Oxford Pride Patrons

Oxford Pride is proud to have the following public figures as patrons:

Lord Waheed Ali

Waheed Alli is a businessman and politician. He has achieved prominence in the television industry and was a director of Planet 24 and Carlton.

He was made a life peer in 1998 and sits on the Labour benches in the House of Lords. He is the first openly gay member of the Lords and one of very few openly gay Muslims in public life anywhere in the world.

Angela Eagle MP

Angela Eagle is MP for Wallasey, and was the first out lesbian MP in the UK. She spoke recently at the Oxford University Equality and Diversity group public lecture about the effort and perseverance that went into achieving the great leaps forward in legal protection that the LGBT community has seen in recent years.

Paul Gambaccini

Paul Gambaccini was 2010's speaker at the Oxford University lecture, and was also the News International Visiting Professor of Broadcast Media in 2009. He has been a familiar voice in British broadcasting since the 1970s and since coming out in the 1980s has been known for his support of charities such as THT. He has been outspoken on the responsibility that the media has for the portrayal of the LGBTQ community, and on pointing out where it falls short.

Personal Message from Paul:
Attending Oxford was the pivot point of my life. Before it, I lived in the United States. Afterwards, I lived in England. It was the right move for me to make, both personally and professionally. But changing countries unintentionally is not an easy thing to do, and I suffered great loneliness and anxiety. Unfortunately, the university made no provision for the well-being of its gay and lesbian students in the early 1970s. It did not even recognize their existence. There were no gay societies, no bars, no clubs.

I struggled in silence.

Though it was too late for me, facilities for gays and lesbians came to Oxford University and town in the seventies. I am thrilled that today's LGBT students can associate as naturally as day meets night. I don't want them to have to dwell on how difficult things used to be . I want them to appreciate Oxford Pride, to enjoy and use every opportunity they have to fulfill themselves as happy and healthy adults. And don't worry about me. It may have taken a while, but I am having my Civil Partnership ceremony later this month.

A week later I will get married in New York. From total denial to two weddings in one lifetime! Can you feel my joy? I hope so. Let's share it.

Paul.

Sir Ian McKellen

Sir Ian Murray McKellen, CBE, (born May 25, 1939) is a highly acclaimed stage and screen actor, the recipient of a Tony Award and two Oscar nominations.

Best known for his roles as Gandalf in the 2001-2003 Lord of the Rings film trilogy, as Sir Leigh Teabing in The Da Vinci Code, and as Magneto in the X-Men series of movies, his work has spanned genres from serious Shakespearean and modern theatre to popular fantasy and science fiction movies. He is also known as an activist for the rights of the LGBT community.

He was made a CBE in 1979 and knighted in 1990 for his outstanding work and contributions to the theatre.

Paul O'Grady

...

Clare Summerskill

Clare Summerskill is a lesbian comedienne who has performed on the comedy circuit in England for many years. Most years she tours her own one woman comedy shows to theatres and she also has her own theatre company which performs plays for lesbians and gay men, the last of these being a production called "Gateway To Heaven" which was scripted entirely from the memories of older lesbians and gay men. This play has now been filmed by the charity Age Concern and made into a training film for that organisation who are using it to educate those who work with the elderly about the very rich and colourful history that is specific to the lesbian and gay community.

Clare has been described by Radio Four Woman's Hour as "A Lesbian Victoria Wood" and has appeared on television on The Richard and Judy Show on Channel Four.

"One of the funniest women in the country" - What's On Magazine

"Unorthodox and Uninhibited!" - The Independent

Peter Tatchell

Peter Tatchell has campaigned for sexual freedom and human rights since 1969. His activism mirrors almost exactly the whole history of the modern, post-Stonewall Riot gay liberation movement.

Throughout more than 30 years of political activism and writing, he has helped develop new analyses and theories of queer emancipation, and contributed to changing public opinion and overturning homophobic discrimination.

Thought-provoking and unafraid to ask awkward questions, he is the author of six books and over 3,000 published articles, many of which have presented heretical, innovative ideas on issues of sexuality and sexual human rights.