The self-titled ‘honorary gay’ we have an absolute icon in our presence. This year she signed an open letter to support trans right and stamp out hate, but says in her acceptance speech that she wishes that her ‘everyday support’ was the norm for everybody.
The singer first came to fame as part of the 80s duo Erasure and has never been anything less than proud to be out. He confirmed he was living with HIV in 2004 and has spoken out about it many times.
YouTube’s very own Mark Ferris has made a name for himself online for his open and honest content on everything from solo travelling, to mental health, to coming out. Throughout his successful career, he’s worked alongside both Sky and BBC Sounds, and has truly gone down as British YouTube royalty – what’s not to love!
Brit Award winner Becky Hill found fame after appearing on the first series of the BBC’s The Voice. In 2014 she became the first – and only – contestant from the show so far to score a UK number 1, with song Gecko (Overdrive) featuring Oliver Heldens. Announcing on social media that she identified as queer, Hill has five UK Top 10s to her name and a further Brit Award nomination for British Song of the Year Remember featuring David Guetta.
BROADCASTER, JOURNALIST OR HOST
Paul O’Grady will always be remembered. Julian Clary and his husband paid tribute to his decade-spanning career. As an outspoken advocate of the LGBT+ community, O’Grady has helped to change the narrative around gay men on British television. Always candid, he’s taken on hosting duties at Blind Date – the show formerly presented by his best mate, the late Cilla Black – and insisted that same-sex couples were involved, bringing the show into the 21st century. He’s attracted controversy for his comments on RuPaul’s Drag Race (saying, “No, I can’t bear it. That’s not drag! It’s all about shading and contouring your face and being like supermodels”), but let’s be honest that’s why we love him! Most recently we’ve seen him hosting Paul O’Grady’s Saturday Night Line Up on ITV.
Britney Spears Fragrances
Everyone’s favourite comedian and actress, Ryan is not only known for her role on British panel TV shows, but also for her unapologetic and witty defence of the LGBT+ community. In 2020, she joined forces with a plethora of British figureheads to call for trans allyship for Trans Day of Visibility in a Sarah O’Connell video, and frequently weaves topics including allyship and inclusion into her acts.
BRAND OR MARKETING CAMPAIGN
Be Yourself: Updated Gender Identity Policy
Virgin cemented its position as the most inclusive airline by listening to its people and re-writing its gender identity policy to offer the option to wear the Vivienne Westwood-designed uniform they identify most with. In addition, the company has introduced pronoun badges, gender-neutral ticketing systems and further inclusivity training for its people. The news was announced to the world with an inclusive, stylised fashion forward ‘runway on a runway’ content campaign, fronted by Drag Race legend and long-time LGBT+ ally Michelle Visage, alongside influencers, trans and non-binary pilots and crew.
JUST EAT TAKEAWAY
OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO LGBT+ LIFE
Aida H Dee
Aida H Dee (pronouns: they/them) is the founder of Drag Queen Story Hour UK. They are a neurodivergent, queer hero of literature, theatre and children’s entertainment. Aida is a multi award-winning author, patron of Autistic Inclusive Meets London, a five-star Edinburgh Fringe act, has been featured in Forbes as an activist for neurodivergence, and was chosen by Pink News as The Local Leader of the Year in 2022. They have travelled all across the UK reading their own LGBTQ books to 1000’s of children across 100’s of libraries, and have been targeted by multiple anti-LGBTQ hate groups in recent years.
Daniels is the UK’s first male professional footballer to come out publicly since the much-missed player Justin Fashanu in 1990, and he is still the only openly gay male professional footballer currently active in Britain’s top divisions. Last year, the Blackpool forward shared his story and expressed his desire to live life authentically. He was met with an outpouring of support and it is hoped the 18-year-old’s decision will help combat homophobia in football and sport in years to come.
BUSINESS CATEGORIES 2023
Fang is a lawyer at Clifford Chance, where he co-chairs the LGBT+ network, helping Clifford Chance reach #3 on the Stonewall index. He works pro bono on LGBT+ litigation, including R(Elan-Cane) v SSHD in the Supreme Court, which established a right to respect for non-binary identities under the ECHR. He advocates for less-represented groups in the LGBTQ+ community, leading to events on faith, two-spirit identity, disability and more. Fang created Clifford Chance’s trans and non-binary working group and, externally, rows with the LGBTQ+ rowing club London Otters: he taught rowing to trans people for Not A Phase’s Misfits programme.
Khandhar is Global Pride@BCG Director, responsible for driving BCG’s global LGBT+ DE&I work. He was appointed to this role after six years of working as a client-servicing management consultant during which he also led the Pride@BCG network in India. He has led numerous projects on LGBTQ+ topics across the world and is especially passionate about helping navigate DEI in countries with challenging social contexts. Khandhar has co-authored thought leadership reports, engaged with company leaders, collaborated with NGOs and talked to government representatives and diplomatic embassies to further the conversation on LGBTQ+ DE&I. Outside of work, he has published LGBT+-themed fiction in Hindi and Urdu.
Ceccotti is the leader of KPMG’s LGBT+ network Breathe, which has 800+ members: it has doubled in size under her leadership. She is the youngest ever chair and has transformed the network to focus on grassroots activism and intersectionality by creating two network consortiums and partnering with LGBT+ charities. Ceccotti openly shares her story of being a Brazilian LGBT+ woman and subsequently inspired the development of LGBT+ networks in KPMG firms globally. Her impact is wide-reaching, from having LGBT+ inclusion spotlighted in firm-wide mandatory training to creating the infrastructure for an LGBT+ consortium with 50+ organisations working together to make the sector more inclusive.
Johnson is Vice President of Digital Product Delivery in BP’s Customer and Products division supporting the delivery of the company’s customer-facing digital experiences. He has been a member of BP’s Pride network for several years and in 2022 joined the Steering Committee. Outside work, Johnson is an ambassador and speaker for FFLAG (Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, a charity supporting parents and carers of LGBTQ+ people) and a volunteer with Diversity Role Models for their work in schools on LGBTQ+ inclusion. Johnson is married to Anne and is a proud father to two gay sons – Jack and Matthew.
Winner of HSBC’s D&I Spotlight award 2022, Kabir is a Business Manager who advocates supporting colleagues by openly sharing his personal challenges and leading the way for Black Pride by organising events that highlight intersectionality and allyship. He drives initiatives, including HSBC’s flagship Birmingham Pride March, delivering LGBT+ inclusion training and events focused on eliminating stigma and providing education on sexual and mental health and inclusive language. Recently he arranged Trans Awareness Week event, promoting the bank’s gender dysphoria benefit for colleagues. All of these are contributing factors towards HSBC’s climb to 12 in the Stonewall Rankings. Externally, Kabir supports LGBT+ charities in various ways including fundraising.
LEGAL & GENERAL
NETWORK GROUP OR ERG
Connect Out is design company Arup’s LGBT+ employee network, founded in 2012. It strives for a work culture that respects, welcomes and celebrates all LGBT+ professionals, empowering them to perform to their fullest potential so they can shape a better world. Connect Out’s work amplifies underrepresented voices, encouraging dialogues that embrace intersectional diversity. In influencing policy, processes and systems, Connect Out takes a leading role in the sector, collaborating with other networks, firms and community groups. They are united by an ambition to influence the work they do to design a more inclusive built environment that truly reflects the diversity of communities.
INCLUSIVE EMPLOYER OR COMPANY
PwC is a global professional services firm with a vision to be a leading organisation for inclusion and belonging with their people by fostering a workplace where LGBT+ talent thrives. They are working to grow LGBT+ equality and accelerate change, both within PwC and in wider society. They work with Shine, their LGBT+ and ally network, to better understand how LGBT+ employees experience work culture and what more they can do to attract and progress LGBT+ talent. The publication of their sexual orientation pay gap for the first time in 2022 provides a baseline for measuring progress.