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.
Appointed in 2016 by London Mayor Sadiq Khan as the capital’s first Night Czar, Amy Lamé is tasked with putting the mayor’s vision for London as a 24-hour city into action. This includes protecting venues from closure, and creating the LGBTQ+ Venues Charter which encourages more such businesses to open. Lamé has had a varied career; she is co-founder of the arts company and club night Duckie, served as Mayoress of Camden in 2010/11, wrote the first LGBT+ history book for children called From Prejudice to Price, and is a regular writer for The Times newspaper. She is also a presenter on BBC Radio 6 music and The Staying in Show on Channel 4.
Berwyn Rowlands established the Iris Prize in 2006, which is the world’s largest LGBT short film prize, recognised by The Queen at a reception for the British Film Industry in 2013 and accepted by Bafta as an A-list festival in 2016. Films that have won the £30,000 prize include Burger and Followers, both of which were screened at the Sundance Film Festival. Rowlands, who is Welsh, regularly talks about film and LGBT issues on TV and radio and has served on film award juries at OUTFEST LA and INSIDEOUT, along with contributing to the European Short Film Symposium. He also runs Ffresh, the UK’s largest and longest-running student moving image event.
Holly Greenberry is an intersex woman who was assigned male on her birth certificate and was pressured into undergoing invasive surgery in her teens which she describes as “horrifically damaging”. She co-founded the NGO Intersex UK with the aim of protecting the bodily autonomy of intersex children, teens, and adolescents through Government lobbying and educational outreach. She has said that her own suffering could have been prevented “if there had been more medical understanding and if there had been less haste in trying to guess which label best fitted. I should have been allowed to be an ambiguous teenager with the freedom to express my natural gender.”
Ian Green was appointed in 2016 as CEO of the Terrence Higgins Trust after having more than 25 years’ experience in leadership roles in the voluntary sector. He was formerly Chief Executive of YMCA England, and on the executive staff team of the Wold Alliance of YMCAs in Geneva. He has been Chair of Ealing Hospital NHS Trust, served on the board of the West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group, and been an elected member and Mayor of the Borough of Ealing. Green is now spearheading the charity’s aim to see HIV transmission rates reduced to zero by 2030, working with the National AIDS Trust to set up an independent commission to plan the way forward.
Ian Howley was appointed CEO of The Health Equality and Rights Organisation (HERO) in 2016, which includes the gay men’s health project GMFA. The aim of GMFA is to empower men who have same-sex sexual relationships to create personal and social change in their lives and community. Advertising and health promotion comes from mainly gay and bisexual volunteers, to truly meet the needs of the community. HIV and sexual health are at the heart of the work, but the focus has expanded to include other health inequalities including alcohol and recreational drug consumption and smoking. Howley has worked for HERO since 2010 including being the online Comms Manager.
LORD WAHEED ALLI
Lord Waheed Alli is one of only a few openly gay Muslim politicians in the world and was the first openly gay peer in the UK Parliament. He joined the House of Lords at the age of 34, after being given a life peerage by the Labour Party. He has had a hugely successful career in the television production industry, including being behind Channel 4’s Big Breakfast. He has long been involved in gay rights, youth and education. A former Chancellor of De Montfort University, he won a Stonewall Award in 2008 and also served as a patron of The Albert Kennedy Trust. He is patron of the Elton John AIDS Foundation and of Pride London.
Marc Thompson has been an advocate for social justice for more than 25 years, with a focus on black and minority ethnic communities, sexual health and HIV and the impact of intersectionality. He has worked with various community-based organisations including Positively UK, where he co-ordinated the peer mentor programme providing services for people living with HIV and the Terrence Higgins Trust. He is a founding member of BlackOut UK – a not-for-profit social enterprise run and owned by a volunteer collective of black gay men and providing spaces for them to explore their commonalities and differences through writing, film-making and workshops.
SALLY CARR MBE
Sally Carr was awarded an MBE in 2012 for her work with LGBT young people, including setting up The Proud Trust in 2005 as an organisation to help LGBT+ young people through developing youth clubs and support networks. She now works full time as The Proud Trust’s Operational Director, where she is regarded as an innovative and creative leader, as well as being Trustee of the National Youth Agency and a Director of Pride Sports (UK), where she drives the agenda on LGBT+ young people’s access and inclusion. In addition, she is a Patron of the Pankhurst Trust and is committed to ensuring that feminist values are embedded across all areas of her work.
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.
Tanya Compas is a youth worker and founder of Queer Black Christmas, a safe space for queer black young people from the LGBT+ community to enjoy a Christmas meal with a Caribbean twist. She crowdfunded the inaugural event this Christmas after becoming estranged from her family last year and finding herself homeless over the festive period. Compas previously worked as Head of Youth Engagement at UK Black Pride, which hosts an event the day after Pride in London. Compas told the BBC that it’s important for young black and Asian LGBT people to experience a Pride which isn’t “whitewashed and very cis-gendered” but instead celebrates their own food, music and culture.