It is with great honour that I have been voted the 6th most influential person on this year’s Independent on Sunday Rainbow List – an annual list compiled to celebrate today’s 101 most influential lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people in Britain.
It took nine judges more than seven hours to decide who would appear on this year’s Rainbow List. Thousands of public nominations were submitted by email and by post, in the way of drawings, and letters.
Now in its 16th year, the Rainbow List changed its direction this year to focus more on pioneers. The list would recognise and celebrate those who had paved the way for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) equality, and also actively celebrate those who, in 2015, fought for recognition from the intersection of different cultures, religions, and identities.
It would celebrate those fighting adversity.
It would celebrate those actively working to raise visibility and change lives.
Thank you everyone who voted for me, who recognise the work that Naz and Matt Foundation is doing to end homophobia triggered by religious and cultural beliefs. This year has been hard, it’s been tough, we are slowly making impact, but there is still so much work that needs to be done here in the UK, and around the world.
Next year, we must, somehow, make an even bigger impact. To make a bigger change. We must not stop. We will get there.
Matt set up the Naz and Matt Foundation in memory of his soulmate and fiancé, Naz, who passed away two days after being confronted about his sexuality by his religious parents. It was the first time that they knew their son was gay, in a relationship with Matt for 13 years and that they were planning to get married.