New Year’s Honours 2019: LGBT rights activists amongst those recognised

Cairn Newton-Evans will receive a BEM for services to the LGBT community. (Twitter: @SCO_DPP/Flashbulb Photography & Film)

More than 1,000 people will be honoured by the Queen, with LGBT rights campaigners amongst those named in the New Year’s Honours List.

The New Year’s Honours List recognises the achievements of people across the United Kingdom. Notable names listed on the 2019 list include supermodel Twiggy, Christopher Nolan, Gareth Southgate, Phillip Pullman and Margaret Atwood.

43 responders to the Manchester and London terror attacks have also been named for their extraordinary service are amongst the 1,148 recipients, as are the British divers who took part in the mission to help save a youth football team trapped in a cave in Thailand.

5% of the recipients identify as part of the LGBT community, including Cairn Newton-Evans, a Chief Officer in the Special Constabulary of Dyfed-Powys Police.

Newton-Evans will receive a British Empire Medal (BEM) for his services towards the LGBT community. The Chief Officer was a victim of a homophobic attack ten years ago and has since dedicated his service to raising awareness of hate crime.

“I’m absolutely ecstatic and I hope it will inspire other members of the LGBT community to stand up,” he was reported by BBC News as saying.

“I never thought of any award – it is a complete shock.”

LGBT activists amongst those recognised in the New Year’s Honours List

Paramdeep Singh Bhatia will receive an MBA for voluntary service to Minority Communities. In 2007, Bhatia founded Sarbat, the world’s first group for LGBT Sikhs, and was recently involved in creating the National Sikh Memorial Trust.

Hannah Graf, the highest ranking transgender soldier in the British army, will also receive an MBE. Dominic West recently suggested that Graf should be the next James Bond, saying that “she’s a beautiful girl who could be Bond.”

“This never could have been possible without the support of my family, friends and colleagues. Thank you all for standing with me when I needed it most.”

— Hannah Graf

Trans children’s charity Mermaids tweeted that they were “thrilled to hear that Mermaids patron Hannah Graf has been honoured with an MBE in the New Year’s Honours 2019.”



Hannah Graf with her husband Jake (ITV)

Susan Douglas-Scott, chair of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) Scotland and the Golden Jubilee Foundation NHS Board, will also be recognised in the New Year’s Honours list. Douglas-Scott will receive a CBE for services to Human Rights, to Disability and to LGBT Issues.

Dr Neil Bentley-Gockmann, Chief Executive Officer of WorldSkills UK, will receive an OBE for services to Equality in Business. Dr Bentley-Gockmann had previously led OUTstanding, a business network for LGBT leaders and their allies. He also spent three years as trustee and deputy chair of LGBT charity Stonewall.

“I hope this recognition will help encourage more leaders in business and education to create inclusive working and learning environments to help more young people excel in work and life, irrespective of their background,” he said.

Belinda Jane Davies will receive the Queen’s Police Medal for championing LGBT rights in Wales and for her role in helping to build positive relationships between LGBT communities and the police. Davies said: “I am truly humbled and privileged to receive this recognition and it is a reflection of everyone who I have been so fortunate to work alongside during my career.”

The full New Year’s Honours List for 2019 can be seen here.