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Queen’s Birthday Honours List names half a dozen LGBT activists and advocates

Joseph McCormick June 11, 2016

At least six people who have fought for LGBT equality have been named by the Queen in her Birthday Honours List.

Rbert Hodgson, the vice chair of the LGBT Advisory Group for the Met Police and Sarah Groenewegen were named in the list alongside out author Stella Duffy.

The ‘Room of Lost Things’ author, who is married to playwright Shelley Silas, has twice been named Stonewall Writer of the Year for her work.

As well as thos three, Carolina Bovey was given an MBE for her diversity work within the NHS in Wales, and Elly Barnes was given the same honour for founding Educate and Celebrate.

Bisexual activist Jen Yockney was also given an MBE for her work for bi-acceptance.

“I’m delighted,” said Yockney.

“When I came out aged sixteen at the height of Section 28 mania it was a very different world.”

A prominent supporter of Stonewall, Duffy has hosted Stonewall’s annual fundraising dinner for the past four years – and is a Patron of Diversity Role Models, which works to end bullying of LGBT young people.

She told PinkNews previously: “I’m keen to remember that one of the most useful things for me as a young not-really-sure-how-to-be-a-lesbian lesbian was reading novels.

“I think now we – God it sounds awful to say it – I suppose the older generation of writer have a responsibility to show younger people what it’s all about.”

She was named Order of the British Empire today in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Ms Duffy, a founding member of the Women’s Equality Party, said: “I have worked in theatre and as a writer for more than thirty years, always with the hope that our work in the arts can be of value to all and make a difference.

“For example, [cultural campaign] Fun Palaces was born of my mounting frustration at the continued lip service paid to full cultural engagement – an engagement where everyone is truly welcome to participate, as creators, not just audiences.

“I hope that this unexpected honour will help us push open some doors, have vital conversations, make the difference we need.

“The change we believe in, the empowered and active citizens who are Joan Littlewood’s “everyone an artist and everyone a scientist”, is needed now more than ever before.”

More: birthday honours, OBE, queen, Stella Duffy, Stonewall

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