PinkNews Awards 2020: Nominees revealed for Politician of the Year
Pioneering leaders dedicated to progressing LGBT+ rights are among the nominees for the Politician of the Year award at the PinkNews Awards 2020.
The award, which was won last year by Conservative MP Penny Mordaunt, recognises politicians from across the political spectrum who have shown their tireless support for LGBT+ rights.
The winner will be revealed at the PinkNews Awards, which will take place virtually from December 2-4. The nominees are listed below. The public vote is now closed.
Scottish National Party (SNP) MP Mhairi Black has fought at every turn for LGBT+ rights since she was first elected in 2015.
The lesbian politician has been a powerful voice for the LGBT+ community, and never fails to speak out when she sees discrimination and prejudice.
Black was one of a small number of MPs who spoke out in support of the trans community when Harry Potter author JK Rowling published her controversial anti-trans views in June. The Scottish politician said Rowling’s views make her feel “erased as a lesbian”.
She faced a barrage of abuse for jumping to the defence of the trans community, but Black knew it was the right thing to do – and that vocal trans allies are needed now more than ever.
Labour MP Nadia Whittome has repeatedly spoken out against transphobia and has thrown her weight behind LGBT+ equality.
She won praise from the LGBT+ community when she penned a powerful op-ed for The Independent in which she said the toxic “debate” around trans rights must be grounded in the real, lived experiences of trans lives.
“I would challenge anyone to sit and listen to the story of any trans person without feeling anything but shock and compassion,” Whittome wrote. “You will have trouble finding any trans person who doesn’t tell you a snack story including some level of alienation, loss of family, bullying, persecution, difficulties with accessing appropriate healthcare and worse.”
Openly gay Conservative MP Crispin Blunt has been a vocal advocate for the LGBT+ community ever since he first came out in 2010.
From speaking out in support of poppers to throwing his weight behind the trans community, Blunt has shown that he has the interests of the wider LGBT+ community at heart.
In September, Blunt urged the government – his own party – to fire equalities minister Liz Truss following her announcement that the Tories would not be reforming the UK’s Gender Recognition Act (GRA), despite overwhelming public support.
“It is clear that the minister for women and equalities does not have the time or necessary empathy to continue in this role,” Blunt told PinkNews at the time.
The Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran made waves across the political spectrum – and across the world – when she became the first ever British MP to come out as pansexual.
By coming out, Moran helped educate people across the UK on what it means to be pansexual. She also helped push queer visibility in the UK parliament to new heights.
Moran has spoken out about the need to ban traumatising conversion therapy and has expressed her “deep concern” about the rise of transphobia in the UK.
In an interview with PinkNews in August, Moran lambasted the Conservative government for its handling of reforms to the Gender Recognition Act (GRA), saying she would “never forgive” them.
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The LGBT+ community first got to know Michael Cashman as one of EastEnders‘ first ever gay characters when he took on the role of Colin Russell in the 1980s. Since then, he has fought tirelessly for queer people’s rights as an MEP and later as a member of the House of Lords.
The campaigner has spoken powerfully about the need for the wider LGBT+ community to support trans rights and has held the Conservative government to account for its failure to reform the Gender Recognition Act.
Cashman has proven throughout his decades of activism that he will never stop fighting for the LGBT+ community’s right to live and love as they please.
The winner will be announced at the PinkNews Awards 2020, taking place virtually December 2-4. The public vote is now closed.