction on Twitter turned warmly positive within minutes of the gentle reality show returning to our screens, and critical plaudits were quick to follow. Sandi Toksvig, a seasoned, capable (and hilarious) presenter, was particularly singled out for praise. For Toksvig, the initial rejection to her Bake Off appointment was nothing compared to the rejection she faced as a lesbian in the 90s. She was once told by a TV executive that her homosexuality meant she’d ‘never work again’.