Opened my front door one morning to a cheeky Postie bearing gifts.
Ripped open the padded package to reveal my Pink News Role Model Shortlist Certificate fantastically framed in silver – nice one.
As you may know, I spent an outstanding evening at the company’s Awards recently.
A night to remember both for the glam and the glitz, plus the joy of seeing so many marvellous mates recognised for their role in making a difference.
I was, of course, honoured and humbled to be nominated in the Role Model category with such illustrious company.
But to be honest, I was just chuffed to bits to be there.
My admiration and respect to the Role Model winner Andrew Moffatt, the Birmingham LGBT teacher still battling bigots as I type.
I am more than happy with my fantastic framed memory though.
It is now hanging firmly on my study wall, alongside my concert tickets collage, posters of my much-loved musicians, and pics of my fabulous little family – in other words, everything close to my heart.
Believe me, our queer community is definitely one of those things, with the desire to make a difference running right through me like a stick of Barry Island rock.
And, for me, that is what these Awards are all about. Not just the glory but the profile and platform they give you to show others who you are, what you do, and how you can help.
Yes, it is important to celebrate success – we all don’t do it enough. It is also crucial that our communities recognise and reward those who are actually trying to make the queer world a bit of a better place.
But, for me, it is the awareness-raising of all those cracking companies, brilliant businesses, inspiring individual and crusading campaigners, that helps our LGBT life the most.
Going for this type of gold is part of the bigger picture. It is crucial we have the confidence and commitment to raise our individual and collective profile and presence.
By doing this, we have proved that we have talked the talk, and walked the walk. That we are visible role models who are happy to put our head above the parapet.
And, most importantly of all, we are here to give something back by helping others to follow in our footsteps and be the best they can be.
I am proud of every single Award that I have picked up – individually, and collectively with the communities, networks and groups I have been lucky to be part of.
Equally as proud of all our endless activism, and combined campaigning that has not won an Award, made a shortlist or taken a trophy – we were in it for the right reasons not just the reward.
In the spirit of the pay it forward ethos, I myself have also nominated both fellow activists, and campaigning cohorts, too not just in the queer sphere either.
The long, late nights after work, bent over a hot typewriter filling in the forms with their list of questions and demands of evidence, are so worth it.
As I have been blessed enough to have been invited to be part of their journey, it is the least I can do to ensure that these, often modest, mates receive their recognition reward.
Massive thank you to all those who go above and beyond, every day in all different ways.
Thank you too Pink News, and all the others out there, for organising Awards to showcase out hard working, talented and diverse community.
Bring Season 2020!
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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.