Harry Styles, Sir Ian McKellen and MNEK lead the Gay Times Honours winners
Singer Rebecca Ferguson, Hollyoaks actor Kieron Richardson, Sheree Murphy and Real Housewives of Cheshire cast all turn out for the annual Gay Times magazine awards bash
Harry Styles, Sir Ian McKellen and MNEK led the winners at the 2018 Gay Times Honours tonight (Thursday 8 November).
The glittering ceremony saw a series of famous faces and high profile LGBTQ figures descend on Liverpool’s prestigious Walker Art Gallery for the occasion at which honourees were celebrated though specially commissioned paintings which will remain on display at the gallery for 14 days.
Liverpool-born soul singer Rebecca Ferguson performed at the event which was also attended by Sheree Murphy, Russell Tovey and Ranj Singh.
Harry Styles received the LGBTQ Advocate honour after showing his support for the LGBTQ community by waiving Pride and trans flags during his headline shows earlier this year, while Sir Ian McKellen won the Gay Times Honour for Lifetime Achievement.
Sir Ian McKellen said: “When I finally made it out of my half-open closet 30 years ago, Gay Times generously put me on its front cover. That’s when it really hit me that I’d joined the human race, confident at last to be myself, whatever anyone else thought about me or my kind.”
Singer MNEK secured the Gay Times Honour for Music following the stellar release of his debut album Language upon the world.
Organisations including the Albert Kennedy Trust which was set up to support homeless young LGBTQ people and the Michael Causer Foundation, the charity set up in memory of Liverpool teenager Michael Causer who died following a homophobic attack, were also honoured. The parents of Michael Causer were presented with the honour by Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson OBE.
Gay Times owner James Frost said: “They Gay Times Honours were established to celebrate inspirational members of the LGBTQ community from all over the UK who have worked to advance the rights of our community. Every honouree is incredibly deserving of the recognition.
“Sir Ian McKellen has used his platform to campaign for LGTBQ equality for over thirty years. It is fantastic that people like him are now joined by a new generation of LGBTQ trailblazers such as MNEK and allies like Harry Styles.
“It has been a fanatic night for LGBTQ visibility in Britain and around the world. Paintings of all of the honourees will be on display at the Walker Art Gallery, who have been a wonderful event parent, for the next two weeks.”
Charlotte Keenan, Curator of British Art at National Museums Liverpool, said:
“The Walker is delighted to host this year’s Gay Times Honours. National Museums Liverpool is dedicated to exhibiting all aspects of culture while tackling social, historical and contemporary issues. We have a strong commitment to human rights, social justice and equality for all. The representation and contribution LGBTQ+ people have made to society over a long period of time has been largely misinterpreted or omitted. The Walker is committed to correcting this, through projects in close collaboration with LGBTQ+ audiences and groups, including Pride and Prejudice, retrospectively researching LGBTQ+ history in our collections making new acquisitions for the collection by LGBTQ+ artists.
“Last year, our 2017 exhibition Coming Out was the UK’s largest contemporary art exhibition exploring sexuality and gender in art, and we continue to work closely with our community partners to build the Walker’s LGBTQ+ programme and collections. We are really pleased to be recognised for our ongoing work to ensure representation and visibility for LGBTQ+ artists and history in our collections, displays and programming, and look forward to welcoming Gay Times Honours to the Gallery as we continue our work.”
The full Gay Times Honours winners include:
The Gay Times Honour for Sport
The Gay Times Honour for Arts + Culture supported by dwell
The Gay Times Honour for Music
The Gay Times Honour for Education supported by Training Strategies
Diversity Role Models
The Gay Times Honour for Media
The Gay Times Honour for STEM presented by Arup
The Gay Times Honour for Future Fighters in association with Kaleidoscope Trust
The Gay Times Honour for LGBTW Advocate
The Gay Times Honour for Lifetime Achievement
Sir Ian McKellen
A Special Recognition Gay Times Honour presented by The Mayor of Liverpool
Michael Causer Foundation