Ed Firth / Gay Times

Shahmir Sanni has won the Gay Times Honour for Government and Policy supported by Knowsley Council.

The campaigner was presented the Honour during a lavish ceremony at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool this evening, following his unceremonious outing by 10 Downing earlier this year.

Shahmir has since used his new public profile to help spread awareness and make greater change for the LGBTQ community – and in particular putting queer people of colour at the forefront of the conversation.

“To be recognised for the impact my story and work has had on government and politics by the community that has unapologetically stood by my side is humbling,” Shahmir said of his win.

“It was the LGBTQ community that stood by me and made a rallying cry for justice. They were the first to believe me, the first to fight for me and the first to call for justice.

“I’m proud and grateful to be a part of (and recognised by) the community that is at the front of social, cultural and political change.”

Vicky Beeching and Lily Madigan were both nominated for the Gay Times Honour for Government and Policy alongside Shahmir Sanni.

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.

The 13 Honourees will each receive a specially commissioned piece of artwork created by Ed Firth, which will form a 14-day exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery.

Ed Firth / Gay Times

Gay Times Honours 2018 was hosted by Mary Mac to an invited LGBTQ audience.

Arup – the engineering and design company – is one of our major sponsors, reaffirming their commitment to the LGBTQ community.

They are joined by banking and asset management group Investec, apprenticeship and pre-employment course providers Training Strategies, and furniture and home decoration company dwell as key supporters of Gay Times Honours 2018.

Virgin Trains is our official travel partner, who rolled out the red carpet at London Euston for a very special Gay Times Honours Express service to Liverpool.

Barclays are our banking partner, following their support for Liverpool Pride earlier this year.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson backed the Gay Times Honours, reaffirming their city’s support for the LGBTQ community. What’s more, the event has also been supported by Knowsley Council.

Leading hotelier Signature Living Group is our hospitality partner and hosted the official Gay Times Honours afterparty at a Grade II listed building located at the Pier Head at world-famous Albert Dock UNESCO World Heritage site.