Independent Pink List LGBT Heroes
Consider a Vote for David Watters
October, 2011 …………………………………………………………………………………………………
The Independent on Sunday‘s annual Pink List returns next month, celebrating the 101 most influential lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Britain.
As is the case every year, last year’s list was populated with many a recognisable name from the rank and file of celebrity. There were MPs, authors, theatre impresarios, comedians, directors of film, directors of museums, media moguls, a poet laureate and of course a colourful array of stage and screen thespians. Occasionally, there was the odd surprise, such as a trooper from the Household Cavalry or, rarer still, from the homophobic ridden world of sport, an ex-Captain of the Welsh Rugby Team.
It’s notable that only three of the names on the list were identified as human rights campaigners or activists. It’s very likely that most, if not all, of the other 98 nominees also have some interest in the pursuit of human rights (and some I am sure have actively done so) but it’s not what defines them. The current social fascination with celebrity means that for someone in the media spotlight, the single act of coming out and saying “I am gay” is a political act, and one that can land you on the Pink List. What the majority of the nominees have in common is media attention. Yes they are gay, but they are also famous, often becoming more so when announcing their homosexuality.
I don’t deny that living in the public eye and being openly gay has its challenges. I too admire those ‘celebrities’ that are out, who use that honesty to challenge and change public opinion. But where on this List are the people who are not in the glare of the media; the ones who fight legislation that bolsters inequality, who actively pursue the human rights and equality for all? Since the printing of the first gay magazine Der Eigene in 1896, to the protesters at the Stonewall Riots in 1969, through to those that walked in the first Gay Pride Parade in Prague this year, there have been many an unsung hero who have helped bring about change and given us the human rights that we are fortunate enough to enjoy today. David Watters is one such person.
David is currently fighting for marriage equality in the European Courts of Human Rights as a part of the Equal Love Campaign. He also founded the Give ‘Em Hope campaign and is the author of Never Blend In. He has also spoken alongside Peter Tatchell and Stuart Milk at the No to Hate Vigil in Trafalgar Square and is a supporter of the HIV/AIDS charity the Terrence Higgins Trust.
A vote for David on the Independent on Sunday‘s Pink List is a vote for all of those that campaign tireless for everyone’s human rights, who do so without the aid of fame or the media coverage that comes with it.