The sixth annual Stonewall Awards were held at London's V&A,
last night - attended by over 400 people including celebrities,
politicians, sportspeople and writers.
The Awards celebrate those who have made a positive impact on the
lives of lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Britain in the last 12
Angela Eagle MP, author Sarah Waters and singer Laura Steele
were in attendance.
Twelve accolades were bestowed throughout the ceremony, which
was sponsored by Nationwide and hosted by comedian Stephen K Amos
and Stonewall's Chief Executive, Ben Summerskill.
Vanessa Feltz and Attitude's Matthew Todd jointly won the
Journalist of the Year category, with Feltz saying: "If I get
another caller saying 'It's Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' I will
shoot myself in the heart. I am fighting the good fight as hard as
I can, and will continue to fight!"
Scott Mill's BBC3 programme The World's Worst Place To Be Gay -
which examined homosexuality in Uganda - won Broadcast of the Year.
The judges said they were struck by the "courageous and inspiring
Chris Bryant MP was named Politician of the Year. The judges said
they were impressed with "the resolve and tenacity" that Chris has
demonstrated as an equality advocate in the last decade.
The Publication of the Year award went to Guardian Weekend. Judges
noted that during the last year the magazine had "successfully
created a balanced dialogue and covered lesbian, gay and bisexual
issues in a commendably incidental and conversational manner".
Merope Mills, Editor of Guardian Weekend, said: "Thank you. It is
especially nice because it's so surprising. Featuring lesbian, gay
and bisexual people, that just seems to me a normal thing to do.
Here's to being normal!"
Twenty year-old Anton Hysen was given the Sports Person of the
Year award, but almost missed the ceremony due to airport
Acclaimed author Alan Hollinghurst won the Writer of the Year
category. He said: "It feels so especially wonderful that it [my
work] should be recognised by such a great campaigning organisation
like Stonewall who fight for the larger and important things that
we all hold dear."
Meanwhile, the Stonewall Community Group of the Year award went to
UK Black Pride, who were presented with a £5,000 grant cheque at
Conversely, the Daily Mail's infamous Melanie Phillips was named
Bigot of the Year for comparing gay people to animals.
Capping the evening was the most moving award - Hero of the Year,
which went to Roger Crouch.
Since 2010, he has dedicated himself tirelessly to working to
raise awareness of homophobic bullying in schools, after his son
Dominic took his own life in 2010. Roger said: "I see this as an
award for Dom. I want to say by choosing us for this award you've
also chosen to take a stand alongside all the young people whose
lives have been ended by bullying. We are parents who loved our
son. We stood by him in life and we stand by him in death."
The Hero, Bigot and Community Group of the Year Awards were voted
for by thousands of Stonewall supporters across Britain. All other
categories were chosen by a judging panel including England women's
national football team coach, Hope Powell, John Partridge, Gok Wan,
TV producer Maureen Chadwick and Eddie Mair.
Ben Summerskill, Stonewall Chief Executive, said: "The Stonewall
Awards celebrate those who have made a positive impact on gay
people's lives, and also provide a platform to showcase
inspirational lesbian, gay and bisexual role models.
"Those role models make a massive difference to the quality of
many young gay people's lives."