27/11/2020 20:00 GMT

Elton John Shines A Light On How Pandemic Has Affected LGBTQ+ People In LGBT Awards Speech

The singer was among the winners at this year's ceremony for his work with the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Sir Elton John used his acceptance speech at the British LGBT Awards to shine a light on how the events of 2020 have specifically affected people in the LGBTQ+ community.

He and husband David Furnish were awarded the Global Impact award for their work with the Elton John AIDS Foundation during this year’s ceremony, which took place online.

Other winners on the night included Radio 1 presenter Adele Roberts, Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander, the Netflix series Sex Education, drag superstar Pabllo Vittar and former rugby star Gareth Thomas.

Accepting the Global Impact award, Sir Elton said in a pre-recorded video message: “This has been an unprecedented year, and we know that some of the hardest hit individuals and communities are those in the LGBT community who are isolated, living in fear or living with violence, because of who they are and who they love, and this is unimaginably tough.

“We believe more than anything that you deserve the right to choose who you love and to love yourself for who you are, no matter where you are in the world – and I’ve always believed in this, and it’s why I gave a founding donation to Stonewall back in the 1980s.”

British LGBT Awards
David Furnish and Sir Elton John

“We’re with you, this whole community is with you, you are not alone,” David added.

Turning their attention to the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s work, David continued: “We have been fighting and pushing for more accepting and inclusive rights for LGBTQ+ people for over 28 years.

“Starting at a kitchen table in Atlanta with Elton and friends, our foundation has grown into an internationally-recognised organisation for HIV care and prevention. We’re proud to be the second largest HIV philanthropic funder of LGBTQ populations globally.”

Sir Elton then said: “Since we began we have funded every single HIV/AIDS initiative in the UK. From refurbishing HIV hospital wards and provision of palliative care when HIV was a death sentence, to supporting the National Hardship Fund, services from key organisations like Terrence Higgins Trust and, more recently, partnering with the National AIDS Trust to make sure PrEP is available through the NHS.

“And right now, our social impact bond in South London finds people living with HIV who aren’t aware of their status, through HIV testing in A&E departments and GP surgeries.”

“Thank you so much for tonight’s recognition and honour. And we promise that we won’t stop,” Sir Elton added. “Say it loud: I’m gay and I’m proud. Thank you.”

The full list of winners at the British LGBT Awards is as follows: 

Celebrity: Olly Alexander

Broadcaster or Journalist: Adele Roberts

Online Influencer: Gigi Gorgeous

Music Artist: Pabllo Vittar

Sports Personality: Gareth Thomas

Celebrity Ally: Suranne Jones

Media Moment: Sex Education

International Disrupters: Bárbara Lopez and Macarena Achaga

Media Trailblazer: Matt Lucas

Global Impact: Elton John Aids Foundation

Lifetime Achievement: Lord Michael Cashman CBE

Brand or Marketing Campaign: Renault – The French Exchange

Outstanding Contribution To LGBT+ Life: Sophie Cook

Charity or Community Initiative: Bi Pride UK

Future Leader: Nathan Jordan, Amazon Web Services

Network Group or Erg: Heathrow Pride, Heathrow

Corporate Ally: Susan Allen, Santander

Diversity Hero: Bobbi Pickard, BP

Inclusive Employer or Company: Sky UK

Inspirational Leader: David Levine, Disney