PinkNews Awards 2022: Trans cyclist Emily Bridges and Chocolat author Joanne Harris among winners

Juno Dawson, Joanne Harris and Hannah Graf.

The PinkNews Awards 2022 came back with a bang this year, with a plethora of deserving winners and iconic moments.

On Wednesday (19 October) the event returned to an in-person celebration for the first time since 2019, supported buy joint headline sponsors Lloyds Banking Group and United Airlines.

Along with a whole host of celebrity guests, activists spoke proudly about the incredible achievements accomplished by all of the PinkNews Awards nominees and winners.

PinkNews CEO Ben Cohen kickstarted the event with a speech noting how “times have changed,” addressing the absence of prime minister Liz Truss not only from the ceremony itself but from the fight for LGBTQ+ rights.

“Keir Starmer will be only Westminster leader to address us tonight,” he said. “And that should show you how times have changed.”

Boris Johnson appeared via a video address at the PinkNews Awards 2019, with Theresa May speaking in person in 2017 (and at the virtual awards in 2020).

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As the awards unfolded in Church House, the nearby House of Commons became a scene of chaos and yet more resignations, with MPs rushing from parliament to the event.

Nominees included members from all walks of life, who came together to spread the solidarity of community and acceptance. From refugees to authors, bankers to influencers – the ancient halls of Church House were swimming with representation.

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Guest speakers and figureheads, including SNP MP John Nicolson, urged the government to protect those who have been increasingly discriminated against, especially the trans community.

Nicolson noted the “poison” of the UK media’s treatment of trans people, asking how a “young trans kid reading this” can hope to feel accepted.

PinkNews Awards 2022
Guests at the table during the 2022 PinkNews Awards. (PinkNews)

“Politicians bear a heavy responsibility for the tone of this country,” he added. “We’ve always assumed that progress marches on and it never retreats, but I believe it’s under attack.”

Others chose to show their solidarity in different forms, with Labour MP Emily Thornberry hosting a charity auction.

Prizes at the PinkNews Awards 2022 included a copy of the 2010 Equality Act signed by every living former prime minister and a bottle of champagne signed by Liz Truss.

But undoubtedly the most significant prize – a private dinner date with Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black – sold for £2,200.

The event capped off with activist Nemat Sadat, close to tears, showing support for the LGBTQ+ people in Afghanistan while thanking human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell for his help to the cause.

“Thanks to my own belief in myself and everybody, I’m here tonight,” he told guests. “When the Taliban took control, I knew I had to fight.”

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The winners of the PinkNews Awards 2022 included:

Emily Bridges – Sports Personality of the Year
Joanne Harris – Ally of the Year
John Nicholson – Politician of the Year
Nemat Sadat – Campaigner of the Year
Jonathan Cooper (posthumously) – Lifetime of Achievement
Matt Bernstein – Influencer of the Year
Big Boys and This is Going to Hurt – Drama Award
Moments That Shaped: Queer Black Britain – Broadcast and Documentary
Netflix: Drag Queens take a Bridgerton Etiquette Class – Advertising Campaign

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