Award Season is in its full Autumnal swing – and no one quite puts on a party like Pink News, our queer community’s online newspaper.
So I duly saw myself heading to the bright lights of London this week to attend their annual event.
Fabulously Formal was the order of the day so respectfully turned up, channelling, as always, my ultimate girl crush Kate Moss, in sharp tuxedo suit, drenched in bling, with big lashes, even bigger hair.
And wearing the obligatory five inch strappy sandals – girlfriend, I so got that memo!
The Pink News Awards recognise the contributions of politicians, campaigners, charities, businesses, public sector employers, and broadcasters towards achieving LGBT+ equality at home and overseas.
So thank God I made the effort as I was in very illustrious company.
Politicians Jeremy Corbyn, Diane Abbott, John Bercow and Justine Greening – plus Boris on the big screen, to name a few.
Celebrities as diverse as Gareth Gates to John Barrowman plus ever impressive campaigners like the legendary Lisa Power.
And of course, the scores of everyday activists who don’t sit in the House or beam into our living rooms through the big screen.
But who, for me, make more of a difference in the real world than some politicians or celebrities ever, ever do.
Talking of politicians, the highlight of the night for me was bumping into Conservative MP Penny Mordaunt. The former Defence Secretary, has been, and continues to be, an absolute force for good in the equalities sphere.
Delighted that she scooped Politician of the Year, jointly with Labour’s Jess Phillips. And, let’s be honest, the Portsmouth North representative always scrubs up very well too, if you get my drift.
However, I think that the highlight of the night for nearly everyone else was Russell T Davies’ blistering acceptance speech for the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The man behind Queer as Folk and Doctor Who, trashed the Tories, tore into the Trump Administration, slammed the lawmakers for their LGBT rights reluctance. And told the main sponsor Amazon to ‘pay their taxes.’
That, and the whole rip roaring speech, brought rapturous applause and most of the audience to their feet.
I was up for a gong myself but lost out on the Role Model of the Year Award to Andrew Moffatt.
The Birmingham School teacher who has bravely fought to keep teaching LGBT inclusive education against a barrage of protests was always going to get this – and quite rightly too.
Welsh Government were also, once again, always the Bridesmaid never the Bride. The Public Sector Equality Award was jointly snatched out of our hands by Northumbria Police and our lovely friends the National Assembly for Wales.
A very well-deserved win for our small, clever little country and the organisation that has done so much to push the queer, especially trans, agenda forward.
The Award was brilliantly, and bilingually, picked up by the OUTNAW LGBT+ Staff Network Chair Bleddyn Harris.
Beautiful Bleddyn is an inspirational and energetic breath of fresh air who will take the Network onwards and upwards for sure.
I for one look forward to working with him on all the ambitious plans we plotted, bleary eyed, on the train home.
Special mention absolutely must be given to former Chair Craig Stephenson, and his team. Without their years of blood, sweat and tears, the Senedd would never have got to the ceremony, never mind the stage. Diolch Boyo!
Credit where credit is due was very much on mind, as the Awards ended, the lights came on, and Bleddyn and I staggered out into the night clutching our goody bags.
As always a big and heartfelt thanks to our fellow Welsh friend Cai and the Pink News Team for this fabulous occasion – and also for their support the whole year around.
This swan song was the ultimate final curtain for me in my former PRISM Co Chair role.
But as you know, my LGBT growth game is still super strong, and my queer activism is definitely not done and dusted.
So I won’t say a great big Gay Goodbye to the Pink News Awards just yet, more like Au Revoir.
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Sue Vincent-Jones, writing as Mrs SVJ, is a Barry born journalist, editor, and communications specialist. She blogs, and writes, about all things Barry – and her life in the wider world, through the eyes of a, quirky and queer, local girl done good.
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