Five times BAFTAs host David Tennant has been the ultimate LGBTQ+ ally

David Tennant

As David Tennant bursts back onto screens to host the 2024 BAFTAs, just a short while after Doctor Who‘s 60th anniversary, he’s also made his solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community clearer than ever.

The 52-year-old star featured alongside former co-star Catherine Tate as Donna Noble in the trio of Doctor Who specials late last year, from returning showrunner Russell T Davies. The cast also included trans Heartstopper actress Yasmin Finney as Donna’s daughter, Rose.

Finney’s prominent role in the first of the special episodes, “The Star Beast”, sparked fierce reaction with LGBTQ+ fans praising the inclusion and bigots (as usual) sharing their fury.

Tennant’s three-episode run – which involved a heartfelt conversation around correct pronouns – kicked off a new era of Doctor Who with LGBTQ+ talent Ncuti Gatwa taking over as the 15th Doctor.

On Sunday 18 February 2024, Tennant hosted the BAFTAs, wearing a black-on-black kilt and sporran to showcase his Scottish roots, and managed to charm the audience with his usual wit and grace.

Throughout his star-studded career, Tennant has remained a steadfast ally, so here’s five times the acclaimed actor has showed up for the LGBTQ+ community over the years.

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David Tennant making waves with trans Tardis pin

In the lead up to the Doctor Who 60th anniversary, BAFTAs host David Tennant appeared on The One Show and The Last Leg, where the Scottish actor was spotted wearing a trans flag themed TARDIS badge as a small act of solidarity with the trans community.

David Tennant on BBC's The One Show wearing a trans pride TARDIS badge.
David Tennant’s trans TARDIS badge has helped raise thousands for AKT. (BBC)

Naturally, fans praised the actor for his initiative, but the wholesome saga doesn’t end there. The badge creator, Dr Jamie Gallagher, soon announced on Twitter that over £18,000 had been raised in badge sales and all proceeds would be going towards LGBTQ+ homeless charity AKT.

Humbly reacting to the joyous news, Tennant later said while he couldn’t take “any credit”, the badge perfectly “suits what Doctor Who is all about”.

It’s not the first time Tennant has showed his support through the medium of pin badges. Earlier in 2023, eagle-eyed fans spotted him wearing a non-binary Pride badge on shows such Saturday Night Takeaway, The Graham Norton Show and This Morning.

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Unapologetically standing up for trans children

In July 2023, BAFTAs host David Tennant took his pro-trans message one step further during the press run for Good Omens season two.

In a viral image, fans caught a glimpse of him sporting a black t-shirt with a crystal clear pink hued slogan emblazoned on top. “Leave trans kids alone, you absolute freaks”. We love to see it.

The top, which comes from online store Crooked, caused a stir online with many fans flocking to social media to share their joy. Around a similar time the TV star was spotted wearing (yet another) badge with the pride colours and the words: “You are safe with me.”

An image showing David Tennant wearing a t-shirt with a message of support for trans youth on it.
David Tennant’s message is clear: leave trans kids alone. (Instagram, @DavidTennantDotCom, Backgrid, Getty, Crooked Store)

The pin badge managed to rile up anti-trans activists Posie Parker and Graham Linehan who launched separate attacks on Tennant, insinuating he is a pedophile and “groomer”.

But this hasn’t deterred Tennant, who continues to stand up for trans rights.

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Delivering an emotional speech during Pride month

During Pride month 2023, Tennant appeared on the Ed Miliband’s Reasons To Be Cheerful podcast where he praised the importance and joy of Pride month in modern day Britain.

“Do you know what’s making me cheerful at the moment? It’s Pride month,” he told the podcast.

“The fact that Pride Month is existing and is flourishing and is something that’s happening at a time when the world seems to be getting in some corners worryingly intolerant and weirdly backward.”

As usual his words impacted LGBTQ+ fans who shared that his powerful statement moved them to tears.

“We can’t take our foot off the gas,” the actor continued. “We can’t expect that we will always travel in the right direction towards acceptance. We’ve all got to be fighting that fight every day.”

It’s a message echoed by his wife Georgia, who shared her solidarity with the trans community in October after an attack by prime minister Rishi Sunak. “To the trans community, I stand with you now and always. I, like you, am going nowhere,” she said in a post on X.

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Spreading the message of inclusivity in his TV series Good Omens

Doctor Who is not the only sci-fi, fantasy world Tennant has inhabited in 2023. After four years, Prime Video finally dropped the second season of Good Omens which sees Tennant playing demon Crowley opposite Michael Sheen’s angel Aziraphale.

David Tennant and Crowley (L) and Michael Sheen as Aziraphale (R). Good Omens season two finale.
David Tennant and Michael Sheen in Good Omens. (Prime Video)

In a wild turn of events, after huge fan speculation, Crowley and Azirphale made their romantic tension explicit after sharing a dramatic kiss at the end of the season.

Although fans will have to wait to find out if the loved up couple will finally get their acts together, Tennant has no doubt about the importance of inclusivity in the series, which he spoke about during an interview with the Radio Times podcast.

During the interview, he explained that the show delivers a message for “this fractious moment” in society that earth can be “quite a nice place to live”.

“That’s why this show connected with a certain group of people,” he continued. “There is an inclusivity to the world view of Good Omens, there’s a joy in celebrating whoever you happen to be.

“And that’s something [creator Neil Gaiman] is very keen to communicate: a message of kindness and openness. That is why the tone of Good Omens is positive, open, joyful and fun.”

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Once an ally, always an ally

Tennant’s allyship hasn’t just started over the past couple of years.

As far back as 2008, during his stint as the 10th Doctor, he hit back against the idea that dressing flamboyantly and being called “gay” is an insult during an interview with The Telegraph.

A few years later, in 2012, he showed his support for a Diversity Role Models campaign tackling homophobic bullying.

“It is essential that young people have the opportunity to meet role models from the LGBT community to help break down the stereotypes and prejudice that lead to bullying,” he said at the time.

A decade later, it’s no surprise David Tennant has consistently proven himself as an LGBTQ+ ally, through and through.

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