Sunday, 23 October 2011

The IoS Pink List 2011: It's Just A Bit Of Fun, But Please Write In...

The votes are in!
The people have spoken!
The judges have ignored them!
This year's Independent On Sunday Pink List is as bafflingly random as ever.
A leader column acknowledges this; "It was never supposed to be a rival to the Nobel prizes. Its purpose was always to entertain, to inform and to celebrate the contribution to national life made by gay and lesbian citizens."
This year it has the veneer of democracy; they asked "readers to nominate the unsung heroes and heroines who make life as a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person better – as well as the celebrities who make the world a more entertaining place."
It was good to see Elly Barnes (above), a teacher at Stoke Newington School, at number one.
Though the claim of her "eradicating homophobia in her school" by teaching about LGBT history sounds like ever such a slight exaggeration.
(And is nicked from a hyperbolic line in The Guardian).
But where were the other "unsung" community activists?
Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, MD of UK Black Pride (64), Paul Martin, chief executive of Manchester's Lesbian & Gay Foundation (74), Nick Partridge of the THT (81), and Jackie Crozier of Manchester Pride (87).
Is that it?
Quite bafflingly - particularly if this was put to a (kind of) popular vote - Peter Tatchell is not featured at all.
The disgraced Independent contributor Johann Hari was also noticable by his absence - I wonder why...
Most offensive inclusion? Lord John Browne.
Former boss at BP when they were polluting the Gulf of Mexico and killing their workers.
Walked into a lordship, told the government to lift the cap on tuition fees.
And being forced out the closet cause you lied to a court about how you met your boyfriend might be sad, but hardly makes someone a queer hero or (barf) "national treasure".
This year was the first Pink List to include bisexual and trans people.
An admirable move, of course, but it makes the list rather wonky.
Just as it's well-meaning that the list tries to get an equal number of lesbians and gay men, but as there are markedly less out lesbians with a public profile you end up with some inclusions that just look tokenistic and silly.
Like the "night editor of The Times in Scotland" (94) and "Britain's only Goth, lesbian, transsexual stand-up comedian" (96).
Well, good for them, but does anyone think they should be in this 101?
And does anyone really think Scott "Nice But Dim" Mills deserves to be in the top ten?
And what on Jupiter has Jessie J ever done to warrant being placed at number three?
And where the fuck was Bradley Manning - a British citizen and truly heroic and influential (gay) man.
Oh well, same time next year...


  1. Looks like I was pushed out of the Top 10, this year.
    I don't mind - I don't like to shout my considerable accomplishments from the rooftops.

  2. Isn't Jessie J trans?