10. Lauren Harries
Lauren Charlotte Harries is a British media personality. In childhood Harries was known as James, a purported “child prodigy” in the field of antiques, appearing on numerous television shows including Wogan. In later life, as Lauren Harries, she has become more notable as an aspiring transgender celebrity.
9. Angela Gidden MBE
The Cardiff-born style queen is Creative Director and founder of her Welsh Originated British Born Brands – fashion label Nomad & Nest and furniture brand attic 2 originals. The former Welsh Woman of the Year demonstrated a creative eye for detail and an enterprising mind from the age of seven when she started mass-producing her sketches of Georgie Best and selling them for pocket money to buy more paper more crayons.
8. Felicity Evans
Originally from Ebbw Vale but brought up in Manchester, the BBC Radio Wales anchor studied law at Oxford University with the intention of becoming a barrister. You will have seen and hear her on Wales Today and Good Morning Wales as well as on current affairs programmes Week In Week Out and Eye on Wales. In various capacities, she’s covered all the major news stories of the last decade and more for BBC Wales from the death of Diana, Princess of Wales to the devolution referendum to the resignation of Tony Blair.
7. Sarah Jane Bradley
The 22-year-old had not long set up the UK’s first salon catering for the transgender community when a blaze broke out and sent her dreams up in smoke. But now she’s looking to the future with her latest venture at Eagles Meadow shopping centre in Wrexham, as well as imminent gender reassignment surgery which will complete her journey.
6. Sarah Waters
Remember saucy Tipping The Velvet on telly? That was based on Sarah’s ground-breaking book. Her other work which evokes the lives of lesbians in Victorian Britain include Affinity and Fingersmith.
The Night Watch was shortlisted for the Orange Prize. Nyland-born Sarah says she doesn’t sit down at her desk every morning and think ‘I am a lesbian writer’. She says: “Lesbian passions and issues are there in my books in the same way that they are there in my life: they are both vitally important to me, and completely incidental.”
5. Laura McAllister
Laura Jean McAllister CBE (born 1964) is a Welsh academic, former footballer and sports administrator. As a Wales women’s national football team player, McAllister won 24 caps and served as team captain. She is currently Professor of Public Policy and the Governance of Wales at Cardiff University.
4. Captain Hannah Winterbourne
Hannah, the Army’s highest ranking transgender officer, was born in Cardiff. In charge of 100 soldiers, she decided to become a woman while serving in Afghanistan and began her transition in 2013.
She said: “I think initially it was a bit of a shock to some people, they weren’t really expecting it because it’s not something you come across every day in the Army.
3. Berwyn Rowlands
In 2006, the former boss of Welsh film agency Sgrin founded the Festivals Company which has a number of high profile projects including the Iris Prize Festival – the world’s largest lesbian and gay short film prize and Ffresh – the UK’s largest and longest running student moving image event.
You’ll often see him on TV or hear him on radio talking about gay rights.
2. Stifyn Parri
The Wrexham-born polymath’s career has been varied to say the least! He appeared in the headlines and on The 9 o’Clock News when his Brookside character, Christopher Duncan, was part of the first gay kiss to be broadcast on British television.
Following his time on Brookside, he went on to play the lead role of Marius in the West End production of Les Miserables for two years. He’s Managing Director for events behemoth Mr Producer and was the creative force behind the Ryder Cup 2010 Welcome to Wales Grand Concert in the Millennium Stadium.
1. Gareth Thomas
In a climate where there are few openly gay British professional rugby players, Thomas’ status as both sporting legend and proud gay man has changed the face of Welsh sport forever. His many achievements include playing 100 tests for Wales, appearing on Celebrity Big Brother, Get Your Act Together, Dancing on Ice and panto in Cardiff.
He’s a published author, and it’s not many men from Bridgend who can claim Christian Louboutin has designed shoes for him.
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