Rainbow List 2015: International influencers

Lucy White
Sunday 15 November 2015 01:10 GMT
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Katherine Zappone and Anne Gilligan
Katherine Zappone and Anne Gilligan (AFP)

The Rainbow List would not be complete without acknowledging the people making waves across the globe. This year’s international influencers range from Irish marriage campaigners to an American professor and a Polish priest.

Canadian actress Ellen Page melted hearts when she publicly came out in an incredibly moving speech last year. Since then, she’s been unstoppable in challenging homophobia around the world. We expect this will continue, not least in her forthcoming LGBT travel series Gaycation and in a new film Freeheld.

Ellen Page came out last year
Ellen Page came out last year

Others have concentrated their efforts closer to home – Dr Anne Gilligan and Senator Katherine Zappone began the long process of campaigning to get their Canadian marriage recognised in Ireland more than a decade ago and were instrumental in initiating Ireland’s referendum for equal marriage, making history this year when the motion was passed successfully.

And in literature, Marlon James became the first Jamaican to win the Man Booker Prize this year for A Brief History of Seven Killings.

Marlon James speaks after winning the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2015
Marlon James speaks after winning the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2015 (Getty)

Other international figures who we want to salute are Dr Lydia Foy, the Irish campaigner who became the first trans person to receive the European Parliament’s Citizen’s Prize; Pidgeon Pagonis, an American intersex campaigner; Father Krzysztof Charamsa, the Polish priest who was sacked after coming out as gay; Janet Mock, American writer and transgender activist; Panti Bliss, Irish drag queen and gay rights activist; Laverne Cox, American actress and LGBT advocate; Ursula Halligan, Irish journalist who came out before the referendum; Caitlyn Jenner, former athlete and trans campaigner and American television star;

Maurice Tomlinson, Jamaican lawyer campaigning against anti-homosexuality laws; Mani Mitchell, New Zealander intersex advocate; St. Vincent, American singer; David Norris, Irish campaigner against anti-homosexuality laws; Una Mullally, Irish Times columnist; Norrie May Welby, Australian intersex campaigner; Kitty Anderson, chair of Intersex Iceland; Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD president and CEO; Jamison Green, President of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, and Professor Lynn Conway, American computer scientist.

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