The ‘Writing’s on the Wall’ hitmaker – who recently came out a non-binary – was honoured at the LGBTQ publication’s annual ceremony at London’s Roundhouse and addressed their “wild ride of realisation” in their acceptance speech.
They said: “”This is incredibly overwhelming. Thank you so much to everyone in this room. Tonight just watching all of you has been amazing and I’m so honoured to be here, there’s so much love in the room…
“The last year has been a wild ride of self-realisation and has almost felt like a second coming out. The reason I’ve been able to show all of the sides of myself is because I felt incredibly safe.
“I am so lucky to not only have an incredible family and team around me but I also have access to talk and seek help from the leaders and trailblasers of our community. Certain people have put my under their wings and supported every breath of mine…
“Thank you everyone for your kindness, let’s live as loudly and queerly as possible.”
Dr. Ranj Singh also paid tribute to Sam when he took to the stage to collect his own prize, the TV award.
The CBeebies star said: “I remember sitting in an office with Sam, dreaming about what could happen. Bloody hell Sam I’m so proud of you, I’m so proud of what you’ve done and that you’ve finally remembered who you are, which is fantastic. Give them a round of applause.”
Meanwhile, Dame Joan Collins spoke of her own “attitude” as she accepted the Icon accolade.
She said: “My father was a theatrical agent so our house was always full of comedians and dancers and singers. In other words, it was full of people with attitude.
“My mother would quaintly describe some of these flamboyant characters as queer, which has become quite a PC term today, I guess my mother was ahead of her time and maybe that’s where I get it.
“But I learned attitude is great. Attitude is a glorious expression of self-belief and people are naturally attracted to other people with attitude… I think that I have a lot of attitude.
“In this world of increasing inclusivity and diversity, it wouldn’t have been achieved without attitude…
“When a little television show called ‘Dynasty’ cemented my character Alexis as the embodiment of the powerful woman, many people said the world would never be the same…. Good.”
Taron Egerton paid tribute to one of his close friends as he accepted the Film Award for his portrayal of Sir Elton John in ‘Rocketman’.
He said: “I’m not a gay man myself but I have seen first hand the pain, angst and fear that comes with coming out and being your authentic self.
“I’m thinking of one particular friendship and I’m very proud of that person who’s here this evening and a man I’m really proud of.
“My relationship with him entirely informed my performance in ‘Rocketman’ and I feel I can look him in the eye now the film is finished.
I think ‘Rocketman’ stands as proof that movies with LGBT characters at the heart do make money, they are commercial and I look forward to seeing a lot more studio movies like that in the future. Anyone with a problem with that, get used to it.”
Other winners at the ceremony included Mika, who won the Music Award, Christine and the Queens, who took the Artist Award, and Breakthrough Award winner Ava Max.
The Virgin Atlantic Attitude Awards 2019 full list of winners:
The Person of the Year Award, supported by Virgin Atlantic:
The Icon Award:
Dame Joan Collins
The Inspiration Award, supported by Jaguar:
The Activism Award:
The Stonewall Uprising
The Music Award:
The Film Award, supported by Virgin Atlantic:
Taron Egerton for ‘Rocketman’
The Breakthrough Award:
The Culture Award:
Russell T Davies
The TV Award:
Dr Ranj Singh
The Hero Award:
Ruth Coker Burks, for caring for more than 1000 dying gay men during the Aids epidemic
The Artist Award, supported by Jaguar:
Christine and the Queens
The Literary Award:
The Game Changer Award: