One of the most hotly anticipated events in the WLW calendar, the annual DIVA Awards, founded in 2017, are a no-holds-barred celebration of the achievements of LGBTQI women and non-binary people – and their allies – across business, the media, politics and sport.
LGBTQI women and non-binary people are becoming increasingly visible, with politicians, media stars, authors, sportspeople and business leaders all demonstrating that determination and talent can overcome prejudice. These amazing people serve as role models to the generations who follow them, and everyone at DIVA is delighted that clued-up corporates recognise the value and importance of the DIVA demographic.
Last year, our awards looked a little bit different. Faced with a COVID-induced lockdown, the event took place virtually, hosted by celesbian royalty Adele Roberts and Kate Holderness. An evening of celebration featuring a star-studded performance from Heather Small. Accolades were awarded to Rosie Jones, Mxmtoon, Chloe Morgan, Sarah Paulson, Rose and Rosie, Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, and many, many more.
All in all, the event served as a vital source of community during a period of intense isolation for so many LGBTQI people. Our 2022 celebration will be even bigger, and we sincerely hope that you’ll join us in recognising all of the incredible talent this community holds.
Founded in 2017 by publisher Linda Riley, the DIVA Awards form an important chapter in DIVA’s history. Linda has been a constant trailblazer for LGBTQI visibility, having founded the European Diversity Awards, British Diversity Awards, Lesbian Visibility Week and the Rainbow Honours, and notably receiving the accolade for Trans Ally at Trans In The City 2021.
When DIVA Magazine was founded in 1994, LGBTQI equality legislation simply didn’t exist. Section 28 was still in place, and LGBTQI publications often failed to speak for queer women and non-binary people. We’re proud to say that DIVA was founded by this demographic, for this demographic.
Twenty-seven years later, we’re celebrating our 300th issue. We’ve a new editor, a brand new team, and a revived spirit. DIVA has been through some tough times but we’ve come out the other side, and what was once a grassroots magazine has become a global entity, comprised of the DIVA Awards, podDIVA, and the Visible Lesbian 100, as published in The Guardian. Queer people across the UK and Europe have found a home in our pages.
The DIVA Awards celebrate every step in DIVA’s journey, honouring its special history whilst looking to the future of queer visibility, celebrating the changemakers that make the world a better place for people like us.
Nominations are open from December until February, so there’s plenty of time to recognise your favourite LGBTQI women and non-binary icons and allies alike. After nominations close, submissions are taken to the judges panel for shortlisting, with the final shortlist announced in February. Public voting then opens, meaning that all honours bar the DIVA Choice Award are entirely chosen by you, the DIVA Awards are shaped and determined by those at the heart of the community.
The awards ceremony will be taking place on 28 April in conjunction with Lesbian Visibility Week, marking the first in-person event in two years. So, what are you waiting for? Get those nominations in!
Whilst there’s still a lot of work to do, LGBTQI women and non-binary people are becoming more visible: we’re lawyers, we’re activists, we’re doctors, writers, artists. The DIVA Awards embody this mentality that sexuality and gender identity should never be an impediment to success. LGBTQI people exist, and we’re thriving.
The DIVA Awards exist because people continue to support our magazine. For that, we are sincerely grateful.