Emily Bridges, Joanne Harris and global products company Proctor & Gamble were among the winners of the annual PinkNews Awards 2022.
The award ceremony which took place last night (19 October) saw cyclist Emily Bridges win Sports Personality of the Year and author Joanne Harris honoured with the Ally Award.
PinkNews CEO Benjamin Cohen kickstarted the event with a speech noting how “times have changed,” addressing the absence of Prime Minister Liz Truss not only from the ceremony itself but from the fight for LGBTQ+ rights.
“Keir Starmer will be the only Westminster leader to address us tonight,” he said. “And that should show you how times have changed.”
Boris Johnson appeared via a video address at the PinkNews Awards 2019, with Theresa May speaking in person in 2017 (and at the virtual awards in 2020).
Guest speakers and figureheads, including SNP MP John Nicolson, who urged the government to protect those who have been increasingly discriminated against, especially the trans community.
Nicolson noted the “poison” of the UK media’s treatment of trans people, asking how a “young trans kid reading this” can hope to feel accepted.
“Politicians bear a heavy responsibility for the tone of this country,” he added. “We’ve always assumed that progress marches on and it never retreats, but I believe it’s under attack.”
The evening saw 17 award categories that recognised the incredible contributions of those who campaign for LGBTQ+ equality worldwide, whilst celebrating moments of unprecedented LGBTQ+ achievement.
Sports Personality of the Year Award sponsored by Sky
Winner: Emily Bridges, Cyclist
Presented by: Jessica Creighton, Sky Sports Presenter
Winner: This is Going to Hurt, BBC and Big Boys, Channel 4
Presented by: Sophie Duker, Comedian
Influencer of the Year Award sponsored by The Queer Catch-up
Winner: Matt Bernstein, Influencer
Presented by: Jessica Alves, Influencer and Dav Rich, PinkNews Executive Producer- The Queer Catch up
Winner: Moments That Shaped: Queer Black Britain (My5)
Presented by: Owen Jones, Columnist, Author and Podcaster
Politician of the Year Award
Winner: John Nicholson, Shadow Culture Secretary and Deputy Chair of the APPG on Global LGBTQ+ rights, SNP
Presented by: Paul Brand, ITV News UK Editor
Campaigner of the Year Award
Winner: Nemat Sadat, Afghan activist
Presented by: Zarah Sultana, MP for Coventry South, Labour
Advertising Campaign of the Year Award sponsored by Reddit
Winner: Drag Queens Take a Bridgerton Etiquette Class by Netflix
Presented by: Harriet Thorpe, Actress
Business Equality Organisation Award sponsored by PinkNews Futures
Winner: Procter and Gamble
Presented by: Lord Duncan of Springbank and Obi Adebayo, PinkNews Corporate Strategy Lead
Business Role Model of the Year Award supported by Lloyds Banking Group
Winner: Helen Randall, Trowers & Hamlins
Presented by: Mike Freer, Former Equalities Minister, Conservative and Janet Pope, Lloyds Banking Group
Public Sector Organisation of the Year Award
Winner: North East Ambulance Service
Presented by: Caroline Nokes, Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee, Conservative
Third Sector Organisation of the Year Award
Winner: Victim Support
Presented by: Jayne Ozanne, Founder of Ozanne Foundation
Community Group Organisation of the Year Award sponsored by Wickes
Winner: Rainbow Project
Presented by: John Nicholson, Shadow Culture Secretary and Deputy Chair of the APPG on Global LGBTQ+ rights, SNP and Ben Jackson, Wickes
Local Leader of the Year Award
Winner: Yvonne Owino-Wamari and Sab Samuel (Aida H Dee)
Presented by: Lady Phyll, Influencer/Activist and Michael Gunning, Swimmer
Community Role Model of the Year Award sponsored by United Airlines
Winner: Gurchaten Sandhu, ILGA Programme Director
Presented by: Baroness Liz Barker and Ziv Russell, United Airlines
In addition to the categories above PinkNews acknowledged individuals who have made significant contributions to the LGBTQ+ community at the PinkNews Awards within the following award categories:
Lifetime of Achievement Award
Winner: Jonathan Cooper (posthumously) accepted by his partner Kevin Childs
Presented by: Keir Starmer, Leader of the Labour Party
Winner: Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat
Presented by: Hannah Graf, influencer/activist and Juno Dawson, Author
Frontline Hero Award
Winner: Dr Ronx Ikharia
Presented by: Dr Ranj Singh, CBBC Presenter
The PinkNews Awards also acted as a fundraiser for the Kaleidoscope Trust across the evening, with several auction prizes available.
The funds raised from the auction will help the charity fight for the human rights of LGBTQ+ people in the Commonwealth. Labour Shadow Attorney General Emily Thornberry hosted the auction alongside drag artists Ella Vaday and Kitty Scott Claus.
Prizes at the PinkNews Awards 2022 included a copy of the 2010 Equality Act signed by every living former prime minister and a bottle of champagne signed by Prime Minister Liz Truss (no truth in the rumour it has lost its fizz).
Undoubtedly the most significant prize – a private dinner date with Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black – sold for £2,200.
The annual PinkNews Awards took place on Wednesday 19th October in London, with awards presented across multiple sectors of society including business, politics, community and entertainment.
The awards were supported by joint headline sponsors Lloyds Banking Group and United Airlines.
This year’s event is also the first time the PinkNews Awards have been held in person since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
2022 marks an important date in the calendar for the LGBTQ+ community within the UK, as it marks the 50th anniversary of Pride.
The PinkNews Awards is the final opportunity to celebrate this milestone whilst also looking to the future and the vital work still to be done to improve the rights and liberties of all.
The PinkNews Awards are a highlight in the LGBTQ+ calendar, bringing together a wide range of public figures, lending their support to the community and further highlighting the constant work done by PinkNews and the wider community to bring about positive change.