Coming off the stage after possibly turning the air a bit blue with my acceptance speech (keep it real I thought!), lots of people were coming up to me to say thanks and tell me how inspiring my speech was, heaping praise on me and generally saying lovely things - now this is something I find incredibly difficult to accept.
When I heard the incredible news that marriage is now legal regardless of gender in the USA, it reminded me of something that occurred to me recently - we are the first generation of parents that can describe marriage exactly as it is, an expression and celebration of the love two people have for each another, regardless of gender and sexuality, without exclusions.
I celebrate Pride every day that I wake up with my girlfriend. Pride consumes my every movement. My every achievement. My struggle lifts me beyond all I thought possible. I accept that my pride is what makes me different, but also just the same.
Northern Ireland is the most homophobic region of the UK and one of the most homophobic regions of the EU. This intolerance is stirred primarily by the dominant Democratic Unionist Party, the main political wing of Loyalist protestantism. Its policies on gay issues echo the homophobia of the BNP and European fascist groups. Many Northern Irish people are not homophobic. Even within the DUP, there are members who would not discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity. But senior party figures hold sway and they dictate an anti-gay agenda.
The question I get asked most frequently is "What was it like growing up with lesbian parents?" Mostly I answer comically about how it was great because the toilet seat never got left up, but in reality it is pretty average. I think that people expect me to be scarred terribly because two women bringing up children does not seem normal to them, or that I must have this empty hole in my soul where a father should be.
I might be able to walk down the aisle with my partner should I so wish, or start a family thanks to equal adoption laws, but give blood? Well, no, my blood simply isn't welcome at my local drop-in service, thank you very much. However, it is very much needed. My crime? Being gay.
When we open this topic up for discussion, a common refrain is to suggest that we want good actors on screen. The implication is that we don't want trans people to be employed to play a trans character just because they're trans. We want a good actor to do the job.
We believe that the HPV vaccine should be extended to all boys irrespective of their sexuality and to MSM as a matter of urgency. This is why we are working with other health organisations as a member of HPV Action to call for the school HPV vaccination programme to include boys as well as girls.
I am so fed up with Northern Ireland being tip-toed around internationally because of the past. This is a cross-community issue which is being painted Orange and Green, as usual. Speaking out against the DUP's attempts to institutionalise homophobia does not implicitly align anyone with the Nationalist parties, or Sinn Fein.
The last five years have included some real successes for the LGBT community and some progress for trans communities. The most memorable for many is finally being able to legally marry their husband or wife. However, while I welcome this with open arms, the achievements of this government also present a big risk for the LGBT community. That risk is complacency.
The Equal Love campaign has formally ceased its 2011 application to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), which sought to secure equality in UK civil marriage and civil partnership law. This follows the decision of the European Court that the application is "inadmissible" and subsequent fruitless attempts by campaigners to challenge the ruling. This is the end of the road for our application. We can take it no further. Sincere thanks to the eight couples involved and to all our supporters who stood with us for four years.
I strongly believe the education system fails young LGBTI+ people every day. We have won the battle of equal age of consent and equal marriage in the UK, the next fight is to make inclusive SRE compulsory in all schools.
Madness might be a particularly difficult term for the gay community because up until 1969 that's what being gay was: a mental health disorder. Alan Turing was chemically castrated for cottaging, Lou Reed was given electro-shock therapy for bisexual tendencies. Weird and wacky 'pray the gay away' courses still preach the same warped thoughts.
Last week I heard Julie Bindel speak at Challenging the Campus Censors. She was charismatic and funny and she's spent decades campaigning against violence towards women. I feel privileged to have heard her speak - it's not an opportunity everyone gets.
How is Westminster University supposed to create a safe space for LGBT students when they are fighting against their own Student Union?
"We must exterminate these people (homosexuals) root and branch... We can't permit such danger to the country; the homosexual must be entirely eliminated." With these chilling words, the head of the SS, Heinrich Himmler, set out the Nazi master plan for the sexual cleansing of the Aryan race. From 1933-1945, an estimated 50,000 to 100,000 men were arrested under paragraph 175 for the crime of homosexuality. Some were tried and sentenced in the courts; others were sent direct to concentration camps without any trial or formal sentence. The death rate of gay prisoners in the camps was over 50%, the highest among non-Jewish victims.