After decades of campaigning for LGBT and human rights, veteran
activist Peter Tatchell
was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the National
Diversity Awards on Friday.
Tatchell, who has consistently put his own life at risk in the
fight for LGBT rights, beat fellow nominee and trans campaigner
Christine Burns to the prestigious award but the judges noted her
significant contribution to trans activism.
After receiving a standing ovation, Peter Tatchell dedicated his
acceptance of the award to "the courageous human rights campaigners
in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Far more than
me, these people have risked their lives and liberty to defend
human rights - often at great personal cost. Their heroism is a
true inspiration. I walk in their shadow. I salute their
Rounding off his speech he repeated his personal motto: "Don't
accept the world as it is, dream of the world as it could be and
then help make it happen."
Other LGBT winners at the ceremony included
META editor Paris Lees who was awarded the honour of Positive
LGBT Role Model for her ongoing efforts to promote transgender
equality issues through META as well as lobbying media outlets
including Channel 4.
The LGBT Entrepreneurial Award went to newbie news portal Gay Star News. Honoured for
its swift success - 500,000 monthly users since the site's lauch in
January this year - the judges noted the news site's fair and
consistent commitment to the global LGBT communities.
Owner and editor Tris Reid-Smith vowed the award would make him
work "five times harder to be worthy of [the award]", adding "[the
awards] saw me up against some very strong competition and honored
alongside so many true heroes."
Also celebrating were Brighton's LGBT mental health charity MindOUT who won the Community
organisation award for their consistently good work on a shoestring
The awards, sponsored by Microsoft and others including DIVA and
Gaydio, the Manchester-based
LGBT radio station, took place at Manchester's Midland Hotel. Other
categories celebrated at the grass-roots awards were Race, Gender,
Disability and Age.
Peforming at the event were four members of the L Project,
singing and acapella version of their iTunes hit charity track: "It
does get better."
Big Brother presenter Brian Dowling who hosted the prestigious
awards and gala dinner was joined by Drew Ashlyn-Cunningham and
Donna from My Transsexual Summer as well as Paralympian cyclist
Jody Cundy. DIVA editor Jane Czyzselska was on the panel of