The Attitude Pride Awards 2023, in association with Magnum has returned for its seventh year, honouring 11 everyday LGBTQ+ heroes and community icons.
London’s Langham hotel played host to the event on Thursday 22 June, where seven inspirational queer people were honoured – as well as four global Pride Icons.
Spice Girl Emma Bunton hosted the event, which saw the 11 winners awarded for their work in making the world that little bit better. You can read more about the 2023 Attitude Pride Award recipients in the Attitude July/August issue and we’ll be shining a spotlight on a different individual right here over the coming days.
The two-time Eurovision winner found acceptance in the queer community
When Loreen won Eurovision with hit song ‘Euphoria’ in 2012, everything changed for the Swedish singer. In May this year, 11 years after her first win, she returned to the competition and won again.
The bisexual star says she “wouldn’t be sitting here if it wasn’t for the LGBTQ+ community,” which “let me be me.” After spending years searching for her tribe, she finally found it.
From ‘It girl’ to activist, the model is shining a light on trans visibility
Model. Writer. Activist. And now, as the recipient of an Attitude Pride ICON Award, supported by Magnum, Munroe Bergdorf can officially add ‘icon’ to the list. But the honour leaves her a little dumbfounded.
“Oh, God,” she exclaims, when asked why she thinks she’s deserving of the title. “Maybe I represent the under-represented, and l’ve showed that even when you have a lot stacked against you, you can forge a path for yourself as yourself.”
The singer-songwriter is proving there’s no limits around creativity
“It’s pretty unexpected,” says Victoria Canal on receiving her Attitude Pride ICON Award, supported by Magnum. “I definitely am so honoured, and I’m encouraged that you don’t have to do anything overly loud for it to be real.”
The German-born, Spanish-American singer-songwriter was born without her right forearm due to amniotic band syndrome. But this has never narrowed her horizons.
The renowned DJ is spreading a message of positivity through music
Barbara Butch’s great-grandmother always told her that, “Everyone is beautiful; every body is beautiful.” This message is one that the French DJ, lesbian activist and body-positivity advocate has carried with her since childhood. During that time, she’s weathered homophobia, fatphobia and two abusive relationships.
Despite this, she’s learned to take these negative experiences and turn them into something positive, spreading this ethos throughout the LGBTQ+ community via her love of music. She’s a very worthy recipient of an ICON award at the 2023 Attitude Pride Awards, in association with Magnum.
DR JO HARTLAND
Calling out queerphobia is this doctor and academic’s mission
“A healthcare colleague asked if I really wanted to be known as a troublemaking gay,” smiles Dr Jo Hartland, senior lecturer at Bristol University and LGBTQ+ healthcare activist, reflecting on their work in medicine. “The irony is, I’ve made a career of being a troublemaking gay!”
Jo, who spent five years working in the NHS, now works with the LGBTQ+ Inclusive Medical Education Alliance. The network is committed to better teaching on LGBTQ+ health and developing curricula to help medical students examine any queerphobic bias and privilege they may bring to clinical practice and to ensure marginalised community voices are heard.
This freedom fighter organised Nigeria’s first mass LGBTQ+ protest
It was soon after Joel Mordi had organised Nigeria’s first mass LGBTQ+ Pride protest at the end of 2019 that his mother told him he needed to leave the country for his own safety. Days later, he was on a flight to London.
Though facing a number of horrific challenges since arriving in the UK, including alleged incidents of sexual assault and verbal abuse, Joel continues to fight for freedom – not just for himself, but for countless others too.
MICHAEL AND PAUL ATWAL-BRICE
As the fathers of two pairs of adopted twins, this couple embody equality
When Michael and Paul Atwal-Brice first met two-year-old identical twins Levi and Lucas, they felt an overwhelming connection and fell instantly in love. Although social workers told them that the boys were experiencing developmental delay, they went ahead with the adoption, becoming one of the first same-sex couples to do so in the UK.
The couple also played a huge role in campaigning to get the government to allow same-sex couples to convert civil partnerships to marriages. Along with their other adopted identical twin boys Lotan and Lance, the family live happily in a small Yorkshire community.
A deaf, gay man empowering others with his succesful fashion brand
Luke Christian is the founder of DEAF IDENTITY, an online fashion brand aiming to empower deaf people and break down barriers and stigmas surrounding the deaf community.
“Growing up, people joked and said: ‘My grandad wears hearing aids. Or: ‘I thought deaf people were OAPs?’ I felt passionate in trying to get rid of that stigma, to show deafness affects people of all ages.”
Founder of Trans Pride Brighton, a milestone event in its 10th year
“I’ve been a Rolls-Royce mechanic, a heavy metal DJ in Ibiza, a fishmonger and a builder!” laughs Sarah Savage. “But nothing felt right; nothing made me happy…’ The right vocation found her in the end, though.
The genesis of Trans Pride Brighton took place over drinks one evening at a pub in the English queer capital. “Half a dozen of us got together and decided we wanted to have a Pride centring trans people,” remembers Sarah. “We decided to make something happen.”
A firefighter who helped in Turkey’s recent earthquake disaster
Tracy Doyle was one of 77 International Search and Rescue (ISAR) team members who scrambled to respond after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Turkey and Syria earlier this year.
When asking her interpreter if her being LGBTQ+ would be an issue, she said: “‘No. You’ve left your home country to come and help my people. It doesn’t matter what your orientation is. That’s not important.” The two are still in contact.
The HUNGAMA founder spotlights South Asian queer authenticity
If it wasn’t for “one unfortunate night” in 2015, HUNGAMA, the “South Asian, alternative, queer, Bollywood night”, as its founder Ryan Lanji describes it, may never have come about.
“There just hasn’t been an access point for anyone to be proudly South Asian and queer. I’m so proud that HUNGAMA has been able to be one of the main places where your authenticity is what you get to celebrate.”
We’ll be spotlighting each winner online in the July/August issue of Attitude, which is available now to buy or download.
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