Just one week to go until the PinkNews Awards 2022

PinkNews Awards

The PinkNews Awards is almost here with its dazzling in-person return and host of amazing nominees.

The annual event, with joint headline sponsors United Airlines and Lloyds Banking Group, recognises some of the best, brightest, and boldest activists, organisations, and shows from across the year with a whole host of nominations and celebrations.

This year’s event, which takes place on 19 October in Central London, will represent those who have fought for LGBTQ+ rights in a multitude of ways – from representation to political activism.

It’s also a welcome return to in-person festivities for the first time since 2019. The last two years remained virtual due to COVID-19 restrictions and safety precautions but didn’t skimp out on the iconic and wonderful moments that the awards have become known for.

The last in-person PinkNews Awards in 2019 saw awards presented by political heavyweights like Labour Party leader Keir Starmer, foreign secretary James Cleverly and speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.

In 2020, the PinkNews Awards went virtual and saw mayor of London Sadiq Khan kicking off proceedings by thanking those who went “above and beyond” for LGBTQ+ people.

“I speak from the heart when I say that I’ll always stand in solidarity with our LGBTQ+ communities,” he said in his opening statement. “No one should have to endure hatred, discrimination, or violence simply because of who they are and who they love.”

Former prime minister Theresa May also spoke in 2020 – three years earlier, in 2017, she became the first serving prime minister to make a personal appearance at the PinkNews Awards, using the event to rally for LGBTQ-inclusive relationships and sex education.

2022 will be no different. This year, a whole host of celebrities and figureheads will help shine a light on those who have fought so hard to have the LGBTQ+ community’s voices heard.

Co-sponsors United Airlines and Lloyds Banking Group have worked with PinkNews to bring back the sparkle of the ceremony while recognising the hard work of each nomination in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights.

Ziv Russell, general manager at United Airlines, said the company was proud to not only co-headline sponsor the PinkNews Awards, but also sponsor the Community Role Model Award.

At United, we have a diverse group of employees around the world and believe in equality for everyone,” he said.

“We appreciate the contribution that all the nominees and PinkNews have made over the years to achieve recognition and equality for everyone.

“At United, we pride ourselves on offering employees a work environment that is built on inclusion and respect, which empowers every employee to contribute to the airline’s success.”

And Janet Pope, Lloyds Banking Group’s chief of staff and group director, doubling down on the company’s commitment to ensuring an inclusive environment for all customers, colleagues and communities.

“Getting this right is at the heart of our purpose of helping Britain prosper – after all, a more inclusive society is a more prosperous society, and a diverse business is a better business,” she said.

“As an organisation we’ve made great strides forward, and are acknowledged as a leading employer when it comes to LGBT+ equality. We pride ourselves in having an inclusive and open environment where diversity is celebrated, and we are committed to ensuring our LGBT+ colleagues feel included and can bring their whole selves to work.

“We’re delighted to be able to recognise the important contributions and achievements of allthose who campaign for LGBT+ achievement, and so we are very proud to be joint headline sponsor of the PinkNews Awards 2022.”

Nominees range across 17 categories, including campaigner of the year, politician of the year, business role model, public sector equality, and many more.

Other PinkNews Awards sponsors include Sky Sports, Heineken, Reddit and Wickes.

And for more information on the PinkNews Awards 2022, click here.

PinkNews Awards 2022 nominees

Drama of the Year

The incredible Netflix story, based on the graphic novels by Alice Oseman. Teenagers Charlie and Nick discover their friendship could be something more as they navigate their feelings for one another.

This is Going to Hurt is the story of a group of junior doctors working in an obstetrics and gynaecology ward in an NHS hospital starring Ben Whishaw as comedy writer Adam Kay, who wrote the memoir the show is based on.

The ITV soap introduced its first transgender character, Matty Barton, in 2018. Actor Ash Palmisciano has been a fundamental part of the show ever since and we love to what? See it.

Channel 4’s Big Boys sees a closeted, shy student named Jack take his first steps toward independence at university in the wake of his father’s death. It was groundbreaking not only for its portrayal of LGBTQ+ identities but also for mental health.

Netflix’s Sex Education announced its third season on 7 September, but it looks like things are about to get tricky after word of the “sex school” gets out as a new head teacher is appointed.

Influencer of the Year

The trans star’s viral videos have received nearly 1 billion views on TikTok and Instagram. She was awarded the TikTok trailblazer award in 2022 for her series “Days of Girlhood”.

If you need unbelievably stylish looks from an actor who gives permanent main character energy, then Rickey Thompson is your go-to. The star has worked on shows such as Foursome and Good Mourning.

LGBTQ+ advocate Josh Helfgott uses his platform to spread important news and messages of solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community. He is particularly popular on TikTok where he shares succinct videos packed full of important information.

A trans video creator and look extraordinaire, Jayde McFarlane is a must-have on your feed, using a mix of good dress sense and iconic videos to spread messages of solidarity and to advocate for equality.

Proud trans woman and TikTok star Ilya Selyn create some of the most iconic looks on social media. Her Instagram account has over 38.1k followers and posts content regularly.

Jewish queer influencer Matt Bernstein uses their platform to spread important news affecting the LGBTQ+ community, jokes, and other useful titbits.

Sports Personality of the Year

Tom Daley is one of Britain’s most well-known sports personalities and a staunch LGBTQ+ advocate. As an ambassador athlete, he travels across the country helping other LGBTQ+ people in sport.

Jake Daniels became the UK’s first active male pro footballer to come out publicly as gay in more than 30 years after making the announcement in May. He plays forward for Blackpool.

It’s safe to say the women’s England football team made history this year with their historic Euro’s win. The team has a number of LGBTQ+ athletes currently on its roster.

The trans cyclist who fought to participate in elite-tier cycling races in the female category has, unfortunately, been bullied by anti-trans pundits. This hasn’t stopped her fight to prove trans people belong in sports.

Swimmer Lia Thomas has used her platform to advocate for the allowance of trans people in sporting events, having been excluded herself after an effective ban on trans women in swimming competitions.

British-Jamaican professional swimmer Michael Gunning is one of the most outspoken LGBTQ+ athletes in sports today. His activism is only compounded by his down-to-earth nature and goodwill.

Broadcast of the Year

ITV’s powerful three-month search for patient zero of Britain’s AIDS crisis came to a dramatic conclusion with a report on the first recorded AIDS victim to die in Britain – John Eaddie.

The number one celebrity dancing competition made historic waves last year when John Whaite and Johannes Radebe become the first same-sex pair to dance on the show – to Blue Monday, no less!

There are few things more iconically camp than RuPaul’s Drag Race, and the UK spin-off is no exception – delighting fans, breaking down boundaries and serving charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent like only Britain can.

This BBC documentary aimed to break the stigma surrounding HIV by clarifying misinformation, educating, and informing viewers on what it’s actually like to live with the virus.

At a time when LGBTQ+ voices in sports remain sparse, Tom Daley travelled to countries in the Commonwealth which are considered the most homophobic to talk to athletes fighting for their right to compete.

BET International helped shine a light on queer Black Britain in an inspiring documentary about the pivotal moments in history that changed the Black queer community.

Politician of the Year

At a time of seemingly dwindling support by Conservative leaders for trans equality, MP Caroline Nokes has stuck with the community, fighting for pro-trans policies and laws.

Islington South Labour MP Emily Thornberry always has the back of LGBTQ+ community members. The shadow attorney general has stood with LGBTQ+ activists on multiple occasions.

Gay SNP MP John Nicolson knows that, especially during these unprecedented times, trans solidarity is incredibly important. He has used his position to lambast anti-trans pundits while advocating for LGBTQ+ equality.

As minister for equalities from September 2021 to July 2022, Mike Freer advocated for a number of pro-trans actions by the government, including a conversion therapy ban for trans people.

Campaigner of the Year

One of the first waves of LGBTQ+ activism, the Gay Liberation Front prides itself on boots-to-the-ground activism, marches, and giving a voice to the voiceless. In 2022, the group commemorated the 50th anniversary of the UK’s first-ever Pride march.

As an Afghan-American queer activist and novelist, Nemat Sadat has done important work in helping members of the LGBTQ+ community in Afghanistan escape the Taliban after it seized power in 2021.

Ukrainian-born LGBTQ+ rights activists Lenny Emson and Oksana Solonska have set the bar for LGBTQ+ activism at a time when queer Ukrainians need it the most.

A prominent British evangelical LGBTQ+ activist who has campaigned to safeguard queer people from abuse and for the advocacy of trans people at a time when the Conservative movement has been less than accepting.

The British chef and queer author is known for campaigning on poverty issues, hunger relief and LGBTQ+ rights. Monroe has worked particularly closely with issues involving the cost of living crisis over the past year.

A trans British model and activist who’s become one of the most influential names in the “gender revolution”, according to British Vogue. Her 2018 Channel 4 documentary What Makes a Woman received critical acclaim.

The gender non-conforming American writer, performance artist and media personality uses their platform to spread messages of trans solidarity to the world.

Business Equality

British public TV network known for its vehemently pro-LGBTQ+ programmes like It’s a Sin and Big Boys

British mass media and network telecommunications company notably advocates for pro-LGBTQ+ inclusions in business, such as the inclusion of pronouns in company documents.

US multinational law firm committed to LGBTQ inclusion in business, with almost 400 members worldwide.

Multinational consumer goods producers are known for a wide variety of products across the world, as well as support for nondiscrimination legislation.

Research-based biopharmaceutical company is responsible for research and development of antiviral drugs used in the treatment of HIV/AIDS.

Public Sector Equality

NHS Foundation Trust ambulance service serving in the North East of England.

The amphibious arm of the UK’s armed forces dedicated to inclusion and diversity among the marines.

The government’s international development department to pursuing interests and safeguards for UK citizens.

The Labour-led, metropolitan district council for the unitary authority of Nottingham, England.

A partnership of local councils in South Wales – made up of Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Cardiff, Caerphilly, Merthyr, Newport, RCT, Swansea and Torfaen – aiming to support and advance LGBTQ+ rights in the area.

Third Sector Equality

A social work charity whose mission is to create social change for children who do not have a safe or stable home.

An independent charity in England specialising in emotional support to victims or witnesses of crimes.

A housing association for Greater London, South East, East Anglia and part of the North West developing better places to live through affordable, high-quality homes.

A charitable organisation providing support for people suffering from a terminal illness, as well as those affected by them.

A charity dedicated to helping men and non-binary people who have experienced domestic or sexual violence.

Community Group of the Year

A group working with schools across the UK to help support and empower young LGBTQ+ people.

A rugby union team based in Leeds dedicated to the inclusion of LGBTQ+ people in sport.

An LGBTQ+ emotional support helpline in the UK that provides a lifeline and supportive ear for struggling queer people.

A health organisation located in Belfast that aims to improve the physical, mental and emotional well-being of LGBTQ+ people.

A mutual aid organisation for transgender, non-binary and intersex people in Wales.

Business Role Model

Award-winning CEO and founder of The Inclusion Imperative.

  • Melanie Woolfenden

Senior consultant at Inoapps and co-chair of the Shine LGBT+ network, which helped Fujitsu climb 66 places on Stonewall’s Top 100 employers list.

  • Tom Wilkins

Customer ambassador and staff network co-chair at Great Western Railway.

  • Mike Hill

Surgeon lieutenant commander for the Royal Navy who works as part of armed forces charity Fighting with Pride.

Leading national expert in local government, public and administrative law and a contract lawyer, as well as the Chair of Trustees at Stonewall Housing.

Community Role Model

  • Liz Kippax

A volunteer at LGBTQ+ youth homelessness charity akt who has been welcoming vulnerable young people into her home since February 2017.

  • Gurchaten Sandhu

Director of programmes at ILGA WORLD, an association to support LGBTQ+ people and rights internationally.

  • Ramses Oliva

Transgender inclusion specialist and ambassador for LGBTQ+ young people’s group Just Like Us.

  • Tate Smith

Legal secretary and passionate trans activist advocating for trans inclusion in the charity sector, education, recruitment, law and banking, among others.

  • Vaughan King

Passionate volunteer and advocate for LGBTQ+ inclusion, having spearheaded numerous diversity initiatives in his previous role as AV Manager at Hearts & Science.

Local Leader

  • Yvonne Owino-Wamari

Africa program officer for OutRight Action International who advocates for the end of so-called conversion therapy in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.

  • Sab Samuel AKA Aida H Dee

Runs Drag Queen Story Hour UK  and uses his platform and alter-ego Aida to speak on important and otherwise disregarded issues, such as the intersection of autism, gender identity and queerness.

  • Lianna Newman

Non-binary software engineer at Booz Allen Hamilton who works tirelessly to improve the lives of other Black LGBTQ+ people in the tech industry.

  • Berkeley Wilde

Director and founder of the Diversity Trust which aims to improve corporate treatment and understanding of LGBTQ+ rights.

  • Alex Feis-Bryce

CEO of Transform Drug Policy Foundation, looking to make safer drug policies a reality, and former CEO of SurvivorsUK.

Advertising Campaign of the Year

An iconic 2021 campaign about meeting “voices and faces who are working hard every day to raise visibility and representation in their community” while showing off some truly On Fleek brows.

A hilarious Netflix short about drag queens Monét X Change and The Vivienne trialing a Bridgerton etiquette class – and it went about as well as you might imagine.

Marc Jacobs talks to various members of the LGBTQ+ community about what makes them proud, happy and grateful while reiterating that “I am perfect as I am”.

Microsoft wants the world to know Pride is important no matter where you’re from, and it showed that with its Pride Has No Borders campaign, showcasing LGBTQ+ voices from more than 120 countries.

An initiative built by Vodka brand Absolut to help LGBTQ+ bars through financial difficulty following issues such as COVID-19 lockdowns and the cost of living crisis.

Everybody needs a good razor, and shaving brand Harry’s knows that best. It released a stylish set of rainbow razor handles during Pride for anyone and everyone to shave with style.