Veteran gay campaigner wins prestigious award

Michael Brown, long-term gay campaigner, received the 2010-11 Derek Oyston Achievement Award at a prize-giving today in London. The Derek Oyston Award is presented by CHE to “a person or organisation who has contributed significantly over the years to the advancement of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans) issues in England and Wales”. This year’s award was in conjunction with the Consortium and was presented at their launch of the website and LGBT Pledge for London’s statutory providers.

The judging panel, comprising representatives of both CHE and the Consortium, after carefully considering the nominations that had been received, decided unanimously to give this year’s award to Michael Brown.

Michael Brown was today presented with a framed certificate and a cheque for £1000 by Ross Burgess, an Executive Committee member of CHE and a Trustee of the Consortium, who said “CHE has been working for LGBT rights since 1969, but today we’re honouring someone who has been working for gay people for much longer than that. Michael Brown has been a gay campaigner since the 1950s, taking an active role in the Gay Liberation Front, the Albany Trust, CHE, the Jewish Gay Group, and many other groups, including Age UK’s project for older gay people. In recent years he’s become something of a gay historian, giving lively talks on the history of the gay liberation movement. Next month he is to give the first Robert Cook lecture, sponsored by CHE, on what it was like to be gay in the 1950s and 1960s. He’s a very worthy winner of this year’s Derek Oyston Achievement Award.”

Responding to the award, Michael Brown said “I’ve been campaigning for 57 years, and this is the first time anyone’s given me an award. I salute CHE for presenting this award, not just for me, but everyone who worked for gay rights in the early days, such as Antony Grey, who never received proper recognition in his lifetime. I intend to spend the money on frivolous things, and hold a tea party for the remaining veteran campaigners.”

Mark Delacour, Director of Operations at the Consortium, said “I’m delighted the Consortium has been able to work in conjunction with CHE, one of our many long standing member organisations, to present this well-deserved award to one of the unsung heroes of gay liberation and the struggle for gay rights.”


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