On Friday November 27, Dr Sophie Cook – the 13th most influential figure in Brighton, according to the 2019 Power 100 list – was announced as the winner of the 2020 Outstanding Contribution to LGBT+ Life award from the British LGBT Awards. Cook is a writer, former Labour party parliamentary candidate, RAF veteran and an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and breaking the stigma surrounding mental health and suicide. She responded to her win, saying: “Wow, I am shocked and humbled to receive this amazing award from @BritLGBTAwards. This is for every single person that fights prejudice and inequality throughout the world, I love you all, keep fighting the fight.”
She has been a trailblazer for trans rights, having been the first transgender woman to work in football’s Premier League as club photographer and was Europe’s first trans TV newscaster. She has published an autobiography, Not Today: How I chose Life, and gave a powerful TEDx Talk on LGBTQ+ mental health. Today, she is working alongside high profile organisations such as Stonewall, and has created The Sophie Cook Foundation; an initiative designed to provide education on mental health and challenge stigmas.
Sophie has been praised by many, including Sports Media LGBT+, which tweeted: “Congrats to our friend and all-round superstar @sophiecooktalks, whose Outstanding Contribution to LGBT+ Life has been recognised by the @BritLGBTAwards!”. She is also involved in Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign, which is running until December 13, aiming to promote greater LGBTQ+ inclusion in the sporting world.