It’s Pink List time again, and it’s been more exciting than ever because The Independent On Sunday, the British newspaper that compiles the list of the country’s 101 most influential LGBT people, have, for the first time, invited people to send in nominations. These votes will then be considered by the judging panel, which features the likes of DIVA magazine editor Jane Czyzselska, Conservative MP Margot James, Welsh rugby star Gareth Thomas and Tamsin Omond, founder of the environmental campaign group Climate Rush.
Last year, there were 31 of our kind on the list, which is still quite a few steps from equality, but this was nine more than in 2009. So, by our reckoning, there should be at least 40 women on this year’s list.
Because we love a vote and writing lists, we’ve combined the two and we’ve written a list of the ten women that we would vote for. This is in no particular order, and we’ve concentrated on women in entertainment because this is an entertainment site. Herein lies it:
Melanie Rickey – Many people believe that Britain’s beloved Queen Of Shops, Mary Portas is the most fashionable lesbian in the land. While Mary cuts a fine gib, we’ve always thought that her wife and Grazia magazine’s fashion editor-at-large has the more coveted wardrobe. And lo and behold, in their first ever joint interview for The Guardian last week, Mel was credited with helping Mary dress in the rather splendid way she does.
But her talents don’t end with advice to her spouse: Mel’s fashion blog has become one of the most influential in the UK, featuring everything from Courtney Love, the model Freya, new label campaigns, gorgeous photos and a successful campaign to bring the Alexander McQueen exhibition to the UK. Melanie wasn’t on the Pink List last year, but it would be a crime (against fashion) if she doesn’t make it this year.
Heather Peace – What a year it’s been for Heather Peace. Her sexy, understated performance as DS Sam Murray in Lip Service catapulted her from “that girl from the fire engine show years ago” to lesbian superstar. She used to play gigs for beer money in front of a handful of friends and now girls faint when she takes to the stage at her sold out concerts across the country. To cap it off, she will become the only out actress in a mainstream, primetime television show when her role as a new teacher in drama series Waterloo Road hits our screens in 2012.
On a more serious note, by spending time online chatting to fans, taking part in the Stonewall “It Gets Better” campaign and spreading the message that being out, being successful and living a happy life is possible, Heather has also become a beacon of inspiration for many. Last year, she was a respectable number 40 on the Pink List, but we predict she will be somewhat higher this time around.
Stella Duffy – Actress, director, writer, tweeter supreme, Stella Duffy is a woman of many artistic talents. She has been long listed for the Orange Prize twice, last year she was Stonewall’s Writer of the Year for the second time and her recent adaptation of the play Medea was one of the highlights of this year’s Edinburgh Festival. For the Americans that aren’t aware of her work, then we recommend her latest novel Theodora, Actress, Empress, Whore (released two weeks ago in the US).
Duffy is also one of our all-time favourite Tweeters, because she shares her many opinions and feelings in 140 characters with simply brilliant execution, particularly whenever Prime Minister David Cameron is on television. She is also an active, outspoken voice campaigning for equality and, along with her wife Shelley Silas (also a writer); she is a patron of Diversity Role Models, a charity that seeks to prevent homophobic bullying in UK schools.