Sam Smith, Taron Egerton and Christine and the Queens were among the winners at last night’s Virgin Atlantic Attitude Awards.
Hosted at London’s Roundhouse venue in Camden, the Virgin Atlantic Attitude Awards celebrate the best of the LGBT+ community and its allies. Entertainment at the star-studded event included a roof-raising performance from Ava Max, who also picked up the award for Attitude’s 2019 Breakthrough Artist.
Tsemaye Bob-Egbe, star of Tina The Musical, delivered the class Proud Mary and classical music sensation Katherine Jenkins performed a goose-bump-inducing take on the Judy Garland hit Somewhere Over The Rainbow. Music Award recipient Mika closed the evening with a five-song set of his chart-toppers.
In celebration of the Stonewall Uprising 50 years ago in 1969, Tree Sequoia, a barman at the Stonewall Inn, accepted the Activism Award on behalf of all the people who fought back against oppression. The Attitude Awards also welcomed Hero award recipient Ruth Coker Burks, who challenged discrimination against people with HIV and Aids in the early 1980s when medical establishments and politicians in the US were turning their backs on the crisis.
This year is the first time that Virgin Atlantic has sponsored the Attitude Awards, the annual award show from British gay lifestyle magazine Attitude. Executive vice president of commercial, Juha Jarvinen, welcomed guests at the evening and highlighted why Virgin Atlantic thinks it’s important to support LGBT issues.
“At Virgin Atlantic we want to use the influential power of our brand and our incredible people to drive real change. We want to serve as a beacon of hope for the underrepresented and inspire the belief that the best is yet to come,” he said.
“This year we had our biggest pride season to date. In the UK we’ve had more people than ever take part in prides in Birmingham, Brighton, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, London, Manchester and Newcastle. And of course, our Pride Flight to New York was a real highlight and a historic celebration of World Pride and the 50 years since the Stonewall uprising, thousands of feet above the Atlantic.”
But Virgin Atlantic hasn’t just been celebrating. This year, the airline has also worked alongside Virgin Holidays to train employees at Caribbean resorts on delivering service with a focus on diversity and inclusion.
Jarvinen added: “We’re incredibly proud of our partnership with Attitude and are looking forward to working together over many years to use the influential power of our brands, and our incredible people to drive real change.”
The full list of winners from the Virgin Atlantic Attitude Awards 2019 can be found here.