The Queen’s Birthday Honours list 2017 has been released, with several leading LGBT campaigners being honoured for their services to the community.
The awards, which are given out twice a year, once on nce on New Year’s Day and then on The Queen’s official birthday, are designed to recognise those from across the UK who have made achievements in public life.
LGBT campaigners awarded an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) include Babak Erfani, Chairman of Archway, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Network, and Gary Hardman for his work with Icebreakers, a self-help group for gay and bisexual men in Manchester.
Gwyn Starkey, the former director of Manchester’s LGBT Foundation and another figure involved in the Icebreakers group, also receives an MBE for services to Manchester’s LGBT community.
Peggy Sherwood, chair of the Jewish Gay and Lesbian Group, is honoured with an MBE for services to the Jewish community, while Nigel Patrick Harris, JP Director at Camden LGBT Forum receives an MBE for services for the LGBT community.
In total, 1,109 have received an award in a list which is said to be the “most diverse ever”.
50% of this year’s award-winners are female; 10% are people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds (BAME) and 6.5% are those consider themselves to have a disability.
Meanwhile, the CEO of gay-friendly Australian airline Qantas, Alan Joyce, has been named in the Order of Australia in the Birthday Honours list.
Joyce, who is openly gay, has been instrumental in the company’s vocal support of LGBT equality.
In May, Joyce was assaulted by an anti-gay protester who threw a pie in his face during a speech in Perth in protest at Qantas’s support of marriage equality.
The businessman said following the incident: “I have every intention to continue to be vocal on those social and community issues.
“It’s important for our shareholders, our employees, and our customers. It’s called good corporate social responsibility.
“I’m a big believer in the great Australian expression a fair government it’s all about giving people equality.”