It started in 2000 with just 50 names. This year's Independent
on Sunday Pink list will showcase 101 influential individuals from
the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. And,
crucially, the judging panel will this year for the first time be
making their selection from a list of "unsung heroes and heroines"
as voted for by the public as well as including some of the more
prominent LGBT celebrities on the list.
Over the years, the number of lesbian and bisexual honorees has
increased with memorable names such as Clare Balding, Mary Portas,
Carol Ann Duffy, Sue Perkins and DIVA's own editor, Jane Czyzselska
who joins the judging panel once again this year alongside
first-timer Margot James MP.
In the past, critics of the list have bemoaned
the list's lack of people of colour, and of trans and bisexual
This year however, the IoS and the judges will ensure that those
who daily improve life in this country without their work ever
receiving applause - campaigners who effect the first small changes
that eventually become written into law or volunteers who work with
young people - will also be acknowledged.
The IoS' Katy Guest says, "The Independent on Sunday Pink List
has celebrated influential gay men and women for many years, and we
see from our postbag how that acknowledgement is appreciated in a
huge range of ways.
"One reader wrote following last year's list that seeing the
rugby player Gareth Thomas as number one had helped him to come out
to his dad.
"But, while it's often difficult to be gay in the public eye,
influence is not just about showbiz. We want to salute the many men
and women who work tirelessly behind the scenes without ever
receiving applause for the sacrifices they make to promote real
progress and equality in this country.
"That's why, for the first time, we're asking the public to help
us by telling us whom they'd like to see on the list."
This year then, the IoS is asking for your
help. Do you know an unsung champion whose work promotes real
progress and equality in this country? Is there someone whose name
should be celebrated alongside national treasures such as Sir Ian
McKellen, Alan Bennett, Sue Perkins and Jeanette Winterson?
You can take part in helping the judges to
compile the list by visiting www.independent.co.uk/pinklist2011 or
by emailing your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively write in to Pink List, the Independent on Sunday, 2
Derry Street, London W8 5HF. The Twitter hashtag is #pinklist.