What have the Eurovision star Conchita Wurst, the Scottish comedian Karen Dunbar, the world record-breaking cyclist Graeme 'The Flying Scotsman' Obree, and the Sunday Herald's own Vicky Allan all got in common? Well, they are all now officially recognised as icons by Scotland's gay community.

Each one picked up a prestigious prize at the inaugural Icon Awards in Glasgow late on Friday night, after votes from the Scottish public across a host of categories.

Conchita Wurst, the pop singer and drag queen, who won Eurovision in 2013 with her song ‘Rise Like a Phoenix’ was awarded a special Rising Star Award, during her visit to Scotland this weekend.

The awards, which took place in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, aimed to recognise LGBTI (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) icons throughout Scotland and the world, with nominees including leading sports men and women, lawyers, performers, politicians and businesses.

The inaugural awards underline Scotland's position as one of the most gay-friendly countries on earth.

In May this year, Scotland was rated as the best European country for LGBTI rights.

However campaigners are warning against complacency and pointed to daily prejudices still faced by many in the LGBTI community.

During the ceremony Graeme Obree was awarded the Saltire Award, and Karen Dunbar won Role Model of the Year. Dunbar said: 'I can't put into words my gratitude and amazement at winning Role Model of the Year. Thank you doesn't cover it but ... thank you."

The Sunday Herald's Vicky Allan - who won journalist of the year for her work covering LGBTI rights - said: "This is a very treasured award. I have long been a strong believer in LGBTi rights and in celebrating diversity. I believe in equality for all, in all areas of life, whether it be work, marriage, relationships, education. The award is also for the Sunday Herald and its editors. The team have long been firm backers of LGBTi rights and have encouraged me to pursue the stories I did."

Other winners included Michelle Visage - the US singer and co-host of the RuPaul Show in America, but best known in the UK for her appearance on Celebrity Big Brother - who picked up a Straight Ally Award in Glasgow.

SNP Angela Crawley MP won Politician of the Year, tweeting that she was “truly honoured”.

Conchita Wurst told the Sunday Herald: “It’s almost over-whelming to receive this award, just for being who I am. I don’t really put much effort into who I am but it’s a beautiful thing that people appreciate it.

“I’m a member of the LGBTI community and I think these type of events are so important because they give us a chance to talk about equality. It’s sad of course that we still have to.

“For me it’s very important to make this topic as mainstream as possible. I think respect and freedom are linked to knowledge and I believe that if people are able to meet others from the LGBTI community, there will be less hatred.

“People in the public eye have such power to reach out and I’m so delighted to be able to be part of it. Everything changed when I won Eurovision. It was a beautiful moment for me.”

Conchita Wurst also revealed that she had long been a fan of Scottish culture, not just because of the nation's commitment to LGBTI rights, but because she's a great fan of a man in a kilt.

“I’ve always wanted to come to Scotland but all I know about the country is the touristic staff,” she said.

“The thing that most appeals is the skirts. The skirts are great! I mean how fabulous is that? I’ve only been wearing them since I was 14 but you guys have been wearing them for ages.”

Icon Awards organiser, Michael MacFarlane, said: "Conchita has been an inspiration to LGBTI culture all over the world, and she simple received votes in so many categories our board felt she was worthy of a trophy.

"The night was amazing, seeing everyone come together for a true night if celebration, and it's a huge building block for an event we only see growing.

"Our plans? Next year England and Scotland, and a bigger push to make it bigger, better and celebrate more unsung heroes across the whole of the UK, until then we thank everyone who has heed make the journey so special."

Other winners included the BBC and Peachtree films, who won a Media Portrayal award for their documentary ‘Transsexual Stories’. The Community Spirit Award went to the Gay Police Association Scotland and the Icon Award went to trans activist Jennie Robertson.

The Sunday Herald is the media partner for the awards, which received over 20,000 public votes across 16 categories. A further four awards were chosen by organisers.

It is hoped that the awards also raised in excess of £30,000 for Edinburgh-based Waverly Care, a charity aiming to working with people affected by HIV or Hepatitis C in Scotland.