Corrie, John Partridge, The Times, Martina Navratilova – Stonewall Award Winners
Supporters vote Chris Grayling MP Bigot of the Year
The fifth Stonewall Awards, hosted by Sue Perkins, were held last night at London's V&A and attended by 450 people including celebrities, politicians, sportspeople and writers. The event celebrates those who have made a positive impact on the lives of lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Britain in the last year.
- Hero of the Year (supported by g3) - Gareth Thomas. Chosen by thousands of Stonewall supporters. By coming out last December, Gareth made history as the first openly-gay professional rugby star still playing the game. He endured homophobic abuse during his first away game for Rugby League, resulting in an RFL fine for Castleford FC.
- Broadcast of the Year – Coronation Street. The Street gained its first and second lesbian characters with Sian and Sophie’s relationship this year, alongside Antony Cotton’s established centrepiece role as Sean Tully. Our judges said Corrie has proven to be ‘streets ahead with its lesbian and gay characters, depicted with the same wit, warmth and drama as all of Weatherfield’s cherished faces.’
- Entertainer of the Year – John Partridge. As one half of the gay relationship in EastEnders, John’s character Christian has ‘enthralled viewers’ said the judges. He is now one of the most established and recognisable gay characters in a British soap. Away from the Square, John’s role on the judging panel for Over the Rainbow has made him a household favourite.
- Journalist of the Year (supported by Herbert Smith) – Patrick Strudwick. In an outstanding piece of investigative journalism, Patrick this year exposed the murky practice of ‘conversion therapy’ in the pages of The Independent, leading to the British Medical Association passing a motion condemning the practice.
- Politician of the Year (supported by www.hervia.com) – Rt Hon John Bercow MP. Thanks to changes pursued by the new Commons Speaker, this year saw the first civil partnership take place in the Palace of Westminster, when Chris Bryant MP and his partner tied the knot in March. John has been a strong supporter of equality issues in recent years.
- Publication of the Year (supported by Prudential) – The Times. ‘Gay issues have been an integral element of The Times’ editorial agenda in the last year’ said the judges – from thought-provoking stories on equality to the knowing wit of Caitlin Moran and compelling analysis by Jeanette Winterson.
- Stonewall Sports Award – Martina Navratilova. An international role model who has always been unapologetic about her sexual orientation, Martina this year won the women’s legends doubles title at both Wimbledon and the French Open without dropping a set – despite undergoing debilitating radiography treatment for breast cancer.
- Writer of the Year – Stella Duffy and Rupert Smith. Stella for ‘Theodora: Actress, Empress, Whore’ and Rupert for ‘Man’s World.’
- Stonewall Community Group of the Year (supported by Prudential) – MindOut, based in Brighton. Chosen by thousands of Stonewall supporters. Winner of a £5,000 cheque presented at the ceremony.
- Bigot of the Year – Chris Grayling MP. Chosen by thousands of Stonewall supporters. Weeks before the election – when he was shadow Home Secretary - Grayling caused a storm by suggesting that B&B owners should be legally entitled to bar gay couples.
The Hero, Bigot and Community Group of the Year Awards were voted for by thousands of Stonewall supporters across Britain. All other categories were chosen by a judging panel including Sarah Waters, Margot James MP and Paddy O’Connell.
Ben Summerskill, Stonewall Chief Executive, said: ‘This has been a landmark year. All three major soaps have featured compelling depictions of lesbian and gay characters. All three main parties made gay equality a central, vote-winning election issue. And rugby now has its first openly gay professional player. We’re proud to have seen all these successes of modern Britain reflected at the Stonewall Awards ceremony.’
Click here for a full list of the Stonewall Awards 2010 nominees