Gok Wan

You can nominate your inspirational heroes, from celebrities to colleagues and community champions.

The countdown to next year’s  Natwest British LGBT Awards has begun with a series of celebrities calling for the public to nominate their gay heroes and straight allies.

Dubbed the ‘Gay Oscars’, the red carpet extravaganza takes place in London May 2017. The awards pay tribute to the individuals and organisations who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to promoting equality and diversity.

Past winners include Alan Carr, Sue Perkins and presenter Clare Balding, as well as champions for LGBTI equality in the workplace and society.

TV style-guru Gok Wan and Loose Women star and former British LGBT Award winner Denise Welch are launching the nominations process this week.

Ahead of the nominations process today, Gok Wan said: “It really wasn’t that long ago that being gay meant being marginalised by sections of society, especially in the 80s and 90s. That’s why I love the British LGBT Awards because not only are they the glitziest event of the calendar year, they celebrate just how far we’ve come and serve as a reminder of the work we’ve still got to do.”

He added: “I’m proud to support these awards and encourage others to get involved by nominating the people who are most deserving for these glamorous gongs.”

Urging OutNews Global readers to get behind the nominations, Denise Welch added: “The countdown has started to the 2017 Natwest British LGBT Awards and I’m proud to be a supporter. It was a highlight of my career to win an award with Rebecca Root for Boy Meets Girl and I hope through the show we have been able to change attitudes towards to the LGBT community for the better.

“Nominations for the awards are now open, as a straight ally and awards ambassador, I am encouraging the public to get involved.”

Award categories include LGBT Celebrity of the Year, Music Artist of the Year, Celebrity Straight Ally of the Year and Media Moment of Year. People from business, charities and organisations will also be awarded.

Founder of the awards, Sarah Garrett, said: “It is incredibly exciting to open nominations ahead of the 2017 Natwest British LGBT Awards. Every year, these awards just get bigger and better. Last year we had a record number of nominations and we want to get an even wider range this year. People can join in by visiting the British LGBT Awards website at www.britishlgbtawards.co.uk.”

Speaking to OutNews Global, awards sponsor, Marjorie Strachan, from NatWest parent company, RBS, said: “The British LGBT Awards are now ranked amongst the most important annual celebrations of diversity and inclusion in the UK and we’re proud to be headline sponsoring them again for the fifth year running.

“Fundamentally, they acknowledge and reward those who deserve recognition for their outstanding commitment to the LGBT community.

“However, these awards are not just about celebrating the nominees and winners; they’re about creating a cultural shift towards acknowledging the benefit of inclusion and NatWest want to be a part of that. Nominations ahead of next year’s award ceremony are now open and we’re encouraging as many people as possible to get involved.”

You can nominate at www.britishlgbtawards.co.uk

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