The start of 2019 saw the debut of Netflix show Sex Education, starring Asa Butterfield as British teenager Otis whose divorced parents, including The X Files Gillian Anderson, are sex therapists. Using what he’s learned from them, Otis sets up a sex therapy clinic for students at his school. The cast includes Ncuti Gatwa as Otis’ gay best friend Eric, who experiences homophobia and uses drag as a form of self-expression. The show has been praised for the diversity of its portrayals of teenage life, including a sexually liberated older woman and an interracial lesbian couple. Teen Vogue called Sex Education “one of the queerest teen shows ever”, stating that “sexuality informs who these characters are as people, but it doesn’t define them”.


Gareth Thomas

Welsh rugby player Gareth Thomas, who represented his country in both Rugby Union and Rugby league and has played in more than 100 test matches, announced on Twitter in September that he was HIV positive after a tabloid newspaper threatened to release it. He was inundated with support, including a message from Prince Harry. Thomas, who completed an Ironman race immediately afterwards, told the BBC that revealing his HIV status was similar to his coming out as gay in 2009 as the first openly gay professional rugby union player. He stated he struggled with “the fear, the hiding, the secrecy, the not knowing how people are going to react”. To this day Thomas remains a vocal advocate of the LGBT+ community.



TV viewers in Mexico witnessed a ground-breaking lesbian kiss in the Spanish language telenovela Amar a Muerte (“Love to Death”). Over the course of 87 episodes, friends Juliana and Valentina, played by Barbara Lopez and Macarena Achaga, fall in love while surviving traumatic events including the kidnap of Juliana’s mother by a drug cartel. When the series finished in March, more than 40,000 fans of the couple, affectionately referred to as “Juliantina”, petitioned the TV company Univision to give the characters, who had started out as relatively minor figures in the drama about the reincarnation of a media mogul and an assassin, their own show. The spin-off series named ‘Juliantina’, aired on Mexcian television in November 2019.



YouTube star, transgender activist, author, TV personality and actor Gigi Gorgeous has nearly eight million followers, including 2.9 million subscribers to YouTube and 2.2 million on Instagram. Her wedding in June to girlfriend Nats Getty was watched by more than 3.6 million people. Gigi’s career began with making YouTube beauty videos, and at 19 she came out as a gay man, before in 2013 beginning her transition as a transgender woman. A documentary, This is Everything, chronicling her story, won a host of awards and she was named by Time Magazine as one the “25 Most Influential People on the Internet”. Her new book He Said, She Said is out now.



DJ and presenter Adele Roberts rose to fame in 2002 on series three of Big Brother. During the hugely popular reality television show, she announced that she was bisexual. She said afterwards that it was a weight off her mind, and that she now tries to use her public status to encourage other young people who are struggling to come out. Roberts has hosted the Early Morning Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 1 since 2015, and will soon be the new host of Radio 1’s Weekend Breakfast Show. Over the past 12 months, she’s featured on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here and Celebrity Coach Trip.



Pabllo Vittar was recently named by Vogue as ‘the world’s most popular drag queen’, a Brazilian native, VIttar is a drag artist and singer, who has just released her tri-lingual album 111. Vittar exploded onto the scene in 2014, singing a Whitney Houston cover on local TV in full drag, a potentially dangerous thing to do in Brazil’s modern political climate. explosively popular Vittar uses the platform of her music to be a visible queer person in a country now at mercy of climate change-denier and noted homophobe, Jair Bolsonaro. Pabllo recent told Rolling Stone magazine: “I am who I am: a gay boy, drag queen, super feminine. I speak my truth through my music.”



Sophie Cook became the first transgender woman to work in football’s Premier League as club photographer for AFC Bournemouth following her transition from Steve to Sophie in the summer of 2015. In the 2017 General Election she contested the East Worthing & Shoreham seat, increasing the Labour vote by 114% and narrowly missing out on becoming the UK’s first trans MP. Cook, who chronicled her own battles with mental health in her book Not Today: How I Chose Life, now fights the stigma around mental health and suicide through The Sophie Cook Foundation, work which gained her an honorary Doctorate from Bournemouth University in 2019. She is an in-demand public speaker, delivering keynote talks internationally and LGBT workshops for high profile organisations.



Olly Alexander is primarily known as the frontman and vocalist in the band, Years & Years, a London-based electronica trio. Alongside his musical career, however, Alexander is a vocal advocate for LGBT+ and mental health issues, candidly exploring both in his BBC3 documentary, Growing Up Gay. The documentary focused on Alexander’s own experiences with depression as well as the disproportionate ways in which LGBT+ people experience mental ill health. Furthering his on-screen career, Alexander recently landed his dream role in Russel T Davies’ new drama, It’s A Sin, which will explore the 1980s AIDS crisis. The drama which boasts a star studded cast including Keeley Hawes, Neil Patrick Harris and Stephen Fry, is set to air on Channel 4 in 2021.



Newly formed charity Bi Pride UK’s mission statement is to create spaces where people who experience attraction beyond gender can be freely visible and celebrate themselves and their identities. As many statistics show that bi people make up over half the LGBT+ identifying community such visibility is crucial. The charity held its first event in September 2019, attended by more than 1,300 people. This is the biggest bi-specific event which has ever happened in history. The group painted The Round Chapel in Hackney, pink, purple, blue and yellow to promote bi visibility and discussed serious issues regarding bi erasure and biphobia. Bi Pride recently launched Unicorn, the world’s first bi arts and culture magazine.



Renault aims to bring people’s passion for life a little closer through its cars. It wanted to humanise and celebrate, not just thirty years of progress of the Renault Clio, but also the progress made within culture, society and life in that time. ‘The French Exchange’ depicts two girls who meet during a 1990s school exchange trip and sustain their relationship over three decades end with the pair and their daughter visiting the English woman’s parents.
The film has been discussed, supported, and praised globally within LGBT+ communities, family forums, international TV and press. Originally a UK campaign, it has been picked up by 23 markets globally. An Italian MP is even campaigning to have the ad aired on Italian TV to raise awareness of inclusivity.



Lucas began his career in the 90’s, where he performed alongside Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer, first in The Smell Of Reeves and Mortimer and then in his recurring role as George Dawes in Shooting Stars. He went on to create the well known series Rock Profile and Little Britain with long time collaborator David Walliams which brought them both into the mainstream public consciousness. While his performances could be viewed as controversial, the show was a roaring success in the UK, leading to many spin-offs, character guest spots and further television appearances. At the time of Little Britain’s success Lucas was one of the few out gay celebrities in British media and his contribution to the zeitgeist at the time is noteworthy. Lucas now enjoys a presenter role alongside Noel Fielding on the Great British Bake Off.



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, 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. Jones said she relished portraying a woman who helped shape sexual history, saying of the character, “she stands for a right to be heard, so everyone has a voice. So, I think even in 2019 it’s a very, very modern story.”

Swinton Insurance – GLOBAL IMPACT


After losing friends and peers to AIDS-related illnesses, the iconic musician was inspired to set up the Elton John AIDS Foundation in 1992. The Foundation is committed to an AIDS free future and believes in no more discrimination, no more HIV infections, no more AIDS deaths, no matter who or where you are. They fund projects for the prevention, treatment and education of HIV/AIDS and prioritise the most marginalised groups: gay men, adolescents, people who inject drugs, sex workers and transgender women. The Foundation also battles the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS; as Elton John himself said, “The AIDS disease is caused by a virus, but the AIDS epidemic is not. The AIDS epidemic is fuelled by stigma, by hate, by misinformation.”



First introduced to the British public as one half of EastEnders’ first gay kiss, Lord Michael Cashman has been many things; an actor, an activist, an MEP, co-founder of Stonewall and a member of the House of Lords. After his ground-breaking TV moment, Cashman would go on to a long career in political activism. In 1989 he co-founded Stonewall in response to Thatcher’s introduction of anti-LGBT policy, Section 28 and in 1999, Cashman was appointed the first openly gay MEP and became the president of European parliament’s intergroup on gay and lesbian issues. He was also instrumental in the introduction of same-sex civil partnerships during Tony Blair’s government and in 2014, Cashman was made a life peer, taking the title Baron Cashman.



Nathan Jordan, Amazon Web Services

Nathan is a globally experienced Learning & HR professional with a passion for people through learning, inclusion and organisational excellence. He was appointed Chair of the LGBT+ network at his previous employer and was responsible for creating a steering group and defining the LGBT+ agenda for the business. Nathan formulated an ambitious plan envisioning an internal LGBT+ Network that stretched beyond the office and served local communities. Now working for AWS, Nathan is globally responsible for learning and enablement across AWS’s Start-Ups Segment. Nathan believes in inclusion by design and incorporates this practice into global learning strategies. Nathan also partners with external organisations to improve inclusion outcomes for all. Nathan also featured in the UK’s Top 50 LGBT+ Professionals List.


Heathrow Pride

Heathrow is Europe’s largest airport and one of the world’s top international aviation hubs, welcoming more than 80 million passengers every year. As the UK’s global gateway, diversity and inclusion is at the heart of the organisation and they’re proud to welcome and recognise everyone’s differences. Heathrow has four diversity networks focusing on gender, sexuality, disability and ethnicity – giving all colleagues a platform to support each other. Over the past year, Heathrow’s PROUD Network has made huge strides in bringing the issues affecting LGBT+ colleagues and passengers to the forefront, including demonstrating support to the global community and influencing changes to policies and processes. They celebrated Pride across the airport and, quite literally, flew the flag for Transgender Awareness Week.


David Levine, Former VP, Kids Programming, Disney Channels Europe and Africa/UK & Ireland

David Levine was Vice President, Kids Programming, Disney Channels Europe and Africa/UK & Ireland. In this role, he was responsible for all strategic and operational aspects of Kids Programming across Disney Channels Europe and Africa, including the development of the linear and multi-platform/OTT programming strategy. David commissions all originally produced content, acquisitions and co-productions for Disney kids platforms, including The Lodge, featuring Disney Channel’s first LGBT+ character. David oversees programming strategy for pan-regional Disney Junior and Disney XD, reaching over 110 countries and 70 million households. David serves as an Executive Sponsor of the Pride UK&I


Susan Allen, Santander

Susan has been Head of Retail and Business Banking, a member of  the Executive Committee and a member of the Board of Directors of Santander UK since January 2019. Prior to this, she was Managing Director of UK Banking, Chief Transformation Officer and Head of Customer Interactions. Before joining Santander in 2015, Susan was CEO, Customer Solutions Group, Commercial and Private Banking at RBS, supporting businesses from SMEs to international corporates. Throughout her career Susan has been a champion of diversity and inclusivity and is currently the Executive Sponsor of the Santander LGBT network. Under her leadership and guidance the network has trebled in membership and been recognised externally for its progressive achievements.


Bobbi Pickard, BP

Bobbi is a highly experienced, commercially orientated senior project and programme manager and incredibly active in the transgender awareness space. As the award winning Co-Chair of BP Pride’s Transgender Group she has been instrumental in changing BP’s level of transgender awareness globally. In addition to founding the multi-company transgender collaboration “Trans in the City”, Bobbi also regularly runs training and awareness sessions in schools, organisations and other companies, appears on panel events and actively shares how to successfully introduce trans inclusivity and education within all organisations through Bobbi started transitioning at the end of 2017 and came out at BP shortly afterwards – she identifies as transgender, her pronouns being ‘she’ and ‘her’.


Sky UK

Sky is Europe’s leading direct-to-consumer media and entertainment company with employees across the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain and Italy. Its UK and Ireland LGBT+@Sky network has over 2000 members, with dedicated champions, allies and activists driving the inclusion agenda to make Sky the best place to work. Sky is proud to be recognised as the number 1 UK media company for inclusion by Stonewall and has been recognised as the number 1 inclusive employer according to Inclusion Companies. Their latest campaigns include Rainbow Laces, partnerships with Gaydio and Attitude as well as the creation of on demand content to showcase LGBT+ stories, movies and talent via their boxes and apps.