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10 LGBTQ trailblazers bringing queer perspectives to media and broadcast

Attitude 101 empowered by Bentley celebrates LGBTQ trailblazers.

By Alastair James

Following on from the success of last year’s inaugural list, Attitude 101 is back and once again we’re celebrating 100 LGBTQ trailblazers across 10 categories, and one person of the year. This time around we’re proud to be empowered by Bentley

The categories are Politics; The Future, supported by Clifford Chance; Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths; Sport; Travel; Film TV and Music, supported by Taimi; Business, Financial and Legal; Third Sector and the Community; and Fashion, Art and Design supported by Klarna. Our Person of the Year is game-changing rapper Lil Nas X. 

You can check out the full list and interviews with some of those included in the Attitude 101 issue – out now to download and to order globally. Check out our Media and Broadcast category below.

Dean McCullough, Presenter

Photo: Francisco Gomez de Villaboa

As Radio 1’s latest recruit, Dean McCullough beams his sunny personality over the air, as the first openly gay presenter on the station from the get-go. Discovering his love of presenting while at drama school in London, Dean spent a number of years working and presenting at Gaydio, the UK’s biggest LGBT+ radio station. Now, the 29-year-old Irish broadcaster now presents his own show Friday to Sunday from 10:30am to 13:30pm. Dean has also spoken candidly about turning sober telling Attitude: “It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.”

Freddy McConnell, Author

Photo: Danny Burrows

Since first documenting his transition in The Guardian’s ‘Self-made Man’ column, multimedia journalist Freddy McConnell has been helping to move the conversation forward for trans people, particularly when it comes to having families. His experience giving birth as a gay trans man was documented in 2019 film, Seahorse, and queer parenting continues to be explored in his Vice column ‘Dad Bod’ and podcast, Pride & Joy. Next year will see the publication of Freddy’s first children’s book, Little Seahorse and the Big Question, about a solo-parent family, as well as the birth of his second child.

Alice Oseman, Novelist

Since securing their first publishing deal a decade ago aged just 17, Alice Oseman has established themself as one of the UK’s most exciting writers, with four acclaimed novels and an unyielding commitment to representing LGBTQ+ characters and relationships in young adult fiction. The aromantic, asexual Solitaire author is set for even bigger things in 2022 as the TV adaptation of their beloved LGBTQ+ webcomic Heartstopper finally arrives on Netflix — and with Alice working on the series as both a writer and executive producer, fans can be assured that the creative magic of the original is sure to be captured on screen.

Paris Lees, Journalist & author

Journalist, author, and former Attitude columnist Paris Lees continues to be one of the community’s most enthrallingly forthright voices — something recognised by British Vogue, who brought her on board as their first out transgender columnist in 2018. Already the first trans woman to present shows on BBC Radio 1 and Channel 4, this year saw the release of Paris’s long-awaited memoir-novel, What It Feels Like For a Girl, which took a typically no-holds-barred look at her troubled teen years growing up in the Midlands.

Liv Little, Writer & founder of gal-dem

Liv Little was just 21 years old when she founded gal-dem, the vital online and print publication that shook up the modern media landscape with a long-overdue focus on the experiences of women of colour and non-binary people of colour. Six years later, the south-east London-born writer has stepped back from day-to-day duties to become the magazine’s president of the board and return to university, but the work doesn’t stop: she’s already signed a two-book deal with Dialogue Books, with the first, a queer love story entitled Rosewater, set for release in spring 2023.

Ben Hunte, Reporter

The BBC’s first-ever LGBTQ+ correspondent recently departed the Beeb to take up a new position as a senior reporter for VICE World News, investigating stories about LGBTQ+ people, race, and inequality from around the globe. The 29-year-old journalist and former Attitude cover star has certainly hit the ground running, serving up conversation-shifting exclusives on everything from homophobic and transphobic hate crime to secret meetings between government officials and ‘ex-gay’ leaders from a group offering so-called gay ‘conversion therapy’.

Wayne Bruce, Director of Communications, Bentley Motors

Wayne Bruce has helped steer Bentley’s ongoing commitment to both its LGBTQ+ staff and customers. An executive sponsor for the car maker’s BeProud LGBTQ+ colleague network, Bruce played a role in launching a five-step Diversity & Inclusion strategy as part of Bentley’s Beyond100 plan to lead the way in sustainable motoring. After initiating the firm’s sponsorship of Cheshire East Pride (near their Crew HQ) and making headlines with a rainbow-wrapped Continental GT Convertible, 2021 saw the Pride support extended to a five-car Unifying Spur programme and representation at multiple global LGBTQ+ events.

Roxy Bourdillon, Editor of DIVA magazine

Roxy Bourdillon was appointed editor of DIVA magazine in September 2021. Since joining the UK’s leading title for lesbian and bisexual women and non-binary people in 2015, the award-winning writer has interviewed some of the world’s biggest stars and helped to amplify community voices from around the world (while also finding the time to give talks about The L Word at the British Film Institute and sitting on the jury for the Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival). In her first weeks at the helm of DIVA, Roxy has continued to strongly assert the publication’s trans-inclusive outlook.

Lena Waithe, Actor, screenwriter & producer

Photo: Netflix

The Emmy-winning Master of None star continues to assert herself as one of TV and film’s most formidable talents, both in front of and behind the camera. Whether she’s creating, writing and executive-producing original series including The Chi and Twenties or stealing scenes in shows like Westworld, the 37-year-old continues to smash ceilings for Black lesbian women in Hollywood. Waithe’s ascendency is set to continue with the recent inking of a major new multi-year deal with Warner Bros. Television Group, beginning with Chicago-set basketball drama Hoop Dreams.

Russell Tovey, Actor & broadcaster

Photo: Mark Cant

Not content with simply being one of the UK’s most prolific screen and stage stars, Years and Years star Russell has carved out yet another niche as an acclaimed arts broadcaster through his podcast, Talk Art. Along with gallerist and co-host Robert Diament, long-time art collector Russell has brought his passion for the medium to audiences new and old through the warm and accessible weekly show, which features candid discussions with legendary artists such as Grayson Perry and Tracey Emin as well as chats with celebrity art enthusiasts including Sir Elton John and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke.

Check out the full, detailed list in the Attitude 101 issue, which is out now to download and to order globally. The Attitude 101 issue includes the FREE Attitude 2022 calendar, presented in association with Taimi.

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