NOMINATIONS are about to open for one of Scotland’s biggest events of the year in the LGBT+ calendar, The Icon Awards.

The awards, in partnership with the Sunday Herald, celebrate Scotland’s LGBT+ icons and culture, and all the funds raised from the event go to charity.

Last year saw the public submit thousands of nominations looking to recognise the businesses and individuals they believe are doing the best work to create an inclusive environment for the LGBT+ community. Nominations for this year’s event, whose main sponsor is Tesco, open tomorrow, May 7, and the awards ceremony will take place on September 15 in Glasgow.

The president of this year’s awards is James Smith, a strong and active ambassador for LGBT+ issues who is one half of the first same-sex couple to be approved for adoption and placed with a child in Scotland. As president, Smith has selected the board for this year’s event, which is run by Big Impact, a charity which supports others across the third sector by raising funds and offering resources.

“I am very proud to be asked by Big Impact and accept the role of president for the Icon Awards, Scotland’s largest LGBT+ and diversity award ceremony,” he said. “Icon has always meant a great deal to me and being the only original board member shows the commitment I have for the event.

“As president of the Icon Awards, I plan to bring the event back to the LGBT+ community and celebrate what we have all achieved. By going back to our roots, I firmly believe we will get great support from the community who helped build this tremendous event.”

Sunday Herald editor Neil Mackay said: "We are delighted to work with the Icon Awards - they represent all that is great about our modern, progressive and inclusive nation."


Diversity and Inclusion Icon of the Year

Straight Ally of the Year

Charity of the Year

Role Model of the Year ( L, G, B, T, +)

Volunteer of the Year

Drag Artist of the Year

Uniformed Icon of the Year

Event of the Year

Youth Icon of the Year

Venue of the Year

Wedding Industry Business of the Year

Employer of the Year (less than 50 people)

Employer of the Year (more than 50 people)

Media Coverage/Campaign of the Year

Entertainer of the Year

Community Spirit of the Year

Political/Policy Person of the Year

Cultural/Arts Icon of the Year

The Icon Award


JAMES SMITH: The president of this year’s board made history when he and his husband become the first same sex couple in Scotland to adopt. He is also a presenter on Scene Radio, Scotland’s only LGBT+ radio station

JUSTINE SMITHIES: Marine electronics engineer Smithies is a trans rights campaigner and starred in the BBC Scotland documentary ‘Transgender Love’

THOMAS ANDERSON: The founder of Inclusive Networks – an organisation that celebrates and promotes diversity inclusion all over the UK – was also a driving force behind the launch of the UK’s first Inter-retail LGBT+ network, CheckOUT

PROFESSOR CRAIG WHITE: A member of the Scottish Government’s LGBTI Network, Professor White is also part of a senior clinical leadership team advising Scottish Ministers on quality improvement in health and social care

STEPHEN MURPHY: Best known in the LGBT+ community as Barbara La Bush, Murphy is behind one of Scotland’s oldest and long established drag queens

JAX QUINN: A proud lesbian and disability activist, Quinn’s activism within Sky UK led it to become Stonewall’s number one media company for inclusion

BAILIE RUSSELL ROBERTSON: Glasgow city councillor Robertson represents the East Centre ward and sits as the deputy convener for communities. Robertson was appointed Bailie – a civic, ceremonial role – by the Lord Provost of Glasgow


Nominations and voting can be done via the awards website,