In alphabetical order
This category recognises an LGBT+ individual delivering news or content. The top 10s will have an impact the public’s view of the LGBT+ community.
AMPLIFY DOT (A.DOT)
Amplify Dot also known as A.Dot, is a rapper, broadcaster and radio presenter. She has hosted BBC Radio’s 1Xtra since 2014 and has been co-presenting the BBC One show Sounds Like Friday Night since October 2017. When she was 14, Amplify Dot attended a Missy Elliot concert and volunteered from the audience to perform a freestyle rap, officially marking the beginning of her rap career. She has collaborated with Busta Rhymes, appeared on stage with Missy Elliott, scored phenomenal underground success with self-released mixtapes, and even launched her own clothing range.
Anna Richardson became a household name by debuting her television presenting career on Channel 4’s The Big Breakfast. From then on, she became a regular on our screens – fronting numerous shows for the BBC and ITV, including ITV’s flagship entertainment series Big Screen, where she met and interviewed some of the biggest names in Hollywood. Most recently, she hosted Channel 4’s Naked Attractionand hard-hitting documentary Are You Autistic?.With a particular interest in lifestyle and mental health, she is the author of two books on food and dieting; a frequent podcast host, and is also a qualified Cognitive Hypnotherapist.
The news that well-respected fashion editor Edward Enninfu would be the new editor of style Bible British Vogue was greeted with delight by the fashion pack and beyond. His first cover – featuring Adwoa Aboah – was absolutely stunning, and reinforced his commitment to diversity when it comes to choosing models. Enninful has promised to use models of different shapes, sizes and ethnicities, and has earned plaudits from stars such as Naomi Campbell. He recently featured Paris Lees in the magazine, marking the first time an openly transgender woman had appeared in British Vogue.
JONATHAN VAN NESS
Jonathan Van Ness, the breakout star of Queer Eyeand host of his own podcast Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness has catapulted to fame since the Netflix makeover show’s debut. The self-admitted most ‘extra’ member of the cast, Van Ness provides a daily source of inspiration for his 1 million social media followers. His weekly podcast is an “exploration of all the things Jonathan Van Ness is curious about,” during which he and experts discuss everything from politics to LGBT+ rights issues.
Liv Little is a curator, audio producer, filmmaker and the editor-in-chief of gal-dem, a fledgling media empire run exclusively by women of colour. She also works as a digital executive at the BBC and is a contributing editor for ELLE UK. Born and raised in South East London, Little has written for the Guardian, Wonderland Magazineand gal-demon a range of topics – from women seeking asylum in the UK, to interviews with women breaking down barriers in politics and the arts. She also works in TV and has just finished developing her first scripted comedy pilot. Little founded gal-dem, an online and print magazine which aims to empower and support the creative work of young women of colour through breaking down tired stereotypes and thrusting their work and thoughts into mainstream discussion in a whitewashed media environment.
Paris Lees is a multi award-winning writer and broadcaster, and has been a tireless campaigner for the rights of trans people for the best part of a decade. She’s a familiar face on television and has written everywhere from the Sun to the Times, and VICE to the Guardian. She is the first openly trans person to appear on the BBC’ flagship political discussion show Question Time and made international headlines in January 2018 by becoming the first openly trans woman to be featured in British Vogue. She co-founded All About Trans, an awareness raising campaign that connects young trans people with media professionals in a bid to improve media representation.
2018 was a big year for Paul O’Grady, who revealed he almost died after contracting a virus while making his ITV documentary For the Love of Dogs in India, just a year after marrying his long-term partner Andre Portasio. As an outspoken advocate of the LGBT+ community, O’Grady has helped to change the narrative around gay men on British television. Always outspoken, he’s taken on hosting duties at Blind Dates – the show formerly presented by his best mate, the late Cilla Black – and insisted that same-sex couples were involved so as to bring the show into the 21stCentury. He once attracted controversy for his comments on Rupaul’s Drag Race, but let’s be honest that’s why we love him!
Phillip Picardi is the former chief content officer at Teen Vogueand was credited with shifting the focus from fashion and celebrity to gender equality and social justice themes during his time at the magazine. He also launched them— a Condé Nast-owned LGBTQ publication, of which he was also Founding Editor. In August 2018 it was announced he was departing Condé Nast to join Outmagazine as its editor-in-chief. Picardi has received a GLAAD Media Award, and was included in The Advocate’s 50 Most Influential LGBTQ People in Media and the OUT100.
With nine seasons of his Emmy-winning reality show RuPaul’s Drag Race, RuPaul has become an global phenomenon, knows as the voice behind “You better work” and “Sashay, shante.” RuPaul has been making pop culture history and changing the narrative for drag queens for more than 30 years, helping to progress LGBT+ representation. Drag—that ancient act of one gender dressing as another—has long been a marginalized art form, but RuPaul used it to build an empire as one of the first performers to really break into the mainstream as an author, actor, model, TV host, and recording artist.
Famously erudite, Stephen Fry is a well-known and long-serving champion of LGBT+ history, culture and rights. This year he was the subject of a rather silly controversy when he, in a video for the National Trust, ‘outed’ Robert Wyndham Ketton-Kramer – much to the annoyance of his modern-day descendants. It’s a shame the video created such a furore, because the message at its heart was positive, aiming to shed light on the punitive anti-gay laws that terrified and criminalised gay people in Britain just 50 years ago. The past year also saw Fry star alongside his husband Elliot Spencer in a music video celebrating LGBT+ love, as well as – in traditionally genius fashion – verbally skewering Donald Trump.