The fourth Stonewall Awards ceremony will take place on Thursday 5 November at the V&A in London. The ceremony, which has become an essential fixture in the lesbian and gay calendar, will be hosted by TV presenter Gok Wan. Once again supported by Barclays, the ceremony celebrates those who have made a positive impact on the lives of lesbian and gay people in Britain. Last year’s winners included Sue Perkins, Waheed Alli and Sandi Toksvig.
Three of the Awards will be voted for by thousands of Stonewall supporters from across Britain: ‘Hero of the Year’, ‘Bigot of the Year’ and the ‘Stonewall & Barclays Community Group.’ The chosen Community Group of the Year – won last year by the Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group - will receive a cheque for £5,000 to support its work.
Nominees for Hero of the Year include Carol Ann Duffy, Britain’s first female and openly gay poet laureate, Reverend Rennie, the Church of Scotland’s first openly gay minister and Nick Partridge, Chief Executive of THT and veteran campaigner. Bigot of the Year nominations include BBC presenter DJ Spoony, Fred and Shirley Phelps and Doctor Sheila Matthews who sat on an adoption panel and refused to consider same-sex couples as potential adopters.
The other seven awards – including Writer and Entertainer of the Year - will be chosen by a panel of judges including TV personality Sue Perkins, presenter Evan Davis, former basketball player John Amaechi, Angela Eagle MP and Assistant Editor of the Daily Telegraph Andrew Pierce.
Ben Summerskill, Stonewall Chief Executive, said: ‘In Stonewall’s 20th anniversary year, we’ve had the opportunity to celebrate the heroes of the gay equality movement from the last two decades. Our Awards ceremony continues this recognition, but also shines a light on those who are making an important contribution to equality in Britain today – inspiring lesbian and gay people to lead fulfilling lives at home, at school and at work.’
Antony Jenkins, CEO, Barclaycard said: 'Barclays is delighted to continue our relationship with Stonewall. Celebrating diversity is at the heart of what we do so we’re proud to support the Stonewall Awards for a fourth successive year.’
Last year Bishop Gene Robinson was named Hero of the Year for his dignity and bravery as the church debate on homosexuality intensified, after being barred from the Lambeth conference. Iris Robinson MP was voted Bigot of the Year after describing homosexuality as ‘disgusting’, ‘loathsome’ and ‘viler…than sexually abusing children.’
Tickets for the 2009 Stonewall Awards ceremony at London’s V&A on Thursday 5 November are £150 + VAT. To book your ticket visit www.stonewall.org.uk/awards or contact email@example.com / 020 7593 1875.
Contact: Gary Nunn, Communications Officer, 020 7593 1856 / 07985 439 660
1.Shortlist for Hero of the Year - an individual who has encouraged, inspired or achieved the most for lesbian, gay & bisexual people in the last year.
2. Shortlist for Bigot of the Year - an individual who has gone out of their way to harm, hurt or snub lesbian, gay and bisexual people in the last year.
During office hours please call: 020 7593 1856 / 1857 or outside office hours on 07985 439 660.
If you are a journalist and wish to be added to Stonewall's media contacts list, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org