Stonewall CEO explains why the Stonewall Awards are closing down

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LGBT rights charity Stonewall is closing down its annual Stonewall Awards, with CEO Ruth Hunt explaining the awards are no longer needed in the modern landscape.

The charity is currently planning to hold the tenth and final Stonewall Awards next month – bowing out after recognising the achievements of LGB people for more than a decade.

Explaining the decision to shut down the awards, Stonewall Chief Executive Ruth Hunt cited society’s progress on equality since the awards were first launched in 2005.

Ms Hunt said: “We’ve been on an incredible journey since we launched our awards.

“Ten years ago, a peck on the lips between two men on TV would have caused uproar, and books featuring lesbian characters rarely made the best-seller list.

“And this was one of the only award ceremonies to celebrate the achievements of the lesbian, gay and bi community.

“That simply isn’t the case today, and ceremonies and awards that recognise the success and diversity of our wonderful community have blossomed.”

“We have therefore decided that now is the time for us to step back, making this year’s awards the final Stonewall Awards.

She added: “But there is still a long way to go. Greater diversity of LGBT people is absolutely essential and the power of this should not be underestimated.

“Having a richer and more varied range of role models means that everyone, no matter what their religion, ethnicity, age, background or identity, can see themselves positively represented.

“And this ensures that every person, wherever they are, knows they are not alone, and that they don’t have to hide. Watch this space for something new next year, which will reflects all our communities and brings people from across those communities together.”

PinkNews, which is celebrating its tenth year, is the only specialist LGBT publication to have been nominated for Publication of the Decade – up against mainstream newspapers the Guardian, the Times, Metro and i.

This year’s awards will be the first (and last) to recognise trans people – with a Trans Media Award recognising portrayals of trans people in media.