On Saturday 18 November 2017, Gay Times will present Gay Times Honours – an evening that will recognise organisations and individuals who have had a tremendous impact over the past 50 years on what it means to live openly and freely as LGBT+ people in Britain today.
The Gay Times Honours will be presented at the National Portrait Gallery, which was founded in 1856 to promote, through portraits, the appreciation of men and women who have made and are making British history and culture, and which has a long history of providing a platform for the voices of the LGBT+ community.
James Frost, owner and CEO of Gay Times, said: “Gay Times has a unique and first-hand perspective of the past 50 years – the ups, the downs, the advances.
“Gay Times is a big part of many people’s lives growing up in Britain, even more so in isolated and rural parts of the country. Even buying our magazine – especially with its bold and proud front cover – was an act of defiance and for many it was their first publication in which they saw LGBT+ people portrayed in a positive light.
“We are thrilled to present the Gay Times Honours in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery – the national home of the faces of the men and women who have made and continue to make – British history and culture. Gay Times Honours contributes to that national story.”
Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, adding: “We are proud to be partnering with Gay Times for the first Gay Times Honours.
“This year, the National Portrait Gallery is marking 50 years of advances in gay rights with our I Am Me season exploring art, gender and identity, and the tenth anniversary of our pioneering Queer Perspectives events.
“Recognising the role of individuals in shaping British history and culture is at the heart of everything we do at the National Portrait Gallery, so we are delighted to be able to host this important new initiative honouring the achievements of those who have made such a vital contribution to the LGBT+ community, and who should inspire us all.”
Ten Gay Times Honours will be presented with each category named posthumously after trailblazers, such as Justin Fashanu and Roberta Cowell, whose life stories are a significant milestone in LGBT+ history but who may not be familiar with many younger people.
Each Gay Times Honour will be given to an individual or organisation whose work has had a profound – and often unrecognised – impact on the lives of LGBT+ people in modern Britain. A soon-to-be-announced queer artist will capture the ten Honourees in portrait form ahead of November’s ceremony.
The charity partner for Gay Times Honours is the Kaleidoscope Trust, an organisation working towards a free and equal world for LGBT+ people around the world.
Simon Millson, Trustee of the Kaleidoscope Trust and Chair of the judging panel, said: “In this commemorative year, we are honouring the organisations and people who have won the rights and freedoms we often take for granted today, and which are absent in so many countries around the world.
“What has been achieved over the past 50 years with LGBT+ rights in Britain is remarkable, but not without sacrifice and much still needs to be done. Our ambition on the judging panel was to honour those who were brave enough to lead the way for others to follow, inspiring LGBT+ people, not just here in the UK but across the globe.”
The Gay Times Honours shortlist will be announced shortly.