Doctor Who’s Ncuti Gatwa tops The Independent Pride List 2024 of queer change-makers

Ncuti Gatwa smiling in a black pinstriped suit at the Doctor Who premiere

The Independent has released its annual Pride List, celebrating 50 LGBTQ+ change-makers from the past year, to coincide with the start of Pride month – and Doctor Who star Ncuti Gatwa is right at the top, having come out publicly as queer in September.

Gatwa is now a household name, having first stepped into the shoes of the Time Lord in Doctor Who‘s 60th anniversary special “The Giggle”. His first full episode aired on Christmas Day and the new season of the long-running BBC sci-fi show began in May.

Gatwa is the first Black and queer actor to play the Doctor, with show runner Russell T Davies saying that the latest series will explore race and queerness even more in upcoming episodes.

“You’re talking about someone who does have a lightness and a joy about him that, to me, chimes with queer energy. It’s very rarely driving the story vehemently, but you will see moments exploring it. We’re not delivering a neutered Doctor,” Davies told Variety.

Ncuti Gatwa smiles while wearing a white shirt and black blazer.
Ncuti Gatwa is the first Black queer actor to play the Doctor on screen. (Getty)

Gatwa has also been vocal about supporting the LGBTQ+ community, accusing the UK government of using trans people as a scapegoat for its “own ineptitude”.

Speaking to Attitude magazine, he said: “Everything trickles down from the top, and when you see politicians openly attacking marginalised communities, when you see our politicians openly attacking trans people, it makes it OK for everyone else.

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“You’re going to put the blame on immigrants, Black and brown people, trans people, queer people, to hide the fact that you are not doing anything for people. It’s easier to create discord among people. It’s divide and conquer, isn’t it?”

And in an interview with Elle, he revealed how Manchester Pride, which is partnering with The Independent as its official media partner, gave him the chance to meet another queer Rwandan person for the first time.

“I had never met another queer Rwandan person before. I thought I was the only one in the world,” he said.

The Indepdent Pride list 2024 also includes sports presenter Alex Scott, actor Andrew Scott, Labour MP Wes Streeting, comedian Rosie Jones and former Years & Years frontman and It’s a Sin star Olly Alexander.

Also honoured as “extraordinary LGBTQ+ change-makers” are England footballer Beth Mead, comedian Joe Lycett, former editor-in-chief of British Vogue, Edward Enninful, TV and radio presenter Rylan Clark, Elton John, UK Black Pride’s founder Lady Phyll, activist and model Munroe Bergdorf and drag queen Bimini.

Geordie Greig, The Independent’s editor-in-chief, said: “We are delighted to be launching this year’s Pride List, which celebrates an amazing array of LGBTQ+ trailblazers. It’s a privilege for us to help honour those who are making such an incredible impact in society.”

The Independent Pride List 2024 in full:

  1. Ncuti Gatwa
  2. Alex Scott
  3. Victoria McCloud
  4. Andrew Scott
  5. Wes Streeting
  6. Crystal
  7. Rosie Jones
  8. Tia Kofi
  9. Self Esteem
  10. Olly Alexander
  11. Layton Williams
  12. Jonathan Bailey
  13. Beth Mead
  14. Juno Dawson
  15. Pet Shop Boys
  16. Joe Lycett
  17. Rylan
  18. Hanif Kureishi
  19. Sir Elton John
  20. Russell T Davies
  21. Wegan
  22. Andrew Lumsden
  23. Nancy Kelley
  24. Graham Norton
  25. Jack Rooke
  26. Joseph Galliano-Doig
  27. Phyll Opoku-Gyimah
  28. Yasmin Finney
  29. Andrew Haigh
  30. Jill Scott
  31. Cat Burns
  32. Nicholas Cullinan
  33. Clare Balding
  34. Cynthia Erivo
  35. Sam Smith
  36. Alan Cumming
  37. Sandi Toksvig
  38. Kelly Simmons OBE
  39. Amber Bain
  40. Oliver Hermanus
  41. Sue Day
  42. Munroe Bergdorf
  43. David Hockney
  44. Robert Rinder
  45. Bimini
  46. Evan Davis
  47. Jack Murley
  48. Edward Enninful
  49. Arlo Parks
  50. Romy Madley Croft

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