In alphabetical order
This award recognises an act of significance for the LGBT+ community which has taken place in the media, from factual events witnessed on the news or in print, to fictional events which have taken place on stage, film, TV or radio.
Born This Way’s Ten-Year Anniversary
Lady Gaga created modern history with her electronic pop album Born This Way in 2011. An entire generation grew up with its title track as a queer anthem. Gaga, a bisexual activist, has always been vocal in supporting the fight for LGBT+ rights. To reinforce that these songs are for everyone, Gaga marked a decade of the album last May with six ‘reimagined’ versions of its songs by LGBT+ artists and allies. As she aptly put it in her song: “No matter gay, straight, or bi, lesbian, transgender life / I’m on the right track, baby / I was born to survive.”
Josh Cavallo Comes Out as the First Openly Gay Male Higher League Footballer
Last year, Australian footballer Josh Cavallo came out in an Instagram video. At the age of 16, Cavallo, who played youth football with Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City before making his professional debut with Western United, knew he was gay. His new-found status as an idol has taken some getting used to but Cavallo is determined to embrace the life he kept hidden for so long. He now plays for Adelaide United.
OLYMPICS TEAM LGBT+
There were at least 183 publicly out LGBT+ athletes at the Tokyo Summer Olympics. The final standing: ‘Team LGBT+’ ranked seventh overall, just ahead of the Netherlands, France, Germany and Italy. The UK’s Tom Daley won the gold medal for synchronized diving, paying off all those years of hard work. Women outnumber men on the list of out gay athletes by about an 8-1 margin, with women’s football alone accounting for more than 40 out players. Other gay male competitors include the New Zealand diver Anton Down-Jenkins, the equestrians Edward Gal and Hans Peter Minderhoud from the Netherlands and the US coxswain Julian Venonsky.
John and Johannes on Strictly Come Dancing
For the first time ever on Strictly there was a male same-sex couple on the show and Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite and his dancing partner Johannes Radebe dedicated their couples’ choice semi-final performance to what it was like growing up gay. Before the dance, a clip was shown of John remembering how his family found out he was gay and emotionally told the viewers it was actually a teacher who told them. John dedicated the emotional dance to those who are “a little bit afraid” and told them “it will get better”.
VICTORIA SCONE, THE AFAB DRAG QUEEN
Drag Race UK season 3 was the first time there a cisgender female competitor was featured on the show. Victoria Scone is 28 and from Cardiff. Her pronouns both in and out of drag are she/her. An AFAB queen is one who was ‘assigned female at birth’, which basically means their gender identity aligns with the sex they were given at birth.
Lil Nas X’s Call Me by Your Name Music Video
He’s only been making music for three years, but Lil Nas X has upended hip-hop with his LGBT+-positive lyrics while also pioneering new ways of promoting his music online. Nine months in the making, the song dropped in March with a high-concept video that saw Nas descend to hell on a stripper pole and lapdance for the devil – a metaphor for the struggle to accept his sexuality, which ends with him killing Satan and claiming his horns. Determined not let his identity to be erased, Nas gleefully elaborated on his sexual preferences on his album, Montero.
Sex Education’s Non-binary Representation
The introduction of a non-binary character in the third season of Sex Education seemed like something that might be potentially filled with plenty of challenges. But the show was able to approach the story of new student, Cal (Dua Saleh), with empathy by understanding that there is no specific or right way to be queer in a way that captured the openness and understanding that’s at the core of the show. Sex Education has paid attention to what it means to move through the world while being non-binary, navigating an environment that, from its school uniforms to its gender-divided classes on sexual health, is rigid and unforgiving in its adherence to binaries.
ETERNAL’S OPENLY LGBT+ SUPERHERO, PHASTOS
After more than a decade of superhero movies, Marvel finally featured its first LGBT+ relationship with an onscreen kiss in Eternals. The film starred Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta) as Phastos, a.k.a. the first openly gay superhero in a Marvel movie, and out actor Haaz Sleiman (Little America), who played his husband. Angelina Jolie also spoke out against countries banning the movie because of the kiss.
The Final Act, the Freddie Mercury Documentary
Titled Freddie Mercury: The Final Act, the documentary charted events such as the Queen frontman’s final gig in 1986, his death in November 1991 from complications of Aids, through to the tribute concert on April 20, 1992 at Wembley Stadium. The documentary featured new interviews with Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor, along with Freddie’s sister Kashmira Bulsara, friends Anita Dobson and David Wigg and PA Peter Freestone. Those who witnessed the impact of HIV/Aids first hand, including medical practitioners, survivors and human rights campaigners like Peter Tatchell were also interviewed.
The F1 Progress Pride Helmets
Lewis Hamilton worse a crash helmet promoting LGBT+ rights at the Qatar Grand Prix in 2021. The helmet featured a prominent Pride flag on the top, which was visible from the car’s onboard camera, and the message ‘We Stand Together’ instead of his usual message, ‘Still I Rise’. Qatar’s penal code criminalises same-sex sexual relations, with Human Rights Watch reporting that punishments can range from one to three years in prison. Hamilton, who has used his platform to campaign for diversity and a range of human rights issues, said one of his team members had told him it meant a huge amount.