Profile: British LGBT Awards
FEBRUARY 18TH, 2016 – 12:22 AM NAN SPOWART
WHAT’S THE STORY?
SNP MP Mhairi Black and US presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton rank alongside Caitlyn Jenner of Keeping Up With The Kardashians on this year’s shortlist for the British LGBT awards.
Dubbed the Gay Oscars, the shortlist this year contains a string of global gay icons, top music talent and celebrities such as Hollywood’s Bette Midler, Kim Cattrall of Sex In The City and Absolutely Fabulous star Jennifer Saunders.
TV chef Nigella Lawson, EastEnders actor Danny Dyer, actor Eddie Redmayne and This Morning presenter, Holly Willoughby, are also in the running for awards. Channel 4 funnyman Alan Carr is shortlisted alongside Paul O’Grady, Nick Grimshaw, Boy George, and Sue Perkins of the Great British Bake Off.
“The 2016 shortlist showcases a huge range of LGBT celebrities and famous straight allies who are doing wonderful things for and on behalf of the LGBT community,” said Sarah Garrett, British LGBT Awards founder.
WHO IS BLACK UP AGAINST?
AN array of top British music talent is set to vie for the music artist of the year award as Little Mix, Jess Glynne, Zayn Malik, Sam Smith and Years & Years are shortlisted. Adele, Jess Glynne, Halsey and Frank Ocean make up the other singers and groups in the music artist of the year category.
Black’s election as MP is in the running for media moment but she is up against the Republic of Ireland voting to allow same-sex marriage and the legalisation of same-sex marriage in the United States last year. BBC Two sitcom Boy Meets Girl and soap opera EastEnders have both been shortlisted in the media moment category for their portrayal of transgender issues.
“The commissioning of Boy Meets Girl was a particularly landmark moment in British television history as was the introduction of a transgender character to Eastenders,” said Garrett. “The BBC should be proud of its commitment to diversity and groundbreaking coverage of LGBT issues.”
The media moment shortlist also includes the BBC’s same-sex spy thriller London Spy, the Hollyoaks HIV storyline and Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover where she announced her name change from Bruce. Jenner, a former Olympic gold medal-winning decathlete, has been called the most famous openly transgender woman in the world.
WHO ELSE IS NOMINATED?
TRANSGENDER actress Rebecca Root who plays Judy in Boy Meets Girl has been nominated in the celebrity rising star of the year category.
She has previously spoken of her belief that her part would “demystify” the transgender community.
“It will increase the visibility of the trans population. In a way it’s a shame we’re only having this conversation now. But better late than never.”
Root is up against Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander, actor Jake Graff, American vlogger Hannah Hart, X Factor contestant Sean Miley Moore, designer Philip Armstrong, comedian David Morgan and vloggers Rose and Rosie.
Caitlyn Jenner has a second nomination in the LGBT celebrity of the year category, vying against Alan Carr, Boy George, American actor and drag queen RuPaul, model Cara Delevingne, Hollyoaks actor Kieron Richardson, Australian actress and model Ruby Rose, Ben Whishaw, who plays Q in the most recent James Bond films, and American screenwriter and LGBT activist Dustin Lance Black.
Saunders and Clinton are up against each other for the global icon award along with Cher, Stephen Fry, Lady Gaga, Sir Ian McKellen, Bette Midler and George Takei of Star Trek.
Redmayne appears in the celebrity straight ally shortlist along with Dyer, Willoughby, Nigella Lawson, musician Brian May, Cattrall, soapstar actor James Sutton and millionaire vlogger Zoe Sugg, otherwise known as Zoella.
AND THE REST?
SUE Perkins is nominated as broadcaster of the year along with Clare Balding, Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw, religious commentator Vicky Beeching, journalist Evan Davis, Paul O’Grady, RuPaul and Gok Wan.
Vying for sportsperson of the year are Olympic boxing gold medallist Nicola Adams, retired basketball player John Amaechi, rugby player Keegan Hirst, rugby referee Nigel Owens, sports reporter Mark McAdam, rugby player Sam Stanley, rower Heather Stanning and footballer Casey Stoney.
Royal Bank of Scotland is sponsor of the awards.
“We’re proud to be the headline sponsor of the British LGBT Awards for the fourth year running in 2016,” said Marjorie Strachan, RBS global head of inclusion.
“Fundamentally, they acknowledge and reward those who deserve recognition for their outstanding commitment to the LGBT community.
“However, these awards are not just about celebrating the nominees and winners; they’re about creating a cultural shift towards acknowledging the benefit of inclusion and RBS wants to be a part of that.”
From today until March 22, the public can cast their votes at the new-look British LGBT Awards website. The winners will be announced in London on May 13.