Top politicians among nominees for Scotland’s first LGBTI Awards

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

The nominations have today been revealed for the Scotland’s first LGBTI Awards – which are set to take place in Glasgow in September.

Scottish LGBTI charity the Equality Network, launched the event to recognise and celebrate the campaigners, politicians, journalists, public bodies, businesses, community groups and individuals that have made contributions to equality over the past year.

The event, hosted by out comic Karen Dunbar, will be held at Glasgow’s Grand Central Hotel on September 10 – marking a historic year for equality in Scotland, following the first same-sex weddings at the start of the year.

Over 350 people from across Scotland will attend the red-carpet awards ceremony – with performances from acts including Pop Idol winner Michelle McManus, lesbian singer-songwriter Horse McDonald, and West of Scotland celebrities Robert and May Miller.

Hundreds of nominations were made by the public for the 17 award categories – some of which will be decided by public vote, while others will be decided by an independent judging panel.

Today, PinkNews, the official LGBTI media partner for the event, can reveal the shortlist.

Among the most competitive of the categories will be the prestigeous ‘Politician of the Year’ award, whose nominees include First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Conservative Party leader Ruth Davidson, Green Party leader Patrick Harvie, Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie, Labour’s Margaret McCulloch, and the SNP’s Alex Neil, who led on Scotland’s same-sex marriage legislation.

Queen of daytime TV, Lorraine Kelly, is nominated for the ‘Journalist of the Year’ award, sponsored by PinkNews, in recognition of her efforts to raise awareness of transgender equality through several high-profile interviews with trans activists, and her support for equality during the equal marriage campaign in Scotland. She will be up against former Scotland on Sunday Deputy Editor Kenny Farquharson, a long-standing ally of LGBTI equality, STV’s openly gay presenter Alan Jenkins, and Katherine O’Donnell, the openly transgender Night Editor of The Times, among others.

Public bodies including the Scottish Prison Service, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, the Judicial Institute of Scotland, and the Scottish Government’s One Scotland campaign are among those shortlisted for the ‘Public Body Initiative of the Year’, for their efforts promoting equality.

Major organisations including Barclays, RBS, Balfour Beatty and the Gay Police Association are among those short-listed for ‘Staff Network of the Year’ for their work advancing equality in the workplace.

The shortlist for ‘Event of the Year’ will include the Commonwealth Games, whose televised opening ceremony saw openly-gay actor John Barrowman kiss a male dancer in what was widely seen as sending a message to the 41 Commonwealth countries that still criminalise homosexuality. The Games will compete for the award alongside Scotland’s two main gay pride events, Pride Glasgow and Pride Edinburgh, and the milestone event that was the passage of Scotland’s same-sex marriage legislation among other shortlisted events.

The ‘Student Group of the Year’ award shortlist includes three of Scotland’s ancient universities, Glasgow, Edinburgh and St. Andrews, among others, while nominees for the Culture Award will include Scotland’s only LGBTI arts festival, Glasgay!, the LGBTI history project Our Story Scotland, and the respected openly transgender playwright Jo Clifford, who will perform her acclaimed play ‘The Gospel According to Jesus Queen of Heaven’ at this summer’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Recognition will also be given to youth groups, sports groups, venues, media outlets, community groups, charities, volunteers and dedicated LGBTI campaigners from across the country, from Shetland to Ayr.

Two special awards, chosen by the Equality Network, will also be presented on the night, including a ‘Lifetime Achievement’ award and a ‘Friend for Life’ award – which will recognise some of those activists and supporters that have made a particularly significant contribution towards LGBTI equality in Scotland.

Tim Hopkins, Director of the Equality Network, said; “This has been an historic year for equality in Scotland and the Scottish LGBTI Awards will provide an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the important advances we have made, and the inspiring work of those that make a positive difference to the lives of LGBTI people. We know that there is still much more to do before LGBTI people will have full equality in the law and their day-to-day lives so we hope that the recognition these awards provide will encourage further progress in the future.”

The event, which is sponsored by UNISON Scotland and the Humanist Society Scotland, will also include a celebratory champagne reception, a three-course dinner, entertainment, and a fundraising auction.  All money raised will go towards the Equality Network’s work on LGBTI equality.

Tickets for the event are now available at:

Full shortlist:
Politician of the Year
Ruth Davidson MSP
Patrick Harvie MSP
Margaret McCulloch MSP
Alex Neil MSP
Willie Rennie MSP
Nicola Sturgeon MSP

Journalist of the YearStuart Duffy
Kenny Farquarson
Alan Jenkins
Lorraine Kelly
Katherine O’Donnell
Jonny Stone

Media Outlet of the Year
BBC Reporting Scotland
Gaia Magazine
STV News
Third Force News

Event of the Year
The Commonwealth Games
The legalisation of same-sex marriage
LGBT Youth Scotland – The National Youth Summit
Pride Edinburgh
Pride Glasgow
STUC LGBT Workers Conference

Public Body Initiative of the Year
Judicial Institute of Scotland – Development of transgender inclusive training and review of Equal Treatment Bench Book
National Gender Identity Clinical Network for Scotland – foundation of new body to coordinate gender reassignment activity in Scotland
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde – Development of LGBT inclusive new training for GG&C staff
Scottish Government – One Scotland Campaign
Scottish Prison Service – New inclusive policies around transgender prisoners and development of training DVD for Staff
Travel & International Team NHS National Services Scotland – First government funded online resource aimed specifically at keeping LGBT travellers safe abroad.

Staff Network of the Year
Balfour Beatty LGBT Network
Barclays Spectrum LGBT Colleague Network
Gay Police Association Scotland Group
RBS Rainbow Network
SWAN LGBT Scottish Workplace Networking
University of Aberdeen Staff LGBT Network Group

Student Group of the Year
BLOGS (University of Edinburgh)
Dundee & Angus College
Glasgow University LGBTQ+
Saints LGBT (University of St Andrews)
SAUWS LGBT+ Society (University West of Scotland)
Vale of Leven Academy LGBT Committee

The Culture Award
Jo Clifford
The Glasgay! Festival
LGBT History Month Scotland
Loud & Proud Choir
Our Story Scotland

Equality Initiative of the Year
Ayrshire College SU & Ayrshire College – #JoinTheConversation
The Ayrshire LGBT Development Group – Engaging LGBT people across Ayrshire
LGBT Health & Wellbeing – Age Capacity Building Project
LGBT Youth Scotland – The Schools Charter
Scottish Refugee Council & LGBTI Partners – Information campaign for LGBTI Asylum Seekers
Scout Scotland – Working to include LGBT in the Scouts in face of US ban

Community Group of the Year
Ayrshire LGBTQ
Bi & Beyond
Highland LGBT Forum
Grampian T Folk
Shetland LGBT

Youth Group of the Year
Beyond Gender
Fusion LGBT Youth Group Clydebank
The Glitter Cannons & West Lothian LGBT Youth Forum
The LGBT Inclusion Alliance
Open Ayrshire
Sexual Health and Relationships Youth Team SHRYT

The Diversity Award
Asifa Siraj
BiCon UK
Dive Queer Party
The Glitch Film Festival
LGBT Health and Wellbeing
LGBT Unity Scotland

The Sports Award
Auld Reekie Roller Girls
Glasgow Front Runners
LGBT Youth Scotland – TRANSport residential
Pride House (Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games)
Saltire Thistle
United Glasgow Football Club

Venue of the Year
Café Habana, Edinburgh
Cheerz Bar, Aberdeen
The Flying Duck, Glasgow
Mareel, Lerwick
Rusty Nail, Ayr
The Waterloo Bar, Glasgow

Outstanding Campaigner Award
Katherine Burrows
Alex Gardner
John Naples-Campbell
Alastair Smith
Mridul Wadhwa
Dr Matthew Waites

Lifetime Achievement Award

Friend for Life