10 LGBTQ trailblazers changing lives through the third sector

Attitude 101 empowered by Bentley celebrates LGBTQ trailblazers.


Following on from the success of last year's inaugural list, Attitude 101 is back and once again we're celebrating 100 LGBTQ trailblazers across 10 categories, and one person of the year. This time around we're proud to be empowered by Bentley

The categories are Politics; The Future, supported by Clifford Chance; Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths; Media and Broadcast; Travel; Sport; Business, Financial and Legal; Film, TV, and Music, supported by Taimi; and Fashion, Art and Design supported by Klarna. Our Person of the Year is game-changing rapper Lil Nas X. 

You can check out the full list and interviews with some of those included in the Attitude 101 issue — out now to download and to order globally. Check out our Third Sector and Community category below.

Shon Faye  author & journalist

Credit: Francisco Gomez de Villaboa

Rising above the toxic smog of transphobia, particulary in the UK, writer Shon Faye has reclaimed the narraitve around the trans community and the matters that actually affect them in her thought-provoking debut book, The Transgender Issue: An Argument for Justice. "I wanted to recentre trans people in the discussion of their own lives and amplify their voices," she explains. Shon also hosts podcast Call Me Mother, dedicated to queer elders.

Tanya Compas — youth engagement specialist, consultant & speaker

Credit: Francisco Gomez de Villaboa

Redirecting the focus to the needs of the most vulnerable, Tanya Compas founded Exist Loudly, providing spaces of joy, community and care for Black LGBTQ+ youth through creative intervention. Tanya — who previously worked at LGBTQ+ youth homelessness charity, akt, as a caseworker — featured on the front cover of Attitude’s January 2020 Activists & Allies issue. “One way to make a big difference is for everyone to acknowledge the privilege they have,” she said. “So many people in positions of power are closing the door behind them, rather than opening it to allow other people through.”

Aisha Shaibu — LGBTQ+ activist, cultural producer & founder of Moonlight Experiences

Aisha Shaibu shines bright as the founder of award-winning tours and events company Moonlight Experiences, dedicated to uplifting queer women, non-binary and Black/POC members by harnessing the economic power of tourism and nightlife to tackle the lack of diversity. Her activism and community contribution extend to her work as head of Community Engagement for UK Black Pride and as a trustee for GiveOut, an international LGBTQI foundation that pools donations in one place to support LGBTQI activism worldwide. In breaking down intersectional barriers, Aisha seeks to achieve visibility, equality and equity in a somewhat unfair society.

Yasmin Benoit — asexual activist & model

Credit: Rachel Sherlock

Stepping up for the asexual community — and looking absolutely fierce while doing so — Yasmin Benoit created the #ThisIsWhatAsexualLooksLike movement and helped establish International Asexuality Day (6 April). This year, the British model also became the first asexual person to win an Attitude Pride Award and struck a pose in the first asexual-themed lingerie campaign for Playful Promises. Dispelling myths and stereotypes, Yasmin has spoken at the University of Oxford and, across the pond, delivered a TEDx Talk for the University of Arkansas. Quite simply ace.

Max Hovey — writer, creator & activist

Credit: Francisco Gomez de Villaboa

Max Hovey uses his platforms and influence to promote and discuss LGBTQI+ issues, mental health and body positivity. He runs an online initiative called @happysmileyblog, hoping to turn frowns upside-down and encourage people to make the world a better place, one story at a time. Earlier this year he took part in Attitude’s annual Body issue to talk about the importance of self-love. Keen to (ahem) Max-imise his potential in 2022, the writer and activist wants to normalise conversations around sexual wellness and be a sex-positive voice for the queer community.

Anna Kear — CEO of Tonic Housing

Building the foundations for a better future, Anna Kear is the CEO of Tonic Housing, who have recently opened the UK’s first LGBT+ affirming retirement community in central London. She is co-chair of HouseProud, the network group for LGBT+ people working in social housing; a member of the London Housing Panel; and one of the founders of the London LGBTIQA+ Community Housing Coalition. Prior to joining Tonic, Anna was executive director of UK Cohousing and she helped establish new community-led housing hubs across the country, enabling community groups to directly access development funding.

Peter Tatchell — human rights campaigner

Peter Tatchell has campaigned for human rights for 55 years, since 1967. He assisted in organising the UK’s first Pride in 1972, and in 1973 staged the first LGBT+ protest in a communist country, East Germany. Not afraid to ruffle feathers, Peter has outed homophobic bishops and ambushed anti-gay prime ministers and sports stars, like boxer Mike Tyson. His attempted citizen’s arrest of the Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe on charges of torture resulted in him being beaten unconscious. A documentary about his life, Hating Peter Tatchell, is on Netflix. He is also the director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation.

Darren Mew — digital engagement officer at Mermaids UK

Darren Mew made a splash when they joined Mermaids earlier this year. They have vast experience within the LGBT+ sector, from freelancing at Attitude magazine in 2016 to working at Kaleidoscope Trust in 2019. They’ve also volunteered at the London Queer Fashion Show. Through their role as digital engagement officer at Mermaids, Darren raises the profile of the incredible work the charity is doing to support trans youth and their families, as well as to help trans people navigate the toxicities of growing transphobia in the UK and empower them to live their best lives.

Tash Walker — co-chair of Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline

Credit: Imogen Forte

Highlights of Tash Walker’s 10-year tenure at Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline include: the rebrand from London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard in 2015, the 2019 Rankin Safe Space campaign, and numerous community, sector and corporate partnerships. Most notably, she brought the charity’s history to light through her work on the Switchboard’s log books. In her final year of being co-chair, Tash co-hosts and produces award-winning podcast, The Log Books, and is also the co-founder of Get In Her Ears, an organisation to promote women and non-binary people in music, with a monthly show on Soho Radio.

Phil Samba — social activist & health promoter

Credit: Francisco Gomez de Villaboa

Phil Samba is on a mission to improve the mental and sexual health of as many people as possible through his work with Team PrEPster — set up to educate and agitate for PrEP in England and beyond — and sister organisation The Love Tank, promoting the wellbeing of underserved communities. In summer 2019, Phil gave us all the feels when he appeared in the Attitude Pride issue. “We have issues with inclusion,” he explained. “We can be very divisive, but we’re all seen one way by the right-wing media. We should be embracing of each other.”

Check out the full, detailed list in the Attitude 101 issue, which is out now to download and to order globally. The Attitude 101 issue includes the FREE Attitude 2022 calendar, presented in association with Taimi.

Subscribe in print and get your first three issues for just £1 each, or digitally for just over £1.50 per issue.