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Digital Subscriptions > DIVA Magazine > October 2016 > THE DIVA POWER 2016 LIST



Gone are the days of shame and secrecy and living a half life in the closet; we’ve kicked and screamed our way out and ripped that closet door off its hinges and today, the achievements of the LGBTQI+ community are regularly celebrated in mainstream newspapers, at glitzy awards ceremonies, and at fancy government receptions.

Here at DIVA HQ, we believe that’s something worth shouting about, and that’s why we’re proud to present the inaugural DIVA Power List, celebrating some truly amazing individuals from our community; people who are doing everything in their power to make life that little bit better for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex communities. Sometimes with blood, sweat and tears. Sometimes just by being themselves.

We asked you to vote for the people who inspire you – community heroes, celebrities, business leaders and politicians – and were overwhelmed with the sheer number of votes we received. We initially envis aged a Top 50 but as the votes continued to pour in, we realised we had to change our plans and instead make it a Top 100 – the biggest list we’ve ever done. Even with the list capped at 100 there still wasn’t enough room for everyone. Ten years ago it may have been enough to win a place on a list like this simply by being out; now what you do and say to create change and make it easier for others to come out is also important.

We’re thrilled with the list and had such fun putting together these pages, which demonstrate just how rich and diverse our community is. We’ve got A-list celebrities in there like Cara Delevingne, community heroes Kayza Rose, Sarah Graham and Chardine Taylor-Stone, and rising stars like YouTubers Rose and Rosie, who told us they were “overwhelmed” to make the list. “It’s such an incredibly overwhelming feeling to be voted so highly alongside some of our biggest inspira tions!” the former DIVA cover stars said.

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“We feel so grateful to have an audience that continues to encourage and inspire us to spread laughter, love and positivity. To know that we might be making a difference to someone’s life is a real honour, and we want our viewers and everyone who voted to know that we truly love and respect them.”

There are bona fide national treasures on our list, like Clare Balding at number two. She told DIVA: “I’m amazed and delighted that I’m considered inspirational, although I suspect it’s more to do with my job as a sports presenter than anything else. However, I’ve tried hard to promote the message that we should celebrate diversity, be proud of who we are and who we love and to do our best to defend and protect those who are compromised and belittled by bigotry.” Six-time DIVA cover star Heather Peace won a phenomenal amount of votes to make it to number three and joins fellow columnists Jack Monroe, Vicky Beeching, Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, Jane Hill and Sophie Ward in the top 20. “I’m honoured to have been voted so high on the list and amongst company that I find inspiring,” Heather says. “I don’t feel that I nec essarily try in any way. I’m lucky to be in a job that I love and to have a supportive partner and a wonderful daughter. If my visibility as a lesbian, married, working mother is a help to anyone then that’s a huge compliment. Thank you to everyone who voted for me. It means so much.”

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About DIVA Magazine

This month’s cover features some of the movers and shakers on the first ever DIVA Power List as voted for you. Also in this issue… Black History Month: Inspirational women who deserve to be remembered Vicky Beeching on keeping the faith after coming out as lesbian BBC newsreader Jane Hill is feeling blue post-Rio Phyll Opoku-Gyimah speaks to lesbian and bi asylum seekers Heather Peace takes on gendered toy manufacturers Kesiena Boom: Why Theresa May is bad news for lez/bi women Is sex education in schools fit for purpose? Roxy Bourdillon finds out How to deal with homophobic micro-aggressions in the workplace Interviews with Sarah Walk, Cheryl Dunye, Rebekah Staton and Roxane Gay. PLUS: travel, family and much, much more!