Rainbow List 2014, 1 to 101

Introducing our annual celebration of the lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgender people who make a real difference

Sunday 09 November 2014 01:01 GMT

In a small office in west London at the end of October, six judges spent nearly five hours debating how to reduce 4,390 heartfelt nominations received over three weeks down to 101 brilliant people to produce this, the Rainbow List 2014.

There are three new entries in our top 10 alone – reflecting our mission to keep the list fresh and interesting. We have also maintained a gallery of National Treasures – who will always be part of the landscape of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights in Britain.

We’ll introduce some new faces to look out for, recognise the straight allies who support LGBT people, and acknowledge the global stars who couldn’t be part of our British list – despite, in one case, publishing a “coming out” statement on the morning of the judging meeting. In this year of equal marriage, there is also a new, additional list …

Our judges debated long and hard, weighing several forms of “influence” in making their choices. We even invented a new rule, known as The Janet Jackson Rule: “What has s/he done for us lately?”

The result honours those who have long and brave histories of standing up for equal rights, even when equality wasn’t even legal, as well as youngsters whose openness in the past year shows children (and adults) that who they are and whom they love need not be a barrier to success in any walk of life.

We hope that you’re inspired, surprised and challenged by the Rainbow List, and you can let us know what you think on Twitter using the hashtag #RainbowList2014 or by emailing sundayletters@inuk.co.uk.

And why do we do it? Because, while Independent on Sunday readers may be good allies who campaign for equality for all, unfortunately, some people still need telling.

Congratulations to everyone on the list.

Labour Party special envoy on LGBT issues worldwide
Labour Party special envoy on LGBT issues worldwide (Jason Alden)

1 (new entry) Michael Cashman

Labour Party special envoy on LGBT issues worldwide

The Limehouse-born actor, now well-loved politician, was once Colin in EastEnders, one half of the first gay kiss on mainstream British TV. Then he became a Member of the European Parliament for 15 years until May this year, and now, at 63, a member of the House of Lords. A founder of Stonewall in 1989, he has long been a campaigner for LGBT rights.

He was appointed a CBE in the 2013 New Year Honours. He and his partner of 20 years, Paul Cottingham, were among the first couples to register their civil partnership, in March 2006. Cottingham died of cancer last month, and when Lord Cashman took his seat in the Lords five days later, he said:“Beside me, unseen by others, will be the love of my life, Paul Cottingham.”

2 (last year 1) Paris Lees

Journalist & campaigner

Lees has written that “Being No 1 on the Pink List transformed my life .... It was an honour, and I’ve really tried to live up to the trust the judges invested in me.”

She certainly has, with appearances on Question Time, Newsnight, Radio 1 and at the Oxford Union, and a new book deal. Our heroine.

3 (new entry) Vicky Beeching

Religious commentator & musician

A prominent member of the UK and US Christian community, Beeching provided an example to follow after coming out in August. Her campaign for changes to the Church’s stance on equality and diversity has gained her huge support, and she collected the most nominations for this year’s list.

4 (re-entry) Ruth Davidson

Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party

Has been described as a “working-class, kick-boxing lesbian from Glasgow”, she might seem an unlikely Conservative politician.

She was a reporter for the BBC, and joined the Tories in 2009. Elected to the Scottish Parliament in 2011, she became leader, aged 32, six months later.

5 (15) Evan Davis

BBC Newsnight presenter

After a first in economics from Oxford, and a year at Harvard, Davis worked for the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

He joined the BBC 21 years ago and rose to Economics Editor, then presented Radio 4’s Today for six years. Last month he stepped up to Newsnight. Today’s loss, our judges thought.

6 (10) Sue Perkins

Comedian & presenter

Perkins reinforced her position as Britain’s best-loved baker with another Great British Bake Off, while also presenting highlights from the Edinburgh Festival. She will put her famously brilliant take on 21st-century gay life by writing an episode for the upcoming E4 drama series, Banana.

UK's new biggest musician
UK's new biggest musician (Getty Images)

7 (new entry) Sam Smith


The 22-year-old soul singer is the UK’s biggest new musician of 2014, with massive sales of his debut album. During the promotional rounds, he revealed it was written about his love for a guy, making him a rarity – the pop star who comes out at the beginning of his career.

8 (5) Ruth Hunt

CEO, Stonewall

Stonewall's new CEO, popular for equal marriage campaigning and working with trans people, had a wobble for failing to support a boycott of the Dorchester hotel over the religious laws of its owner, the Sultan of Brunei. Hunt explained that this was to avoid putting Brunei’s LGBT community “at far greater risk”.

9 (37) Casey Stoney


Congratulations are due to Stoney, who announced in July that she and her partner and former team-mate Megan Harris are expecting twins. Stoney rejoined Arsenal this season and led England in the first four matches of their impressive World Cup 2015 qualifying campaign.

10 (20) Suran Dickson

CEO, Diversity Role Models

Dickson left her teaching career to put an end to homophobic bullying in schools – something she used to witness regularly. This year, the charity reached out to more than 7,500 children through 338 LGBT workshops – nearly twice the number of pupils as the previous year.

11 (56) Patrick Strudwick


A brave and campaigning journalist who has set up the Stop Gay Conversion Therapy Taskforce. In August, he wrote the interview in which Vicky Beeching (No 3) came out as gay, and last week, he did the IoS interview in which Sir Ian McKellen criticised homophobia in sport.

12 (6) Owen Jones

Defiantly old-style socialist writer

A brilliant young journalist who made his name with Chavs: The Demonisation of the Working Class in 2011. While at Oxford University he worked as a researcher for a Labour MP, John McDonnell. Talent-spotted by The Independent and stolen by The Guardian in March.

13 (new entry) Kate Stone


Dr Stone became famous when she was gored by a stag, and the media focused not on her PhD or her TED talk, but on her status as a trans woman. Working with All About Trans and the old Press Complaints Commission, she received an unprecedented six apologies from newspapers.

14 (new entry) Huma Qazi

Director, Pride in London

A managing director of her own HR consultancy, Huma Qazi spends her free time volunteering as a director for Pride in London. She brings her experience from the HR industry to help raise awareness of LGBT diversity and inclusion, educating those in school and in the workplace.

Olympic champion diver who came out in December last year
Olympic champion diver who came out in December last year

15 (new entry) Tom Daley


Daley, 20, revealed in December that he is in a happy relationship with a man, becoming one of the very few still-active sportsmen to do so. He won a gold and a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and was named Man of the Year at the Attitude awards last month.

16 (4) Nicola Adams


The much-loved boxer, MBE, and former Pink List No 1 bounced back from her first defeat since London 2012 by winning gold at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. As at London, she became the first woman to achieve that accolade as the sport made its bow at the Glasgow Games.

17 (new entry) Stephen Beresford


This actor-turned-playwright-turned-screenwriter’s most recent project is Pride, the stirring Brit-hit about the solidarity between a Welsh village and gay and lesbian activists during the 1984 miners’ strike – which should be a leading player in the imminent awards season.

18 (new entry) Rebecca Root


An actress and stand-up comedian, Rebecca Root is the star of the new BBC2 sitcom Boy Meets Girl, which airs next year. Along with actresses such as Laverne Cox and Adèle Anderson, Root is one of few trans actresses to be cast in a mainstream television show.

19 (9) Phyllis Opoku-Gyimah

Executive director, UK Black Pride

A passionate trailblazer across many communities who worked tirelessly to form UK Black Pride, Opoku-Gyimah had a story in last year’s book of coming out stories, It’s OK to Be Gay. This year, she worked on Big Pride Picnic in the Park, Justice for Jamaican LGBTs and the Arts Riot festival.

20 (re-entry) Angela Eagle

Shadow Leader of the House of Commons

Strongly partisan at Prime Minister’s Questions, often heckling David Cameron. A witty performer and popular with MPs. She was elected in 1992 and became the first MP to come out as lesbian in 1997. She entered a civil partnership with Maria Exall in 2008.

21 (21) Elly Barnes

LGBT schools adviser, charity founder

The former teacher used her 2011 Pink List No 1 placing to drive the charity Educate & Celebrate, a resource to help teachers challenge homophobia. Now accepted by Ofsted as “best practice”. Last year, Birmingham City Council presented the first “Educate and Celebrate” awards.

22 (new entry) Andrew Scott


Best known as Sherlock’s Moriarty, the 38-year-old Irishman publicly discussed his sexuality for the first time in an interview with The Independent at the end of 2013. And this year he played the bookshop owner-cum-activist Gethin in the joyous gay-rights film Pride.

23 (29) Toby Whitehouse

Joint founder, Gaydio

Initially created to cover Manchester Pride, Gaydio became the UK’s first LGBT FM radio service in 2010. It now prides itself on being the biggest in the world, with a monthly audience topping 800,000. Whitehouse is a presenter and was recently named on the BBC’s Sound of 2014 list.

24 (new entry) James Morton

Transgender campaigner

James heads up the Scottish Transgender Alliance, arguably the most prominent trans organisation in the UK. He is highly respected within Scottish Government circles and has campaigned to ensure equal marriage legislation in Scotland represents a fair deal for trans people.

25 (new entry) Heather Peace

Actress & musician

Always a favourite of our readers, Peace received 47 public nominations. Her hit single “The Thin Line” preceded a sell-out countrywide tour and two appearances on DIVA’s cover. As well as being a star of stage and television, she is a patron of the Peter Tatchell Foundation.

26 (30) Lord Justice Terence Etherton

Chancellor of High Court

Sir Terence became the first openly gay judge to be made Lord Justice of Appeal in 2008. A former member of the British fencing team, he was appointed Chancellor of the High Court in January 2013. Has has said his career shows “diversity in sexuality is not a bar to preferment”.

Editor of DIVA, the UK's leading magazine for gay and bisexual women.
Editor of DIVA, the UK's leading magazine for gay and bisexual women.

27 (33) Jane Czyzselska

Editor, DIVA magazine

Czyzselska regularly writes about the social issues affecting the lesbian and bisexual community and works with Women In Journalism to address lesbophobia in the media. This year, she is a panellist at L FEST 2014 and a judge for the National Diversity Awards 2014.

28 (34) Dominic Davies

Founder & director of Pink Therapy

Davies has more than 30 years’ experience as a psychotherapist and sex therapist and, as the founder of Pink Therapy, he created a directory that allows LGBT people to safely find non-judgemental therapists and counsellors.

29 (95) Rev Richard Coles

Broadcaster, musician, clergyman

Not many CofE priests have 678,000 Twitter followers, but the former member of The Communards is popular on panel shows such as QI, and even won Celebrity Mastermind. He recently released his auto-biography, Fathomless Riches: Or How I Went From Pop to Pulpit.

30 (new entry) Sarah Westwood

Columnist, author

Westwood is one of DIVA magazine’s most popular columnists, writing as “The Rubbish Lesbian”. The column – a funny and honest account of her life – has a wide appeal, and Rainbow List judge Charlotte Henry praises her ability to make us all “feel a bit less rubbish” about ourselves.

31 (70) Susan Calman


The Glaswegian has become one of the nation’s best-loved comics, thanks to her acclaimed stand-up shows and radio gigs, including her own Radio 4 series Susan Calman is Convicted. Calman has always used her humour to engage with serious issues, from gay marriage to depression.

32 (22) Yotam Ottolenghi


With four restaurants and four cookbooks, this Israeli-born, London-based chef is increasingly influential. But it’s his candid and vocal support for making a surrogacy more accessible (he has a young son, Max, with his husband, Karl Allen) that impressed most this year.

33 (62) Tony Fenwick and Sue Sanders

Schools OUT & LGBT History Month

After 40 years of tireless campaigning for LGBT people in education, Schools OUT UK finally became a registered charity this year. In an effort to promote knowledge among young people, LGBT History Month launched a film competition to explore the legacy of campaigner Harvey Milk.

Provost of St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow
Provost of St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow (thecathedral.org.uk)

34 (85) Kelvin Holdsworth

Provost of St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow

Holdsworth first graced our lists for his support for equal marriage. He continues to blog emphatically about homophobic behaviour in the church and the media. He recently declared himself for the outing of clergy “who use their authority to inhibit the lives of those gay people in their care”.

35 (26) Gareth Thomas

Author & former rugby international

Thomas’s autobiography, the aptly titled Proud, written with The Independent on Sunday columnist Michael Calvin, was published in September and has been shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of Year. He has led a campaign to combat bullying in schools.

36 (69) Natacha Kennedy

Lecturer, Goldsmiths College

The former primary school teacher is faculty member at Goldsmiths, where she researches transgender studies. She’s also a Trustee at Camden LGBT Forum, sits on LGBT Labour’s national committee, is a founder member of London Trans Diversity and the Trans Teachers’ Association.

37 (48) Monty Moncrieff

CEO, London Friend

Under Moncrieff’s leadership London Friend, the health and mental well-being organisation, won the Community Organisation Award at the National Diversity Awards 2014. Moncrieff has written in Pink News about the dangers of drug use and “chemsex”.

38 (72) Claire Harvey

Team GB sitting-volleyball Paralympic captain

A critic of the homophobic legislation in Russia ahead of the Sochi Winter Olympics in February, Harvey was appointed Changing Lives Champion at the Youth Sports Trust charity in September, and is also a senior consultant on inclusive leadership at the auditors KPMG.

39 (36) Dr Meg John Barker

Senior OU lecturer in psychology

After publishing their guide to love, sex and relationships in 2012, Dr Barker continues to share their wisdom on their Rewriting the Rules blog, and in a TedX talk. The founding member of BiUK also produced The Bisexuality Report and co-edits Psychology & Sexuality.

40 (59) Mark Gatiss

Actor & writer

Gatiss has had a vintage 12 months, penning another series of Sherlock and the magisterial Doctor Who bio-drama An Adventure in Space and Time, as well as starring in Game of Thrones and picking up an Olivier nomination for starring in Donmar Warehouse’s Coriolanus.

41 (new entry) Aderonke Apata

LGBT asylum campaigner Apata fled persecution for homosexuality in her native Nigeria, and campaigns for LGBT asylum seekers to stay in the UK. Her petition, demanding that she be allowed to stay, gained 320,000 signatures, and her valiant efforts were recognised when she gained the National Diversity Award.

42 (67) Derren Brown


The magic never lets up for the internationally renowned master trickster, who came out in The Independent in 2007: having recently wrapped up his Infamous touring show, which gained rave reviews, he is now preparing to start another tour, Miracle, in the spring.

43 (88) Tris Reid-Smith

Director and editor-in-chief of Gay Star News

Previously editor at the Pink Paper, Reid-Smith, with partner Scott Nunn, launched the Gay Star News website – the world’s only 24/7 LGBTI news service – in 2012. This year, Reid-Smith has been a panellist at the Asia Pink Awards and a jury member for the Iris Prize 2014.

44 (66) Anthony Watson

Global CIO, Nike

Formerly the global chief information officer at Barclays, the Diversity Roles Models patron joined Nike earlier this year. The European Diversity Awards chair has been given an Adcolor Award and was listed as an influential business leader by the Financial Times.

45 (81) Kathy Caton

Radio producer and presenter, Out in Brighton

Out in Brighton, an interview programme broadcast on Radio Reverb, has a global reach. Caton, who is on the board of BBC Pride, this year helped create Brighton Trans*formed, a book that documents the lives of Brighton & Hove’s transgender community.

Film-maker, director of the brilliant 2011 gay romantic drama Weekend
Film-maker, director of the brilliant 2011 gay romantic drama Weekend (Getty Images)

46 (48) Andrew Haigh


The director of the brilliant 2011 gay romantic drama Weekend made a striking television debut this year as the co-creator of HBO series Looking. The show, about three gay male friends in San Francisco, was praised for its low-key naturalism. A second series is due to air in early 2015.

47 (new entry) Isabella Segal


Segal, a partner at Nyman Libson Paul, was one of only two trans executives to appear in the Financial Times top 100 list of LGBT executives. She began living full-time as a woman in May last year and says that most of her colleagues and clients have been “hugely supportive”.

48 (35) Paul Martin

CEO, Lesbian and Gay Foundation, Manchester

Martin continues to work hard for Manchester and the North-West. His key role in the development of infrastructure in the LGBT sector led to his appointment as non-executive director of NHS Manchester and as the Chair of The National LGBT Partnership.

Chris Bryant: Shadow minister for welfare reform
Chris Bryant: Shadow minister for welfare reform (Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

49 (re-entry) Chris Bryant

Shadow minister for welfare reform

The former Anglican vicar was elected as Labour MP for Rhondda Valley in 2001. As an MP, he signed the letter in 2006 calling on Tony Blair to stand down and pursued Rupert Murdoch over phone hacking as a member of the Commons Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport.

50 (25) Mobeen Azhar


The practising Muslim first came to our attention for the award-winning Radio 4 programme Inside Gay Pakistan. He has since produced Woolwich: The Untold Story for Panorama, and has worked on prostitution documentaries Jodie Marsh On... The Game, and Boy For Rent.

51 (24) Carol Ann Duffy

Poet Laureate

Now halfway into her laureateship, Duffy, made a CBE in 2002, has embraced its traditional duties – writing poems to mark the royal wedding, the diamond jubilee and David Beckham’s Achilles tendon injury– as well as inventing new duties, such as the Ted Hughes Award.

52 (49) Jane Hill


BBC News anchor who is involved in promoting better representation for LGBT people in radio and TV, Hill has in the past year hosted the European Diversity Awards and Scope’s Inspirations dinner, as well as playing a news anchor in the Tom Cruise film Edge of Tomorrow.

53 (new entry) Robyn Exton

Founder & CEO, Dattch

Exton was named by the Huffington Post as Young Entrepreneur of the Week after her app, Dattch, made its breakthrough in the UK and then the United States. Designed to help people mingle in the LGBT community, Dattch has been labelled the “Grindr for lesbians”.

54 (101) Iain Dale

Publisher & blogger

With his political commentary, Dale is the award-winning LBC drivetime presenter as well as a journalist for Attitude magazine. This year, the publisher made a firm stance against homophobia by withdrawing a book offer from an author he said had given a homophobic book review.

55 (54) Matthew Hodson


As one of the few public figures to be openly HIV-positive, Hodson wanted to get gay men talking about sexual health and to raise money. His charity, GMFA, launched a social media campaign, #Pants2HIV, where donors would share images of themselves in their underwear.

56 (52) Matthew Todd

Editor, Attitude magazine

Having been editor while the ground-breaking magazine celebrated its 20-year anniversary last year, Todd is now on sabbatical, but he’s been busy – overseeing the Attitude Awards and writing Straight Jacket, which focuses on the difficulties that LGBT people face. It’s published next year.

57 (98) Darren Scott

Editor, Gay Times

Gay Times is a leading gay UK magazine, featuring icons such as Sir Ian McKellen and Derren Brown on its cover, and Scott is the brains behind its success. GT recently celebrated its 30th year in print with a special issue, featuring interviews with several Hollywood and television celebrities.

58 (40) Jane Fae


A writer for The Guardian, The Independent and New Statesman about trans issues, Fae describes herself as a feminist, journalist and campaigner on political and sexual liberty. She writes about topics such as climate change, medical ethics and online censorship.

59 (89) Gary Everett

Artistic director, Homotopia festival

Not only is Everett responsible for curating Liverpool’s Homotopia festival – which this year featured a faith debate, and artwork by Andy Warhol and Catherine Opie – he is also involved in projects such as Alternative Miss Liverpool, Idaho 50, and the Grand Vogue Ball.

60 (39) Simon Topham

CEO, Millivres Prowler

Topham is the mogul behind the largest gay and lesbian business in the UK. With titles such as Gay Times, DIVA, and gay lifestyle shops being housed under its name, this year Millivres Prowler Group celebrates 40 years of being the leader in gay and lesbian retail and media.

61 (new entry) Linda Riley

Managing director

The managing director of the Global Diversity Awards also runs Square Peg Media, which is responsible for publishing the popular g3 and Out in the City magazines. She also runs the Alternative Parenting Show, as well as organising the European Diversity Awards.

62 (new entry) Matt Cain


He rose to fame as Channel 4’s first Culture Editor, but Cain has quit television to write fiction, such as Shot Through the Heart and Nothing But Trouble (published next year), with realistic, happy gay characters centrestage. Popular and well-connected: no arts scene party is complete without him.

63 (46) Sir Adrian Fulford


Carving the way for LGBT people in the judicial system, Sir Adrian was the first openly gay QC to be appointed to High Court judge, and was last year made a Lord Justice of Appeal. He was also the first judge to deliver a guilty verdict at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Alan Carr: Award-winning comedian
Alan Carr: Award-winning comedian (Getty Images)

64 (65) Alan Carr


After his “fairy” advert for PETA caused controversy in April, he hit back, saying, “the most homophobia I get is from gays” and that hatred of camp men comes from “self-loathing”. Meanwhile, Chatty Man has millions of viewers and won a Royal Television Society Award. So there.

65 (91) Jay Stewart

Co-founder of Gendered Intelligence

Jay is co-founder of Gendered Intelligence, an organisation that delivers creative workshops to trans people under 25. He manages various arts-based projects and is studying for his PhD, entitled “Trans on Telly: Popular Documentary and the Production of Transgender Knowledge”.

66 (64) Liz Carr


Carr is a wheelchair-using comedian and actor who plays the forensic examiner Clarissa Mullery in BBC's Silent Witness. She regularly performs cabaret at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern as part of Duckie. A disability rights campaigner, Liz is also a member of Not Dead Yet and speaks out against assisted suicide.

67 (84) Andy Woodfield

Partner at PwC

Paving the way to make it easier to talk about the challenges of coming out at work, Woodfield continues to head up GLEE. This year, he was named Stonewall Senior Champion and managed to secure number 83 in the OUTstanding top 100 list of pioneering LGBT executives.

68 (new entry) Jess Key


A mother-of-two, Key heads UK Trans Info, a voluntary organisation focused on improving the lives of binary trans people and non-binary people. Since her transition two years ago, she has campaigned to bring together trans people in her area of Lincolnshire, including in the police and NHS.

69 (re-entry) Margot James

Conservative MP & businesswoman

The Tories’ first openly lesbian MP was this year made parliamentary aide to William Hague, the Leader of the House of Commons. A strong supporter of Israel, James none the less demanded the Government took a stronger stand over the country’s bombardment of Gaza.

70 (new entry) Mikey Walsh


Many of Walsh’s 225 nominators describe his best-selling book Gypsy Boy – now in development with BBC Films – as “life-changing”. One confided: “My family threw me out for being gay. My mum read Mikey’s book and phoned me to say how utterly sorry and ashamed she was.”

Conservative MP
Conservative MP (PA)

71 (New entry) Crispin Blunt MP

Conservative MP

Blunt saw off an attempt to deselect him from his Reigate seat late last year. In April, he argued that providing refuge to LGBT people seeking escape from oppression in their own countries should have been in the Coalition’s programme for government.

72 (92) Damian Barr


Already a popular figure on the bookish scene thanks to his irreverently intellectual literary salon, Barr’s memoir Maggie and Me won the Political Humour and Satire Book of the Year award at the Paddy Power Political Book Awards 2014. This year he has presented Radio 4’s Front Row.

73 (new entry) Kathryn Nawrockyi

Director, Opportunity Now

Nawrockyi is on a mission to ensure gender equality for women in the workplace with her organisation and is a firm believer in narrowing the gender pay gap. Committed to making a difference, she authored the largest study of women at work, Project 28-40.

74 (60) Juliet Jacques


Jacques regularly writes about gender identity in national publications and has been praised for her series about gender reassignment. This year, Jacques contributed to Sheila Heti’s book Women in Clothes and took part in performance event Transpose at the Tate Modern.

75 (new entry) Tim Sigsworth

Chief Executive, Albert Kennedy Trust

Last year, the Albert Kennedy Trust provided 8,000 nights of safe accommodation for LGBT young people in Manchester, London and Newcastle. As AKT celebrates its 25th anniversary, few would disagree that Sigsworth deserves the plaudits for the organisation’s success.

76 (86) Lisa Egan


While she calls herself a failed comedian/writer/academic on Twitter, Egan has certainly been successful in garnering a following for her stark opinions on what she calls the Government’s “distressing war on disabled benefit claimants” through her blog “Where’s the Benefit”.

77 (77) Lynette Nusbacher

Strategic thinker

Nusbacher is a partner for the think-tank Nusbacher Associates and is also a member of Women Working in Foreign Affairs. Nusbacher currently blogs about strategy and foreign policy for the Times of Israel, but was previously a war studies lecturer at Sandhurst.

78 (new entry) Chloe Orkin

HIV consultant

Dr Orkin is passionate about making HIV testing a routine procedure and has written numerous publications on the matter. This year, she headed up the national campaign Going Viral, an NHS first aimed at routinely testing emergency patients for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

79 (New entry) Suzette Davenport

Chief Constable

The first woman to lead Gloucestershire Police, Davenport was cheered to the rafters when she announced she is a lesbian at the county’s gay pride event during the summer. Davenport said that she wanted people to “understand hate crime”.

80 (94) Bisi Alimi


In 2004, Alimi courageously came out on national television in Nigeria. He has since set up the Kaleidoscope Trust and hosted TED talks in Berlin, where he is a university lecturer. He is an active blogger and has also appeared on CNN and the BBC World Service.

81 (76) Will Young

Musician & actor

While the singer has been quiet on the music front of late, he has become increasingly prominent speaker on LGBT issues. As well as fronting a Stonewall campaign dealing with the misuse of the word “gay” in schools, he is also a spokesperson for gay domestic violence charity GAID.

82 (new entry) James Dawson


When he was 15, Dawson says, he could find no gay role models. Now he is one, partly thanks to his book This Book Is Gay – “a manual to all areas of life as an LGBT person” – for which rights have sold in America, Germany, Spain, Brazil and the Czech Republic.

The first gay president of the World Psychiatric Association
The first gay president of the World Psychiatric Association

83 (new entry) Dinesh Bhugra CBE

President, World Psychiatric Association

The first gay president of the World Psychiatric Association came out publicly in November 2013, saying that his profession should apologise for the way it has treated gay people. “There are still countries where it’s seen as an illness,” he said. “We need to make a stand.”

84 (93) Rikki Beadle-Blair


Passionate about producing thought-provoking films, music and performances, Beadle-Blair this year released Blackbird – a film about a young singer struggling with his sexuality in a Southern Baptist community. He also released a film on homophobic bullying to all UK schools.

85 (new entry) Sophie Ward


The actress, known for her roles in Young Sherlock Holmes, Wuthering Heights, and Jane Eyre, this year led the cast of John van Druten’s play Flowers of the Forest, in London’s West End. In December 2013, she also published A Marriage Proposal: The Importance of Equal Marriage and What it Means for All of Us.

86 (new entry) Asif Quaraishi

Drag queen

Also known as Asifa Lahore, Quaraishi is the UK’s first Muslim drag queen and is considered an icon for the Asian gay community. A DJ and singer (sometimes for the LGBT club Club Kali) Quaraishi is bidding to represent Britain at next year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

87 (new entry) Juno Roche

Primary schoolteacher

Juno Roche taught for eight years before she decided to live, and teach, as a woman. In April, she delivered a speech at a National Union for Teachers conference and was met with a standing ovation. Her story, which went viral on Twitter, is an inspiration.

DJ and presenter, host of BBC Radio 1 breakfast show
DJ and presenter, host of BBC Radio 1 breakfast show (Getty)

88 (18) Nick Grimshaw

DJ & presenter

Despite mixed fortunes in the ratings, Grimshaw continues to be one of the UK’s most popular DJs as host of the Radio 1 Breakfast Show and a healthy antidote to some less enlightened colleagues. Rarely off our screens, too, his presenting gigs include the Mercury Prize and Children in Need.

89 (new entry) Cat Burton

Pilot, British Airways

A senior BA pilot with 40 years’ experience, Burton announced her gender transition via an online forum. In the past, such a move might have been career-ending, but Burton’s supportive employers are set to welcome her back to her job in the near future.

90 (new entry) Kate Tempest


Anyone who has seen one of Tempest’s performances has probably fallen in love with her, and this year the world caught up, with a nomination for the Mercury Prize coinciding with a Ted Hughes Prize and a listing as one of the Poetry Book Society’s 20 Next Generation poets.

91 (new entry) Colin Coward

Founder, Changing Attitude

Coward is the spearhead of an organisation that promotes full inclusion and equality of LGBT people in the Anglican communion. A priest in a civil partnership, he diplomatically confronts bishops from the Church of England over their stance on women and LGBTIQ as bishops in the future.

92 (41) CN Lester

Co-founder of Queer Youth Network

Having set up the first UK Gay/Straight Alliance in 1999, CN Lester regularly hosts Transpose gigs to raise money for queer causes. In March, the singer-songwriter released a third album titled Aether, and in April was one of four trans artists to perform at Tate Modern.

93 (new entry) Ayla Holdom

Head of Armed Services Trans group

Ayla is a search and rescue pilot in the Royal Air Force and leads the Armed Services Trans group. She contributes to the Guardian and has appeared in numerous films for Transgender UK to compare the differing working directives for trans people in the armed forces in the US.

94 (new entry) Antonia Belcher


Belcher is a founding partner of the building consultant MHBC – one of only two trans executives to make the FT’s LGBT Top100 list – and worked on office blocks, mansions and shopping centres. She argued this summer that big businesses have become more welcoming to trans employees.

95 (re-rentry) Paul Burston

Author and Polari Prize founder

As well as an award-winning author, journalist and editor in his own right, Burston is the man to know in LGBT literary circles. He’s the founder of the Polari salon, and the Polari Prize for a first book that explores the LGBT experience, won this year by British-Somalian Diriye Osman.

96 (27) Sarah Brown


Before losing her seat this year as a Lib-Dem Cambridge councillor, Brown made history by becoming the first transgender elected politician in Britain. After having her own marriage annulled, Brown has become a keen advocate of same-sex marriages.

Singer (PA)

97 (new entry) Lucy Spraggan


Since performing her own music on The X Factor, Spraggan has become an icon – and was able to crack down on last year’s winner James Arthur for his homophobic rap. She has one of the most supportive mums in the business, who has written about their relationship.

98 (new entry) Stephanie Hirst

Radio presenter

Formerly known as the popular Radio 5Live figure Simon Hirst, Stephanie made the brave call to announce her transition on air. While tough interviews followed, “Hirsty” never appeared fazed – and her decision may provide inspiration to those hoping make changes to their lives.

99 (“one to watch”) Sarah Garrett

Director and co-founder of Square Peg Media

The media group produces the lesbian magazine g3, of which Garrett is the editor, as well as Out in the City and First Time Buyer. Garrett is also an advocate of same-sex parenting and co-founded The Alternative Parenting Show, which offers advice to would-be parents on having children.

100 (new entry) Tom Abell

Managing director, Peccadillo Pictures

With an impressive career in the film and video industry, Abell formed Peccadillo Pictures in 2000. The award-winning UK film distributor of art house, gay & lesbian and world cinema titles provides viewing over multiple platforms. Abell also produces short films.

101 (new entry) Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe

Head of diversity, Google

When Palmer-Edgecumbe began his career in investment banking in 1991, he has said, “the work culture was awful – racist, sexist, homophobic”. Now he encourages diversity at one of the world’s most influential companies, which supports the European Diversity Awards.

Who were the judges?

Kim Watson, Media & Marketing Director on GT and DIVA magazines - @DIVAmagazine

Watson has 23 years’ experience in LGBT community media. DIVA & GT celebrated their respective 20 and 30 anniversaries in 2014. She became a Fellow of the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing in 2013. Watson lives with her partner, daughter and two cats in east London and is a keen guitarist and songwriter. Her band SULK are in the process of releasing their first Studio EP.

Christine Burns MBE, retired equalities specialist - @christineburns

Burns was a leading figure in the campaign for trans rights for 15 years, helping to secure the passage of the Gender Recognition Act in 2004. She also chaired the North West Equality and Diversity Group for many years and helped organisations develop equality strategy. Her books Making Equality Work and Pressing Matters are based on the various aspects of her work.

John Amaechi OBE, organisational consultant and high-performance executive coach - @JohnAmaechi

A New York Times best-selling author and social entrepreneur, Amaechi works in both the US and Europe with high-profile individuals and businesses. He is a psychologist and Senior Fellow at the Applied Centre for Emotional Literacy & Learning, as well as a former NBA basketball player.

Charlotte Henry, political commentator and reporter - @charlotteahenry

Henry blogs on liberal politics and how technology politics, policy, and campaigning link. After graduating Lancaster University in 2009, she worked for a Liberal Democrat MP in Parliament, before consulting for various Liberal Democrat candidates in the 2010 General Election, and running communications for the youth wing of the party as its Vice Chair. She writes for various publications and blogs at www.charlotteahenry.com

Charlie Condou, actor and writer - @CharlieCondou

Condou, the actor most famous for playing Marcus Dent in Coronation Street, was also responsible for the parenting column “The Three of Us” in The Guardian. He is a supporter of Manchester Pride, a Patron of Diversity Role Models and the Albert Kennedy Trust, and Attitude magazine’s Man of the Year 2012. He most recently appeared in Next Fall at the Southwark Playhouse.

Ben Bradshaw, Labour MP - @BenPBradshaw

Bradshaw, a former BBC journalist, has been the Labour MP for Exeter since 1997, taking on roles as a Minister of State in the Departments for Health and Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and as the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. In 2009 he was named the Stonewall Politician of the Year, with a 100 per cent record of supporting equality.

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