As fans of Demi will know, the singer-songwriter has long been open about their sexuality, and frequently utilised their music to start conversations about mental health and addiction. Demi was previously recognised by GLAAD, receiving the 2016 Vanguard Award, and has performed at NYC Pride and LA Pride Parade. In May 2021, Demi bravely opened up about their non-binary identity, using their platform to raise awareness of non-binary issues. Demi has also recently released their own talk show, The Demi Lovato Show.
IT’S A SIN
It’s a Sin tells the story of a group of gay men living through the HIV/Aids crisis in London in the 1980s. The stellar cast, including Olly Alexander, Omari Douglas and Callum Scott Howells truly paid homage to the lived experience many in our community went through. It’s a Sin understandably received great acclaim for its honesty in addressing the HIV/Aids crisis alongside the beautiful cinematic filming. It is work like this which is helping to break down the stigma surrounding HIV.
Content creator Jessica Kellgren-Fozard’s content on LGBT+ topics, history, fashion, and living with disability has made a great impact online this year. Her youtube videos and TikTok content take an eloquent and humorous approach to queer history. It is through Kellgren-Fozard’s individual and honest approach that she has been able to reach such a wide audience. In recent videos, Jessica has also highlighted the absence of information on issues of disabled and same-sex parenthood. Jessica recently welcomed her first child with her wife Claudia this June!
Johnson & Johnson – CHARITY OR COMMUNITY INITIATIVE
UK BLACK PRIDE
Beginning in 2005, UK Black Pride provides a safe space for LGBT+ Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnics annually, drawing up to 8,000 attendees. In the June 2019 issue of British Vogue, the UK Black Pride co-founder discussed the origin of the event, occurring in response to the lack of representation at mainstream Prides. This year, UK Black Pride announced a 3-day online event with the theme of ‘Love and Rage.’ UK Black Pride has created a place of inclusivity for many that were marginalized at Pride events previously.
MTV – MUSIC ARTIST
In the words of her hit single Perfect: ‘I’ll love who I love, because this love is gender-free.’ Anne-Marie has long focused her art to an inclusive audience, and shares LGBT+ love and experiences with her audience through her music. In an article for GAY TIMES, Anne-Marie made it known that she is not only a proponent of LGBT+ issues, but is a member of the community herself. Anne-Marie’s longstanding music career has most recently seen her collaborate with Youtube star and rapper KSI.
BROADCASTER, JOURNALIST OR HOSTS
The suited and booted Tom Allen has madea name for himself not only as a comedian, but also as a writer and actor. Allen has been outspoken about issues in the LGBT+ community, including gay shame. However, Allen’s openness about his sexuality came about through an experience of a homophobic attack in 2014. In recent years, Tom has become a familiar face in British TV, hosting Bake Off: The Professionals and The Apprentice: You’re Fired. He has also been a contestant on Bake Off, Mock the Week and Celebrity Catchphrase. .
The sportiest of the spices, Melanie C is vocal about causes close to her heart. Melanie has utilised her solo career and in particular, her single High Heels to shine a light on LGBT+ performers. For her 2019 tour and music video, she collaborated closely with Sink the Pink, a London-based drag collective. Melanie told the Guardian that she marvels at the “privilege” of spending time in queer and non-binary communities and that she was shocked by the prevalence of transphobia in British culture and sport. “We have to move on… Things change. Thank goodness people are able to be who they truly feel they are rather than living miserable lives or secret lives. It’s something that has to be acknowledged and addressed.”
NETWORK RAIL – BRAND OR MARKETING CAMPAIGN
We know that we definitely shed a little tear when we saw this advert! Starbuck’s heartwarming campaign, ‘What’s Your Name’ was based around testing out a new name during a transition. With the lacklustre representation of transgender and gender diverse people in much of mainstream media, this beautiful ad, really provided an insight into the importance of the simple act of being asked your name when you order a coffee. Starbucks has also partnered with the charity Mermaids with the aim of raising £100,000 for their helpline, supported by the ‘Mermaids Cookie’ which you could buy in store.
This former professional boxer not only has TWO gold Olympic medals under her belt, but has also proven her dancing ability on Season 18 of Strictly Come Dancing, where she featured as half of the competition’s first same-sex couple with dance partner Katya Jones. As an open lesbian, Nicola was named the most influential LGBT+ person In Britain of 2012 by The Independent, and was the first openly LGBT+ person to win an Olympic boxing Gold medal. Even before her retirement from professional boxing in 2019, Nicola has devoted herself to philanthropic endeavours – becoming an Ambassador of Fight for Peace in 2015, has worked to raise money for Gear 4 Girls, and the mental health charity, MQ.
Phyllis Akua Opoku-Gyimah, also known as Lady Phyll is the unstoppable co-founder and executive director of Black Pride UK (founded 2005). Having spent over 20 years advocating for workers rights, Lady Phyll even sits on the TUC Race Relations Committee. Lady Phyll uses her online platform to advocate for the rights of all intersections of the LGBT+ community. Alongside her work at UK Black Pride, Lady Phyll is executive director of Kaleidoscope Trust, an organisation working for the liberation of LGBT+ people around the world, and is an AKT patron. Lady Phyll is without a doubt, a pillar and an icon for the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people in the LGBT+ community.
In the US Senate, Hillary has championed legislation to address hate crimes, advocating to end restrictions blocking LGBT+ Americans from adopting children. Had Clinton become President, she said her advocacy for the Equality Act would have been ‘at the top of my list.’ The Equality Act was the first bill that explicitly aimed to protect the rights of LGBT+ people. In 2017, Clinton accepted The Center’s (an LGBT+ community group in New York’s) Trailblazer Award for her work in the fight for equality. In 2016, Hillary spoke out against the legal subjugation many in the community faced, stating ‘[LGBT+ people] deserve justice, and equality under the law, and it’s why I support the Equality Act.’
JUST EAT – OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO LGBT+ LIFE
PAUL MARTIN, OBE
Chief Executive of the LGBT Foundation, Paul Martin has worked hard to promote and support the LGBT+ community in a variety of ways. As of 2019 the LGBT Foundation is the largest LGBT+ health charity in the UK, helping over 600,000 people online yearly. Paul Martin OBE himself founded HGM (Healthy Gay Men) in 1994, before unifying the charity with the Manchester Lesbian and Gay Switchboard Services in 2000.
Swinton Insurance – FOOTBALL ALLY
Not only does Conor play for both Wolverhamption and for England, but is a longstanding and prolific supporter of Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign. The celebrated centre-back who was dubbed England’s ‘player of the tournament’ by assistant manager Steve Holland at UEFA Euro 2020, has stated his support for LGBT+ footballers. Conor stated that if a player were to approach him about coming out, that ‘I’d advise them to be open and honest and to speak to me whenever you want to speak to me and we’ll go about it together.’
Gurchaten is President of UN-GLOBE, which represents LGBT+ personnel across the UN. He is also a Non-Discrimination Programme Officer at the International Labour Organization. Gurchaten is an advocate for the rights of queer people wihtin the UN and beyond. He is committed to diversity, serving on the steering committee of the International Family Equality Day NGO, is a fellow of the Salzberg Global LGBT forum and a trustee for We Create Space. Gurchaten has been recognised as an OUTstanding LGBT+ role model three years in a row.
Justin is part of Allen & Overy’s global LGBTQ+ network committee and speaks at internal and external panel events to foster greater industry-wide inclusion. In 2020, Justin founded ‘GROW’, a mentoring initiative that supports 1300 aspiring lawyers/barristers from underrepresented communities in the UK/USA. Beyond the legal profession, Justin is a role model with the LGBTQ+ charity, Diversity Role Models, and actively raises money to support their classroom based workshops.
OVO – NETWORK GROUP OR ERG
Everyone is welcome at Tesco. Their LGBT+ at Tesco network first started in 2005, and has relaunched over the last 18-months, now standing at over 1000 members. This year the network added pronouns to name badges / email signatures, and is working on gender-neutral ranging. Tesco is a business that celebrates and embraces diversity, and uses its scale for good, creating an environment of allyship for all.
Stephen is an internationally recognised role model and inspirational leader who uses his platform to champion for LGBT+ inclusion. At work he is a strong advocate and visible role model for LGBT+ colleagues. In 2020, Stephen was involved in the development of employee diversity network, This is Us, a group which provides mentoring opportunities for LGBT+ employees. Outside of work he is a prominent speaker on LGBT+ inclusion, and a Board Director for an LGBT+charity/publication.
HSBC UK – BUSINESS ALLY
Sharon is responsible for developing and delivering Pearson UK’s qualifications and resources for schools. Sharon campaigns for greater LGBTQ+ inclusivity in the classroom and workplace. She led a partnership with Stonewall to release curriculum guides for teachers, and has helped make it easier to request a replacement exam certificate showing a change of gender. Sharon speaks out about LGBT+ issues internally also, launching a UK-wide rainbow and trans pride ‘lanyard’ campaign.
Deon is not only the Head of Marketing operations at Legal and General Investments, but is also Co-Founder of InterInvest, a network of investment professionals working for LGBT+ inclusion. Deon reguarlyly uses his platforms and personal experiences to discuss intersectional LGBT+ issues, and is co-chair of the L&GBT+ allies network, steerco member of the Diversity Project’s LGBT+ stream, supporter of Pride in the City and Queer Britain to name just a few.
Tesco – INCLUSIVE EMPLOYER OR COMPANY
Sainsbury’s aims to be the most inclusive trailer where every single colleague can fulfill their potential and every customer feels welcome when they shop. Supporting LGBT+ colleagues to reach fulfilling careers requires commitment and support. Specific colleague and line manager support is offered by both the Inclusion team, and the UK’s most active colleague network, Proud@Sainsbury’s.