The Independent on Sunday’s annual pink list (IPL) was published on 23 October.It is a list of the Lesbian, Gay, Bi, and Transgendered people (LGBT) great and good. Readers nominated a list of whom they thought were the unsung heroes and heroines of LGBT life, which was then narrowed down to a ‘top 100’ by a panel of judges.
Though the list is a good way of praising individuals for their hard work, but is the IPL the best method by which to do this, and how representative is it? The alternative to this list is Time Out’s Pride Power List (PPL) which is compiled for gay people by gay people.
Linda Riley, from gay events and publishing giant Square Peg Media, who also acts a judge for the PPL said: “We felt there was a need for a list that involved a greater variety of sources that represent the gay community. We have tried to make it more public-oriented by asking the advice of a wider selection of people and organisations. The original top 300 were sourced by various people, who were given the chance to submit their favourites. This means there are people nominated who aren’t necessarily known to the wider public and not necessarily famous, such as business professionals.”
The PPL gives those who are not as well known as others, the opportunity to be recognised for their work and contributions to the LGBT community: a point highlighted by looking at the top 10 individuals of both lists.
Where the IPL comprises mainly of famous broadcasters and actors (bar the number one spot being held by a teacher), the PPL is made up of writers, activists, and politicians, people who may not have a face you would recognise on the street. The individuals who make it on to the PPL are those who are inspirational to the LGBT community and have contributed greatly to it.
Those in the top 10 of the IPL may feature lower down on the PPL but still are included in the top 100 and recognised for their work.
For example number 6 on the PPL, Russell T Davies, is rated 47 on the IPL. It seems that maybe the IPL is also less prestigious as those not included in the top 100 get a nod of recognition as ‘national treasures’. The number of individuals mentioned as national treasures who are not on the list is huge, and it seems like this makes the IPL into a list of almost every single person in the UK who is well known and gay.
Some of the individuals at the top of the PPL get only a mention in the IPL, including the number one choice, rugby star Gareth Thomas, and actor and campaigner Sir Ian McKellen and author Sarah Waters.
But some people didn’t even make the cut for the IPL, despite their hard work and efforts, including politician Chris Smith, who is a member of the House of Lords and was the UK’s first openly gay MP, and Hope Powell CBE, coach of the England women’s football team and the first lesbian to achieve a UEFA pro license.
View this years Pride power list here.