Stonewall Awards to be held at VA

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Gay equality organisation Stonewall has announced that its second annual awards ceremony will be held on November 1st at the Victoria Albert Museum in London.

They will be presented by Doctor Who and Any Dream Will Do star John Barrowman, who won Entertainer of the Year at last year’s ceremony.

The Stonewall Awards are sponsored by Barclays. They are designed to celebrate the range of positive contributions being made by individuals and organisations to the lives of gay people in Britain.

This year will once again see three of the ten accolades – ‘Hero of the Year,’ ‘Bigot of the Year’ and the ‘Stonewall Barclays Community Group of the Year’ – being chosen by a vote among more than 6,000 Stonewall supporters from across Britain.

The chosen Community Group of the Year will receive a cheque for five thousand pounds to support its work.

Seven other award-winners, such as Journalist of the Year and Entertainer of the Year, will be selected by a panel including BBC sports presenter Clare Balding and broadcaster Paul Gambaccini.

Ben Summerskill, Stonewall’s chief executive, said: “Once again, the Stonewall Awards provide an opportunity to celebrate the contribution of so many individuals – not only gay people, but straight people too – whose support for equality makes an incredible difference to the lives of millions of lesbian and gay people up and down the country.”

Barclays Group vice chairman, Gary Hoffman, said: “Barclays are proud to support the Stonewall Awards again this year.

“We are very active in encouraging diversity and inclusion across the communities in which we operate and are so delighted to have the opportunity to continue our work with Stonewall and celebrate diversity in such a positive way.”

Last year the award for ‘Hero of the Year’ was presented to Sheri Dobrowski, who courageously spoke out after her son Jody’s killers were sentenced. Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles was named ‘Bully of the Year.’ won ‘Publication of the Year.’

Shortlist for ‘Hero of the Year’ – an individual who has supported, encouraged, inspired or achieved the most for lesbians, gay men and bisexuals

* John Amaechi – former professional NBA basketball star, spoke powerfully earlier this year about life as a closeted gay athlete sparking debate on both sides of the Atlantic on homophobia in sport.

* Sgt Julie Barnes-Frank – one of the first openly lesbian or gay police officers, founded Greater Manchester Police Lesbian and Gay Staff Affiliation in 1998 which now offers 24-hour advice and support to LGB police staff.

* Beth Ditto – lead singer of rock band The Gossip and outspoken advocate of gay equality, combines non-conformity with mainstream appeal, penning an advice column for The Guardian and nominated NME Sexiest Woman 2007.

* Antony Grey – veteran equality campaigner. As Secretary of the Homosexual Law Reform Society played a key role in securing the 1967 Sexual Offences Act to partly decriminalise homosexual acts.

* Lisa Power – veteran of human rights campaigns for over 25 years, first as a writer and activist for lesbian and gay rights and since the 1980s, in HIV and sexual health. The first person to speak at the UN on gay equality.

Shortlist for ‘Bigot of the Year’­ – an individual who has gone out of their way to harm, hurt or snub lesbians, gay men and bisexuals in the last 12 months.

* Archbishop of Birmingham – spoke out against our new goods and services protections for gay people, threatening to close welfare services and adoption agencies unless the Government agreed to sweeping exemptions.

* Jeremy Clarkson – Top Gear presenter and journalist, refused to apologise after being reprimanded by BBC bosses for derogatory gay jibes on primetime TV.

* Bishop of Hereford – withdrew a job offer to a youth worker because he was gay, after subjecting him to a series of humiliating personal questions.

* Patricia McKeever – secretive editor of the Catholic Truth website and newsletter. Co-ordinates a relentless campaign to ‘name and shame’ gay Catholic priests, and has been widely condemned for conducting a ‘witch-hunt.’

* Ian Paisley Jnr – minister in the new Northern Ireland Executive. Said he was “repulsed” by lesbian and gay people – has since refused to apologise.