The British LGBT Awards Top 10s were announced this morning and we're delighted to see some amazing women in the shortlist.
We're also delighted to see some of our favourite destinations. So we've highlighted some of our favourites below (these are just a taster of the full 160 brands, campaigns, organisations and people shortlisted!
The full Top 10 shortlists can be viewed here.
Outstanding Contribution to LGBT+ Life
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
THIS CATEGORY RECOGNISES MOMENTS IN THE MEDIA THAT WERE OF SIGNIFICANCE FOR THE LGBT+ COMMUNITY, FROM FACTUAL EVENTS WITNESSED ON THE NEWS OR IN PRINT, TO FICTIONAL EVENTS WHICH HAVE TAKEN PLACE ON STAGE, FILM, TV OR RADIO.
BLACK MIRROR’S SAN JUNIPERO EPISODE
In a year of doom and gloom for the LGBT+ community, Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror series offered lesbian and bisexual women a truly wonderful episode featuring a mixed race, bisexual and lesbian love story that didn’t end in tragedy. The episode, which follows the romance between Yorkie (Mackenzie Davis) and Kelly (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) was met with praise from lesbian and bisexual women across the world, who took to social media to express their praise for the episode’s LGBTQ and diverse representation.
INDIA WILLOUGHBY FEATURES ON LOOSE WOMEN PANEL
Last year, India Willoughby became the first trans woman to present on an episode of Loose Women. Fans of the ITV panel show were thrilled by the journalist’s performance on the show and tweeted their hopes that she would become a permanent fixture, saying “Loving India. Breaking barriers, addressing stigmas, making way for a new era of acceptance and inclusion in society.” Willougby has since returned as a co-host.
SUPERGIRL’S SISTER ALEX DANVERS COMES OUT AS A LESBIAN
The popular CW Network show Supergirl delighted LGBT+ fans with a coming out story during its second season. The storylined followed Supergirl’s adopted sister Alex Danver struggle with her sexuality, before ultimately coming out as a lesbian.Executive producer Andrew Kreisberg said “It just made so much sense to us. It was actually something that we had discussed doing last season and didn’t think we were in the right place to be doing it. But coming into this season, it just felt so natural and like such a strong storyline to give to Alex this year.”
LGBT+ Celebrity Rising Stars (6 out of 10 are women!)
THIS CATEGORY RECOGNISES LGBT+ ‘ONES TO WATCH’, WHO ARE USING THEIR STATUS TO BECOME ROLE MODELS IN THE LGBT+ COMMUNITY.
Saara Aalto is a singer, songwriter and voice actress. Aalto was a runner-up in ‘The X Factor’ UK. Aalto identifies as lesbian and is engaged to her partner Meri Sopanen. In an interview with Diva Magazine in January 2017, when asked about her relationships, she stated “I’ve always known gender doesn’t matter for me, but now being with a woman, it’s hard to imagine going back to men.” Aalto has signed a recording contract with Sony music and moved to the UK with Sopanen.
Why we lover her: Saara entertains. She is fun and puts on a performance. We can't wait to see her at the Diva250 Awards in March!
Munroe Bergdorf is a DJ, model and transgender activist. She has featured in many fashion campaigns with brands like Uniqlo and Digby Jackson. Bergdorf was also named ‘New Beauty Icon’ in Marie Claire and was included in an ES Magazine article on ‘New Feminist Icons’. She has also appeared in the BBC video ‘Things Not to Say to a Trans Person’ which had over 3 million views. She starred in a documentary entitled ‘My Transgender Life’ where she spoke about the effects on mental health of transitioning. Most recently she made her acting debut in the LGBT+ film ‘Almost Saw the Sunshine’.
Why we love her: we just recently saw Munroe appear in Jake Graf's amazing video Headspace. She was great and gave us inspiration that things are getting better!
Annie Wallace is an actress best known for playing the character of Sally St Clare in the Channel 4 soap, Hollyoaks. Wallace previously worked in a consultative role for the character of Hayley Cropper in the ITV soap Coronation Street. She had her breaking role on the Channel 4 series Shameless in 2011 and was a finalist in auditions for a BBC’s Trans Comedy Award pilot. Wallace has been listed in the prestigious Rainbow List, Pride Power List, Diva Power List, and the USA OUT100, as one of the country’s most influential LGBT people. She became the first ever transgender actress to be nominated for a BAFTA award, as ‘Best Actress – Television‘ in the Scottish BAFTA Awards.
Celebrities (6 out of 10 are women!)
THIS CATEGORY RECOGNISES LGBT+ CELEBRITIES WHO HAVE COME OUT IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY OR WHO SUPPORT THE LGBT+ COMMUNITY IN A POSITIVE WAY.
Lady Gaga is a singer-songwriter and actress who has sold over 27 million albums and 146 million singles worldwide. Gaga is openly bisexual and a fierce advocate of LGBT+ rights through her music, concerts and public demonstrations. She described speaking at the 2009 National Equality March as ‘the single most important event of her career.’ She was a leading activist for the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and is believed to be the first person to say the word ‘transgender’ at a Super Bowl Halftime show.
Kate Mckinnon is an actress, comedian and impressionist. She has been an ‘out’ performer since her career began, and was the first out lesbian to join the cast of ‘Saturday Night Live’ and was previously a cast member on ‘The Big Gay Sketch Show’. She recently played the character of Holtzmann in the reboot of ‘Ghostbusters’. Director Paul Feig appeared to confirm Holtzmann’s character as gay in an interview. On her realisation that she was a lesbian, McKinnon said: “I figured it out by watching the X-Files and noticing my physiological reaction to it. I thought at first it was initially a reaction to David Duchovny’s face but no, it was Gillian Anderson.”
Ellen Page is an actress whose breakthrough role came in the film Juno, for which she received an Academy Award Nomination. Page came out as gay at Human Rights Campaign’s ‘Time to THRIVE’ conference in Las Vegas in 2014, which focuses on addressing issues within the LGBTQ community. Page speaks openly about the fear she had of coming out and of Hollywood’s double standards on homosexuality. She recently starred in Freehold, an LGBT+ rights film based on a true story, which she fought for six years to bring to the big screen. Last year, Page and best friend Ian Daniel produced and premiered a new reality series called Gaycation, in which they travel the globe on an LGBT+ cultural exploration.
One hundred miles east of Los Angeles, Palm Springs is a desert playground with year-round sunshine, blue skies and stunning natural beauty. Nestled beneath California’s San Jacinto Mountains, the city is famed for its Hollywood legacy, Native American heritage and huge collection of mid-century modern architecture. The desert oasis boasts a wealth of adventurous hiking trails and historical canyon tours, as well as chic boutiques, the largest number of LGBT resorts in the world, world-renowned golf courses and a number of unique experiences, including the chance to stay in the former homes of Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley
Why we love it: Planet Nation has been to Palm Springs 3 times to The Dinah, and we are always so impressed with how friendly it is as a location. The organiser Mariah Hansen has even been awarded the key to the city by the Mayor. #WeLovePalmSprings
As one of the first LGBT+ meccas, San Francisco takes pride in its history of tolerance and inclusiveness and has championed pride with parades, street fairs and film festivals since the 1970s. Representing the struggles and triumphs of LGBT pride, from voting in America’s first openly gay politician Harvey Milk, to debuting rainbow sidewalks in the iconic Castro, San Francisco is a pioneer in design, gastronomy and the arts – and the perfect gateway to explore California’s famed coast, wine country and great outdoors. In 2017 The City will celebrate its counterculture history with the 50th anniversary of The Summer of Love and the annual Pride celebrations.
Why we love it: Been once and can't wait to go again. The birthplace of Starbucks and a huge pride parade - what more could you want?!
Stockholm, one of Europe’s most beautiful capitals has been a magnet for LGBT+ guests for decades. In fact, Stockholm has officially been a gay-friendly city since 1944. Winner of the British LGBT award for Destination of the Year in 2013, Stockholm has been pioneering in proactive marketing to LGBT+ travellers for nearly 20 years. It is a proud member of VisitSweden UK’s #SwedenYoureWelcome programme to drive LGBTQ diversity in travel to the country and also host to Europride 2018 alongside Gothenburg, the first time the event will be co-hosted by two cities
Why we love it: Stockholm is magical. Our Planeteer went on a trip to check it out and she loved it. We know you will too. Stockholm won Destination in 2015 so we're excited to see if they can make it twice, or if a new destination will win.
There are also a number of corporate awards, and these are chosen by a judging panel. We'd just like to highlight some of the #LBWomen we know who have been shortlisted. LB Women have done a great article highlighting the LB women recognised in the British LGBT Awards. #LBWomen