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.
Alex Ferguson has been a Youth Worker with Youth Connexions (YCH), Hertfordshire County Council since 2000. Ferguson has led the Youth Engagement & Participation work since 2010, championing the voice of Hertfordshire’s young people. In October 2014, using social media, she bought together young LGBT+ aged 13-19, to form a countywide strategic group, ‘Who not What’, to lead on effecting change on community issues. Supporting young people’s volunteering and emotional wellbeing, she enabled the annual publication of Who not What’s Manifesto focusing on the needs of young LGBT+, facilitated engagement with stakeholders, and influenced change at strategic level.
Chardine Taylor-Stone is the founder of Stop Rainbow Racism which works to stop racist performances in LGBTQ venues. Taylor-Stone is a writer, cultural producer and feminist activist. Her work is inspired by her experiences as a Black British working class woman having found her voice through alternative youth subcultures like punk and rockabilly. As a writer and educator she uses music, art and fashion history to instigate socio-political analysis. Taylor-Stone is also the founder of Black Girl’s Picnic, a movement in collective self care for Black women and girls. Taylor-Stone also plays drums for Black Feminist punk band Big Joanie.
Cat Burton is British Airways Flight Operations Diversity Champion and their most senior woman pilot. Cat was born in 1952 and progressed from Air Cadet to senior longhaul airline captain in the firm belief that transition would be a career breaker but sees her final years as her best ever. “In 1972, British Airways had a woman pilot, but they didn’t know it and, at the time, neither did I.” This is how Cat Burton reconciles her 44-year career as an airline pilot with her transition in 2014, with the full support and help of her employer.
Father Andrew Foreshew-Cain
Father Andrew was the first gay Vicar to marry his partner, in June 2014, in the face of strong opposition from the Church of England Bishops and amidst calls for his sacking and loss of home and livelihood. He is a well-known campaigner for LGBTI+ rights and recognition in the Church and an outspoken critic of the Bishops and leadership of the Church of England. Father Andrew is frequently called upon to publicly press the case for a change in the church, highlighting it’s institutional homophobia in the church’s policies. Andrew was elected to the church’s parliament – the General Synod of the Church – in Oct 2014 and speaks for the many gay and lesbian clergy, their allies and friends, of the need for greater honesty and openness in the Church about human sexuality and diversity. He is campaigning with others for an end to the discrimination against LGBTI candidates for the priesthood and the ban on Church weddings and blessing for same sex couples.
Fox Fisher co-created My Genderation, an ongoing trans film project, now with 50+ short films, broadcasts on BBC, Channel 4 & endorsed by the NHS after initially starring in Channel 4’s ‘My Transsexual Summer’. Fisher co-founded Trans Pride Brighton, co-created kid’s book Are You A Boy, Or Are You A Girl?, an Advisor to All About Trans, Patron of LGBT Switchboard and set up the Trans Acting course at The Royal School of Speech & Drama with Gendered Intelligence. Fisher plays Jake Greenleaf in Radio 4’s Tales of the City (2016), writes for Huffington Post & speaks publicly on trans issues.
Greg Owen is co-founder of iwantPrEPnow.co.uk a website that facilitates the safe purchase of genuine generic PrEP (HIV prevention drug). Author of gregowenblog.wordpress.com which discusses and tackles the realities of HIV, chemsex, gay community, sexual well-being, London life and PrEP. HIV Equal magazine named him the UK’s leading PrEP activist and he was listed in HIV Plus magazine’s top 16 advocates to watch in 2016. Owen has featured in numerous radio and television specials on HIV, sexual well-being and PrEP as well as writing and contributing to countless articles for LGBT and mainstream press.
Jack Lewis and Ben Hunte
Jack Lewis and Ben Hunte uploaded their first video to YouTube in the Summer of 2016 sharing their interracial relationship with the world. In just nine months, they now have a combined social media following of over 100,000 followers. Through sharing their love, laughter and positivity, they have reached people on the sidelines of the LGBT spectrum, who thought that the media had forgotten about them. They are committed to showcasing the diversity of LGBT life, appreciating that it comes in ALL styles, characters and colours, and they are passionate about discussing topics which other vloggers may be too scared to talk about.
Jay Stewart has been involved in the trans community since 2002 and delivered his first arts-based project for young trans people in 2004. Since then, he’s been passionate about improving the lives of trans and gender questioning people, especially young people. In 2008 he co-founded Gendered Intelligence alongside Dr Catherine McNamara and now acts as its CEO. Gendered Intelligence provides activities, support, training and resources for the trans community and all those who work with or support trans people. Stewart was awarded an MBE in the 2014 New Year’s Honours List for services to the trans community.
Jen Yockney was the first person to receive an MBE for services to the bisexual community in 2016. Her work includes: frontline support at the UK’s oldest bisexual support group, BiPhoria; editing bi magazine BCN; policy work such as initiating meetings between the bi activist community and Whitehall; writing & publishing; and as a mentor actively reaching out to new volunteers to help bi groups and projects around the country blossom.
Peter is founding artistic director of Above The Stag Theatre. Every Christmas he produces a specially written LGBT+ pantomime for an 8 week run which sells out before opening night. Bull has produced over fifty productions at the theatre. World premieres include Fanny & Stella, The Sins of Jack Saul, Orton, A Hard Rain and Encounter. UK premieres include Silence! The Musical, The Boys Upstairs, Haram Iran, The Bus, Busted Jesus Comix and Seduction. Notable revivals of classics include The Sum of Us, Maurice, My Beautiful Laundrette. He also directed American Briefs, Seduction and Extra Virgin (the second half of Boys Plays).