Anthony Watson is the recipient of the Gary Frisch Gay Times Honour: Entrepreneurship.
Anthony Watson is a banking and technology entrepreneur who sits on the board of GLAAD, and who donates at least forty percent of his professional time to supporting charitable organisations and marginalised communities around the world.
“If someone could give me a pill tomorrow and say ‘this will make you straight’, I wouldn’t take it in a million years. I love the fact I’m gay; I love our community,” Anthony explains.
“I have achieved so much because of our community. I’ve had support from people that I would never have interacted with in any shape or form, so I absolutely believe that being gay, identify as being gay in a positive way, has propelled me in ways that just wouldn’t have happened.
“I love the fact I’m gay and wouldn’t change it for the world!”
Anthony was honoured at the National Portrait Gallery during the inaugural event on 18 November, introduced to the stage by Rob Curtis – managing director at Gaydar.
Gary Frisch – whom the Honour is named after – was the founder of Gaydar, a website that would go on to connect 3.5 million users in 23 countries and pave the way for a myriad dating services globally.
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The Gay Times Honours recognise those who have had a tremendous impact on what it means for us to live openly and freely as LGBTQ people in modern Britain.
There’s much to be said about the enduring contributions of the individuals and organisations amplified by their inclusion in the Gay Times Honours, but celebrated queer writer and author Armistead Maupin perhaps sums it up best: ”The world changes in direct proportion to the number of people willing to be honest about their lives.
In a bid to highlight those who’ve paved the way for justice, visibility and equality, the nine Honours are named posthumously after LGBTQ trailblazers.
Created in close collaboration with Gay Times Curator, Gemma Rolls-Bentley, and the nine Honourees themselves, specially commissioned artworks were created to recognise and reflect on the contributions of the individuals, organisations and institutions being honoured.
We’d like to extend a special thank you to Gemma for the passion and enthusiasm she has brought to the Gay Times Honours.
The recipients of the Gay Times Honours 2017 were decided by an esteemed panel of educators, activists and creators who volunteered their time and who worked hard to ensure comprehensive representation of the LGBTQ experience across the shortlists and Honourees.
They included Simon Millson, Topher Campbell, Polly Shute, Dr. Seb Buckle, Jacqui Gavin, Jon Huggett, Simon Black, Philippa Drew CB, Ryan Butcher and James Frost.
The Gay Times Honours 2017 was hosted by Jinkx Monsoon an Freida Slaves to an invited LGBT+ audience.
More information on the Gay Times Honours can be found here.