In alphabetical order
This category celebrates influencers, activists, campaigners or trailblazers in the lgbt+ community, who have made an impact either on a grass roots level as part of a larger organisation, from youtubers, to social media influencers, artists, founder of lgbt+ focused initiatives, writers, bloggers, charity workers or campaigners.
This category will be judged on merit.
Abbey won protection as a gay refugee in 2010 and became British in 2020. After release from immigration detention in 2009, he supported LGBT+ asylum causes in the UK, France, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark. In Uganda, he survived violence by both the police and his family. In 2013, he founded OPAL (Out & Proud African LGBTI), a registered charity since 2015. OPAL builds on the unparalleled diversity of Africa to create an inclusive, safe space where everyone may express who s/he is, whatever gender and age, and helps others to find advice on asylum processes and prepare for fulfilled lives as refugees.
Avi is the co-founder and Chair of Bi Pride UK, a charity founded in 2017 to create educational and celebratory spaces for people attracted to more than one gender, regardless of the label (or lack thereof) they use. An entirely volunteer-run charity, Bi Pride UK is now the largest registered bi charity in the UK and its Pride event in 2019 was the largest single-day event for bi people in the world to date. When not volunteering with Bi Pride UK, Avi is a professional volunteer manager and training facilitator, and also sings with London’s LGBT+ choir the Pink Singers.
A writer, human rights activist and LGBT+ rights defender, Dettie works to promote Black LGBT+ workers’ rights through her work on the LGBT+ committees of Unison and the TUC. She represents LGBT+ family experiences and discussions on intersectionality internationally through her work with International Family Equality Day (IFED). Alongside being an award-winning writer, she also sits as co-chair on the board of the LGBT+ mental health charity MindOut. She is both a host and a performer at Boisterous Ravens, a spoken word event designed to amplify the voices of women and non-binary people of colour. She believes visibility for Black and brown LGBT+ people is a cornerstone of equality.
Dr Alexander Rhys
Alex Rhys is the Founder and Chair of It Gets Better UK, part of the global It Gets Better Project. The charity strives to inspire, empower and uplift LGBTQ+ youth by telling the stories of members of the LGBTQ+ community to combat high levels of self-harm. Since launching in 2018, It Gets Better UK has made strides to enable us all to believe in a world where hope outshines fear and has already been shortlisted for charity of the year at 2021’s British LGBT Awards. Alongside his work in health and social care, Alex runs the charity as a volunteer.
Ethan is the founder of Freedom to Donate, which was launched seven years ago to advocate for a fairer and more inclusive blood donation policy in the UK. Last year, the campaign’s proposal of an individualised risk-based policy for gay and bi men became official government policy in June. The campaign now advises global equality movements on blood donation. Ethan is a Director at the social impact strategy firm Purpose Union and also founded and runs PROUD Beer and the InterComms LGBTQ+ Network. He is an Advisory Board Member of the Terrence Higgins Trust and a Board member of the Bisi Alimi Foundation.
A sports writer and editor specialising in inclusion, Jon has worked with LGBT+ athletes at all levels to assist them in sharing inspirational stories of authenticity. He is the founder of Sports Media LGBT+, an industry network, advocacy and consultancy group that helps to amplify under-represented voices and provides a valuable digital platform and community space.
Juno is the international bestselling author of Young Adult novels and non-fiction, including the bestselling Clean and This Book is Gay. Her novel Meat Market was the winner of the YA Book Prize 2020. Her debut novel Her Majesty’s Royal Coven will be released globally in July. Juno’s titles are known for being filled with diverse characters and have been translated into 25 languages around the world. Formerly, Juno was a columnist at Attitude, Glamour and Metro. She has appeared on dozens of TV shows and podcasts to discuss sex, gender, sexuality, education, feminism and politics. In 2015, Juno underwent gender transition, which is documented in her memoir What’s the T? In her spare time, she is part of a cabaret collective and co-hosts the smash hit Sex and the City podcast So I Got to Thinking. In 2014, Juno became a School Role Model for Stonewall.
Lex Shu Chan
Lex (they/she) is a non-binary lawyer and diversity and inclusion leader. On top of their role as General Counsel at The Business of Fashion, Lex started and co-led the organisation’s D&I Council, which involved creating gender identity and expression policies. They were named number one on the INvolve OUTstanding LGBT+ Future Leaders list 2021. In response to the increase in anti-Asian hate crimes, Lex co-launched Recipes Against Racism, a cookbook fundraising for two UK-based charities. Lex is also a writer and has contributed op-eds for publications such as i-D about Transgender Day of Visibility and National Coming Out Day.
Oscar is a barrister focusing on the laws concerning trans and non-binary people. Oscar (they/them) was the first barrister in the UK to come out publicly as non-binary and uses ‘Mx’ in their title to be referred to in court and correspondence, another legal first. Oscar provides free legal resources through their social advocacy Instagram page (@nonbinarybarrister), which informs non-binary/trans people of their rights. Oscar often speaks on panels concerning discrimination in gender identity/sexuality and hopes to improve non-binary and trans inclusion in the workplace. Through their pro bono work, Oscar hopes to help establish the legal recognition of non-binary people in the UK.
Philip is the Chief Operating Officer for Legal & General’s Retirement Institutional and Capital businesses and is a strong, visible ally for the LGBT+ community. Philip is an openly gay senior leader in the business with a passion for authenticity and nurturing an environment where everybody feels welcome and represented. He is a mentor, coach, sponsor and thought leader for the LGBT+ community both within and outside the workplace and fundamentally champions inclusion for everyone. Philip lives in West Sussex with his long-term partner Mark, with whom he shares a passion for music, movies and appreciating the fantastic countryside where they live.