LCR Pride Awards celebrates LGBT+ community supporters

Wed, October 2nd, 2019

Stars and supporters of the LGBT+ community celebrated at LCR Pride Awards

Lifetime Award presented to drag icon, Lady Seaane and Culture Liverpool recognised with special accolade

Stars and supporters of the Liverpool City Region’s LGBT+ community were celebrated last week at a glittering ceremony for the inaugural LCR Pride Awards, hosted by Drag Idol UK 2015 winner and renowned performer, Danny Beard.

The fourteen awards, presented by the LCR Pride Foundation in association with Merseyrail, shone a spotlight on the bravest, brightest and best of the region’s LGBT+ community and its allies.

As well as twelve accolades revealed in the award’s shortlist, two special awards were presented on the evening - the Lifetime Award and the LCR Pride Foundation award.

The Lifetime Award was presented to renowned drag performer, Lady Seanne, also known as Shaun McKenna, by the Lord Mayor Of Liverpool, Councillor Anna Rothery.

Lady Seanne was described in nominations as a champion for LGBT+ rights, an iconic character providing a positive influence and an inspiration to many. Her thirty-year career has seen her tread the boards at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, join “Liverpool’s First Transvestite Band” Whole New Dream and perform at nightclubs across Liverpool and the North West, as well as appearing on TV and working as a professional DJ.

The victim of a vicious homophobic attack in 2011, Lady Seanne was praised for fighing for LGBT+ equality and consistent contribution to the betterment of the community.

Speaking at the event, Lady Seanne said: “I’m stunned. To receive this award is an honour. Liverpool was a very different city when I first came out and to see how far we have come is absolutely incredible.

“I have always supported the LGBT+ community in Liverpool because it has always supported me. It’s let me make a living doing what I do and I hope I get to keep doing for a long time yet because I love it.”
In another surprise presentation, Chair of the LCR Pride Foundation, Andi Herring, revealed Culture Liverpool as the winner of a special award recognising outstanding support to the foundation and its work.

The accolade was presented to Liverpool City Council’s cultural service in recognition of its role in establishing the LCR Pride Foundation, for its commitment to inclusivity and diversity and for its shared vision to make the Liverpool City Region the most LGBT+ friendly in the UK.

As a mark of gratitude the organisation was honoured with the title of ‘Grand Marshall’ at the 2020 ‘March with Pride’, leading the annual protest through the city alongside the Michael Causer Foundation.

The Hilton Liverpool City Centre’s Grace Suite was dressed in rainbow colours to highlight the importance of inclusivity, acceptance and equality and there were show-stopping performances from Danny Beard throughout the evening, as well as raffles to raise money for the LCR Pride Foundation, with prizes from Liverpool FC, Everton FC, Hilton, NGUP, Floral Hall, Epstein Theatre, Atkinson Theatre Southport, St Helens Theatre Royal, Neighbourhood, Olive, Farmageddon, Winning Moves and Carter Gore up for grabs.

Following his performance, Danny Beard said: “It was wonderful to be in a room filled with so much love. We live in a world where everyone is quick to judge or comment when something is bad. We need to tell more people they are doing a good job more often!”

Andi Herring, Chair of the LCR Pride Foundation, added: “To have so many inspirational members of our community gathered together and to be able to celebrate and recognise their work is an incredible honour.

“These are the people who are fighting daily for LGBT+ rights in the Liverpool City Region. The brightest, bravest and best of the LGBT+ community and its allies. They not only share the foundation’s vision to make our region the most LGBT+ friendly in the UK, but they are actively working towards making it a reality.

“We would like to extend our congratulations and heartfelt gratitude to all of the winners and finalists.”

Jane English, HR Director at Merseyrail, said: “Congratulations to all finalists and winners at this year’s LCR Pride Awards – the work that these individuals, groups and organisations do for the region’s LGBTQ+ community makes a huge impact and the ceremony was an incredibly inspiring experience.

“We are proud to be involved in this event as part of our commitment to the Liverpool City region and in supporting our employees to bring their best self to work, where they can express themselves and feel valued, and most importantly where they are treated equally, with respect as an individual. We will continue to work closely with the LCR Pride Foundation going forward.”

Celebrations continued into the evening with an after-party at the Hilton, where winners, finalists and guests danced the night away to music provided by Radio Xtra and Zest North West DJ, Josef Hollywood.

As well as the Lifetime Award and LCR Pride Foundation Award, the following winners were also celebrated at the ceremony:

LGBT+ Young Person sponsored by Ripstone Games

Ben Saunders
Ben, who was named Stonewall Young Campaigner of the Year in 2019, has been working locally on a campaign to improve the support for transgender young people in school, following his own negative experience as a trans masculine young person in an all girls school. He has conducted individual research and interviews with trans young people and has made a short film to show why it is important that trans young people get appropriate support in school and what impact a lack of support has on not only education but also mental health.

LGBT+ Community Group sponsored by Merseyrail

Comics Youth
Comics Youth is the first organisation in the UK to provide holistic comics-based literacy and wellbeing projects for marginalised children and young people aged 8-25 and is based in the Liverpool City Region. The organisation is unique and is run by young people under 30 with the same lived experiences as its young people including LGBTQIA identities, mental ill- health, trauma and chronic illnesses.

Community Event of the Year sponsored by Riverside Housing

House of Suarez Vogue Ball
The Vogue Ball brings people from all walks of life together to appreciate, learn and enjoy dancing and arts of all kinds in a safe space together. It provides people with a community that they can be a part of, helping all people, but particularly the LGBT+ community to belong. It is a positive event, full of positive people, positive light and love. The growth and increasing success of the Vogue Ball is testimony to the fact that more and more people are being helped by this event and its organisers.

Campaigner of the Year sponsored by Nonconform

Sue Logie
Sue runs the Southport LGBTQ+ youth group New Beginnings, where young people go to be provided with a very safe place to confide in someone they trust and look up to as a fellow LGBTQ+ member of the community. Sue was once a victim of hate crime and openly shares her moving and inspirational story, volunteering her time to go into schools and workplaces to deliver a LGBTQ+ presentations on hate crime within not only the LGBTQ+ community but outside of the community too.

Ally of the Year sponsored by Love Lane Bar & Kitchen

DCC Julie Cooke
Deputy Chief Constable of Cheshire police, Julie was previously an officer with Merseyside police for more than 26 years . Throughout her career she has been a visible ally to the police's LGBT+ network, colleagues and communities. Since becoming the Police Chief's Council Lead on LGBT+ Julie is not only a local, but also national and international ally for all LGBT+ people and she works tirelessly to progress rights across the board. Julie stood firm when challenged for wearing her rainbow lanyard, which was deemed 'too political' and encouraged other senior leaders to follow suit, making the statement that love is not political.

LGBT+ Friendly Business of the Year sponsored by Westminster Associates

Agent
Agent is an award-winning full-service brand and communications agency based in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle. The agency has been led since its inception in 2006 by Paul Corcoran, a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community. Inclusivity and diversity to take centre stage at Agent and it has specific policies in place to ensure a comfortable working environment for every single member of the team. The business actively supports the LGBTQ+ community and even celebrated the city region’s thriving LGBTQ+ business community with a special event ahead of this year's Pride in Liverpool.

Employee of the Year sponsored by Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and the Metro Mayor

Stephen Lancaster-Frankland
Stephen, who is a bartender at The Lisbon, received multiple nominations describing him as "more than a bartender" and a "stalwart of the community" and praising him for his positive and caring nature. His nominations described how he has directly helped people from the LGBT+ community going through difficult times and recognised him as a continuous, constant and stable member of the LGBT+ community who goes above and beyond to ensure no one feels that they don't belong.

Business Person of the Year sponsored by Morecrofts Solicitors

Paul Corcoran
Paul is chief executive of full-service brand and communications agency, Agent and founding director of social enterprise, Agent Academy CIC. As a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, Paul has demonstrated extraordinary business and leadership skills and represents the Liverpool City Region’s business community in his role as deputy chair of the Liverpool LEP and industry champion of the Policy and Evidence Centre for the creative industries, among other roles. Through this, he ensures the voice of the LGBTQ+ community is heard by businesses, cultural institutions and organisations that lead on national policies.

Michael Causer Award for work to tackle Hate Crime sponsored by Michael Causer Foundation

Sheena-Marie Williams
Sheena has a passion for research that supports those targeted by hatred. Her masters dissertation was original research concerning homophobia and was the FIRST research ever to include the opinions/responses from heterosexual males. She runs a page for LGBT women with over 13.5k people, a UK group for the same with almost 4K and an international group with 76k women from all around the world. She has now joined the probation service where she is a local lead for Pride in prison and probation.

Inclusive Sports Group of the Year sponsored by Jack All Productions

Mersey Marauders FC
Mersey Marauders FC has been going for over a decade, providing an inclusive and diverse culture and atmosphere for people from all backgrounds, primarily aimed at - and run by - the LGBT+ community. It works with local and national initiatives around kicking out homophobia in sport and also supports the LGBT+ community on a general level, working alongside charities and community programmes.

Performer / Personality of the Year sponsored by Barefoot

Ruthie Adamson a.k.a ‘Wonky Wordsmith’
Inspirational spoken word poet Ruthie Adamson a.k.a. 'Wonky Wordsmith' is an artist and activist taking a stand and enabling the LGBT disabled community. Recently performing at the 2019 March with Pride muster, she is a voice to be heard amongst the masses.

LGBT+ Friendly Venue sponsored by Hilton Liverpool City Centre

Kitty's Showbar
Billy and his team were nominated for their relentless work raising the awareness of the needs of everybody in the LGBT+ community and beyond. Kitty's has helped raise the awareness of the community through its policy of EVERYBODY IS WELCOME. The venue provides excellent entertainment, hosts free pensioner's lunch, a Trans Disco and it is always raising money for charity.

For more information visit www.lcrpride.co.uk/awards

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