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  • Writer's picturePride Power List


Politician, boxing promoter and scientist among most influential transgender people named in wide-ranging Pride powerlist

A politician, scientist, radio presenter and boxing promoter are among those honoured as the most influential transgender people in Britain in this year’s Pride Power list.

The 2015 list, naming the most influential LGBT people and published to coincide with Pride weekend this week places people in categories, rather than ranking them, as before.

Several of those in the transgender category had only spoken publicly about transitioning in the past year; they includethe radio presenter Stephanie Hirst and the boxing promoter Kellie Maloney. Others, including the model Jacqui Gavin, the vice-chair of the Civil Service network a:gender, and lawyer Stephen Whittle, are long-time activists for trans rights. Ayla Holdom, a decorated RAF flight lieutenant, who is Britain’s only openly transgender military pilot, has been honoured, as has Kate Stone, a scientist, who won her Press Complaints Commission fight against newspapers who featured her transgender status after a traumatic accident when she was gored by a stag.

In the three years since the list began, when it was ranked, American women topped it. In 2012, the actor Jane Lynch, of the TV show Glee, was named the most powerful LGBT person in the world, followed by the talkshow host Ellen DeGeneres in 2013 and Laverne Cox, the American actor, from the drama series Orange is the New Black, in 2014, the first transgender person to do so.

This year’s list, compiled by SquarePeg Media via a panel and public nominations, focuses solely on influential LGBT Britons. They have been categorised into the sections of arts, campaigners, entertainers, politics, business leaders, workplace heroes, charity and community, transgender and influencers.

“We haven’t numbered the entries because we see each entry as being equally important to the LGBT+ community,” the list’s authors say in their introduction. “The list serves to encompass both those fighting for equality and people who are influential role models.”

Several transgender people featured are leading lights in other categories in the list. The Liberal Democrat Sarah Brown, who was the only openly transgender politician in the UK for a time, was listed in the transgender rather than politics category, but Paris Lees, a prominent trans rights activist and writer, was placed in the influencers category.

The non-profit support groups Mermaids and Gender Trust, both of which deal with gender identity issues, were honoured in the charity and community section of the list.



Dean Atta


Atta’s poem about Stephen Lawrence went viral in 2012. He writes about homophobia in hip-hop.

Rikki Beadle-Blair

Actor, director, screenwriter

A man of many talents, who has written and directed many LGBT productions.

Stephen Beresford

Actor, screenwriter

Best known for writing Pride, the film in which lesbians and gays support 80s striking miners.

Paul Burston


Founder and host of award-winning LGBT literary salon, Polari.

Jane Czyzselska

Editor of DIVA magazine

Editor of DIVA magazine since 2004. Also a media commentator and columnist.

Russell T Davis

Director, screenwriter

Famous for dramas such as Queer As Folk, and Channel 4 / E4 series’ Banana and Cucumber.

Carol Ann Duffy

Poet, playwright

The first scottish openly LGBT woman to be appointed Britain’s Poet Laureate.

Stella Duffy

Writer, performer, director

Author of 13 novels and countless short stories. She won Stonewall writer of the year in 2010.

Kate Moross

Designer, illustrator, art director

Produced nationwide campaigns for Cadburys and Topshop and illustrations for Vogue Magazine.

Patrick Strudwick

British journalist, activist

Writes for various newspapers and websites, including Buzzfeed, The Guardian, and Attitude.



Bisi Alimi


Bisi works as an HIV consultant and on global LGBT advocacy.

Ruth Hunt


CEO of Stonewall who helped develop the campaign for the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act.

Caroline Murphy


Labour activist, union delegate and a campaigner on LGBT issues and violence against women.

Phyll Opoku-Gyimah


Founder and managing director of UK Black Pride to promote unity among LGBT black people.

Lance Price


Ex-BBC journalist and adviser to the Blair government. Founded the Kaleidoscope Trust

Sue Sanders


LGBT rights campaigner, co-founder of LGBT History Month and chair of Schools OUT UK.

Edwin Sesange


African LGBTI Out and Proud Diamond group President and gay rights activist.

Tim Sigsworth


CEO of the Albert Kennedy Trust, which supports homeless LGBT young people.

Ben Summerskill


Ex CEO of Stonewall and recipient of the 2015 British LGBT Lifetime Achievement Award.

Peter Tatchell


Gay rights activist, whose recent campaigns focus on anti-gay laws in Uganda and Russia.



Clare Balding

Television presenter, journalist

TV host of high-profile sporting events. Awarded an OBE in 2013 for services to broadcasting.

Alan Carr

Comedian, television presenter

His Channel 4 show, Chatty Man (12th series), won a BAFTA in 2014 and an RTS award in 2015.

Stephen Fry

Writer, actor, television presenter

Gay rights advocate, who is outspoken on matters from equal marriage, to the Sochi Olympics.

Elton John

Singer, songwriter, composer, pianist

A fantastic role model for gay parenting, raising two boys alongside husband David Furnish.

Sir Ian McKellen

Actor, activist

An award-winning actor and a co-founder of Stonewall, the gay rights organisation.

Graham Norton

Television and radio presenter

Top TV chat show host and winner of the 2015 British LGBT Awards Broadcaster of the Year.

Paul O’Grady

Comedian, television presenter

Daytime talk show and Radio 2 host, also patron of the Peter Tatchell Foundation.

Heather Peace

Actress, singer, songwriter

Patron of Manchester Pride and involved in a number of charities, including DRM and AKT.

Sue Perkins

Comedian, television presenter

Host of The Great British Bake Off. Featured on the Rainbow List since 2008 and #6 in 2014.

Russell Tovey


Openly gay actor, best known for his roles in Him & Her, Being Human and Banished.



Lord Alli

Media entrepreneur, politician

The first openly gay peer, who has used his position to repeal LGBT laws.

Mhairi Black

MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South

The youngest MP to be elected to parliament since 1832.

Lord Cashman of Limehouse

Politician, former MEP, actor

Labour Peer and co-founder of Stonewall. Former actor on TV soap, EastEnders.

Ruth Davidson

MP for Glasgow

Openly gay Scottish politician, currently leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party.

Angela Eagle

Labour MP for Wallasey

Parliament’s first openly lesbian member when she came out in 1997.

Mike Freer

MP for Finchley and Golders Green

Conservative MP, who came out during a speech over the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013.

Wes Streeting

Labour MP for Ilford North

Elected in the 2015. Deputy Leader of the London Borough of Redbridge.

Margot James

Conservative MP for Stourbridge

The first openly lesbian candidate to be elected to the party when she came out in 2010.

Gerald Jones

MP for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney

Openly gay welsh politician, voted for in the May 2015 general election.

Ivan Massow

London mayoral candidate

Gay rights campaigner who has launched a 2015 bid to become Mayor of London.


Business Leaders

Christopher Bailey

Chief Creative/Exec Officer, Burberry

Mentor to emerging British creative talent from the Royal College of Art.

Alison Berryman

CEO Barclaycard UK

Member of their LGBT network, Spectrum. Works to create an open and diverse workforce.

Claudia Brind-Woody

Vice President and MD, IBM

One of the most senior out executives at IBM.

Co-chairs their Global LGBT Executive Taskforce

Lord Browne

Former CEO of BP

Called on CEOs to take responsibility for setting the right tone around LGBT inclusion at work

Alison McFadyen

Head of Audit, Standard Chartered

Active member of the bank’s LGBT Network and regular speaker at events.

Mary Portas

Retail consultant, television presenter

Consulted by the government to revive the fortunes of the high street.

Huma Qazi

MD, Coaching and HR consultancy

An advocate for raising awareness, especially on LGBT in the workplace and in schools.

Antonio Simoes

Chief Executive Officer, HSBC UK

Has increased the visibility of LGBT issues at HSBC. Works with their Pride networks.

Anthony Watson

President and CEO, Bitreserve

First British and non-American citizen to be appointed to the Board of Directors of GLAAD.

Andy Woodfield

Partner, PwC

Created the LGBT network GLEE@PwC. Takes a keen interest in LGBTI and Human Rights.



Liz Bingham

Managing Partner, EY

An active member of associations connected to gender, diversity and LGBT. Stonewall Ambassador

Suran Dickson

CEO, Diversity Role Models

Founder of Diversity Role Models – working to prevent homophobic and gender-based bullying.

Claire Harvey

Inclusive Leadership Consultant, KPMG Captain, Team GB Paralympic sitting volleyball team, 2012. Assistant Director, Youth Sport Trust.

Vinay Kapoor

D&I Manager, BNP Paribas

Founded BNP Paribas’ Diversity Week, ensuring inclusion is an integral part of the bank’s work.

Robert Kerse

Exec Director Finance, Circle Housing

Named as one of the most inspiring LGBT Business Leaders in the Financial Times

Mark MacKenzie MBE

Capability Development Specialist, TFL

Founding member of TfL’s LGBT network and led the group’s support for Pride in London

Tim Jarman

Assistant Director of D&I, EY

Tim leads EY’s strategy for LGBT issues across the UK and Ireland.

Mark McLane

Global Head of D&I, Barclays

Developed a strategy focusing on diversity for Barclays, one of Stonewall’s Top 10 employers.

Nicky Moffat

Consultant, Ex-brigadier British Army

Formerly the most senior woman in the British Army, now runs a leadership consultancy.

Toby Whitehouse

Director, Gaydio

One of the Directors and co-founders of Gaydio, leading gay radio station.

Daniel Winterfeldt

Partner, CMS Cameron McKenna LLP

Founder and co-chair of the Interlaw Diversity Forum and the Purple Reign campaign.



Sarah Brown

Activist, politician

Liberal Democrat, who was, for a time, the only openly transgender elected politician in the UK.

Jane Fae

Writer, feminist

Writes about important issues of political and sexual liberty.

Jacqui Gavin

ViceChair of a:gender

Former model who is a gender and Diversity Role Model. Also helps to organise Liverpool Pride.

Stephanie Hirst

Radio presenter

Openly transgender radio presenter, best known for hosting Hit40UK on Capital FM Yorkshire.

Ayla Holdom

Flight Lieutenant, Royal Air Force

Britain’s only openly transgender military pilot in the RAF.

Kellie Maloney

Boxing manager and promoter

Most famous for managing Lennox Lewis, before publicly announcing that she was transgender.

Juno Roche

Teacher, speaker

Former teacher, now working to support other transgender teachers’ visibility and rights.

Kate Stone


Won Press Complaints Commission negotiation after her transgender status was published.

Amy Stanning

Shared Services Director, Barclays PLC

Co-chair for Spectrum, the bank’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employee network.

Stephen Whittle OBE


A professor of Equalities Law in the School of Law at Manchester Metropolitan University.



Rylan Clark

Television presenter

Rose to fame on X Factor and Big Brother, before becoming a host of Big Brother’s Bit on the Side.

Tom Daley

Olympic diver

Olympic diving gold medallist who came out publicly in 2013, by posting a video on YouTube.

Evan Davis

Journalist, television presenter

An economist, journalist and presenter who is the current host of Newsnight.

Paris Lees

Journalist, transgender activist

Was the first trans woman presenter on both BBC Radio 1 and Channel 4.

Jack Monroe

Writer, campaigner

Gained fame through writing a blog about living as an impoverished single parent struggling to feed herself and her son on £10/week.

Leng Montgomery

D&I advocate, media commentator

Volunteers with Diversity Role Models and speaks regularly about trans issues.

Kathryn Nawrockyi

Director of Opportunity Now

An ambassador for Albert Kennedy Trust and a Diversity Role Model.

Scott Nunn

Photographer, journalist

Co-founder of Gay Star News one of the top LGBT news sites in the world.

Tris Reid-Smith

Director, editor, journalist

Co-founder and editor-in-chief of Gay Star News.

Gok Wan

Television presenter

Best known for his Channel 4 television programme, How to Look Good Naked



Albert Kennedy Trust

LGBT youth homeless charity

Supporting young LGBT 16-25 year olds who are made homeless or living in a hostile environment.

Broken Rainbow

LGBT charity

Raising awareness to, and combating same-sex domestic violence and abuse.

Ditch The Label

Anti-bullying charity

Providing support to those who are bullied in online and offline environments.

Diversity Role Models

Anti-bullying charity

Seeks to prevent homophobic and transphobic bullying in UK schools.


Anti-LGBT hate crime charity

Helping victims of homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, sexual violence or domestic abuse.

The Gender Trust

Gender identity charity

Helping those who are affected by gender identity issues.

The Kaleidoscope Trust

Human Rights Charity

The Kaleidoscope Trust works to uphold the human rights of LGBT people.


Transgender charity

Supporting children and teenagers with gender identity issues.

Opening Doors

LGBT charity

Focuses on meeting the needs of older LGBT communities.


LGBT rights charity

Working for equality and justice for all LGBT people.



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