40. Sadie Class
Trans friend and founder of Tawe Butterflies
On the first Saturday of every month, Sadie hosts a barbecue at her Swansea home. It's a place where everyone is welcome, and she provides a unique and supportive environment. Oh, and all the burgers you can eat. Sadie is also the driving force behind Swansea Sparkle. Well, if Manchester can do it... This year's event will take place on November 7 at the Waterfront Museum in Swansea.
39. Leon Ward
Gay activist Leon Ward
UK Young Ambassador
Settled in Cardiff via London and his hometown of Grimsby, he went on BBC'S Newsbeat programme to argue against the UK's first school for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Manchester.
The 23-year-old didn't come out at school because he was bullied, but that experience doesn't make him agree with opening an LGBT school.
"Segregation doesn't work when you're talking about creating equality," he says. "You have to deal with the core issues of bullying rather than forcing the victims to move. Isn't there something more powerful about championing equality?
"The money would be better spent on education in mainstream schools. There should also be a more wholesome approach to sex education with teachers openly talking about gay, straight and bisexual sex."
38. Mike Smith
Mike Smith, director of the Wales Theatre Awards
Critic and founder of Wales Theatre Awards
A man who likes his ballet, adores his opera and can’t get enough of theatre. Which is why he’s the perfect person to run the Wales Theatre Awards. Mike, who lives in Cardiff with his husband Robin, is well known as an equality and diversity activist.
37. Paul Burston
Writer and commentator
His books include the critically-acclaimed novels Shameless, Star People Lovers & Losers and The Gay Divorcee. He's also written four non-fiction books and edited two short story collections, Boys & Girls and Men & Women. The Independent on Sunday called the former Brynteg Comprehensive pupil "a fearless chronicler of modern gay life" while Attitude magazine hailed him as "easily one of the most important commentators of his generation".
He also finds the time to host of multi award-winning LGBT literary salon Polari at the Southbank Centre, and founded of The Polari First Book Prize.
CEO, Unity Group Wales
Andrew runs the Unity Identity Centre in Swansea. It’s often the first point of contact for people struggling with gender or sexuality based identity issues. The centre organises and runs events such as the regular monthly brunch club for trans people, works closely with the Swansea Police Hate Crime unit to support victims of homophobia and transphobia.
35. Billy Nichols
Nurse and chair of LGBT staff network at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
The largest health organisation in Wales decided it needed more staff support networks. So they called on Billy who helped set up the LGBT forum, now known as Celtic Pride. As one of Stonewall Cymru's role models, he says: "We are getting LGBT patients in the department and I’ve been able to challenge homophobia, not in an aggressive way but an educated way, getting people to think about what they’ve said and hopefully not say it again.
"I’m now happy to accept I’m a role model even though you always expect a role model to be famous and important, to have achieved something and be heroic and that’s not me! But I’m becoming more self-assured and that’s helping."
34. Lauren Harries
We first met her as young antiques expert James Harries, putting Terry Wogan in his place. Fast forward a few years, and the world was introduced to Lauren, who later starred in Celebrity Big Brother, made a bid for Eurovision Song Contest glory and released a single.
"Being born in the wrong body is like being trapped in a burning building, you get out or die," she once said. She credits figures like Welsh MP Leo Abse for fighting to decriminalise same-sex relationships, but believes trans people would have to wait years before being fully accepted in society. But she's also playing her part in changing perceptions.
"As a result now gay people are accepted," she said. "I believe it will take many many more years for people, especially heterosexual men to accept female transgenders."
33. Lisa Power MBE
Lisa was awarded the MBE in 2012 for "services to sexual health and the LGBT community". One of the co-founders of Stonewall, the highly successful LGBT lobby group and an early Secretary-General of the International Lesbian & Gay Association (ILGA), she was the first openly LGBT person to speak on gay rights at the United Nations in New York.
For 17 years Policy Director with the Terrence Higgins Trust, she lives in Cardiff and is a Trustee of Pride Cymru and a Director of the Save The Coal Exchange campaign.
32. 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.
31. Tracy Myhill
Chief Executive, Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust
Tracy, from Rhondda, has worked in the NHS for more than 30 years. Suring her time as Deputy Chief Executive at Cardiff & Vale University Health Board, Tracy made an outstanding contribution to LGBT equality.
Through her leadership she made a positive difference; encouraging and inspiring others to discuss LGBT issues within the Health Board and ensuring the LGBT Staff Network was actively involved in the organisation’s decision making processes.
Stonewall's Role Model of the Year 2015.
30. Derek Walker
Chief executive of the Wales Co-operative Centre Derek Walker on the social enterprise sector
Chief Executive, Wales Co-operative Centre
From 2004 to 2009 Derek worked as Head of Policy and Campaigns at the Wales TUC. Before that he worked as policy and public affairs officer at Stonewall Cymru, setting up the organisation’s first office. Derek has also worked as a local government policy officer in Brussels and London.
29. Christian Webb
Stonewall recently named the Swansea-born student its Young Campaigner of the Year. He went back to his old school, Ysgol Bryn Tawe, where he created a Sixth Form Equality Panel of more then 30 students, delivered workshops to over 200 young people and hosted a coffee morning where he shared anti-bullying resources with students and staff.
Christian is currently a student at Cardiff University where he volunteers for Stonewall Cymru’s Information Service, answering callers’ questions on issues such as coming out and supporting young LGBT people.
Like most siblings, West End star Ria Jones and female impersonator Ceri Dupree argue, whether it be over costumes or what songs to sing. But the Swansea-born pair are quick to agree on one thing – who has the best legs. And in case you're wondering, it's Ceri (but Ria has the best voice!).
Try and catch their joint show Miss-Leading Ladies if you can, a celebration of some of the greatest grand dames of stage and screen, adding their own unique family twist.
26. Rona Rees
Beaumont Society president
Rona’s story started during childhood when there was very little information available on gender issues, her revelation moment came when watching a TV programme involving Esther Rantzen and the then President of the Beaumont Society, Janett Scott.
Three months later she plucked up the courage to make the call to the Beaumont Society and another 20 years to commence her transition, but she’s have never looked back and now is on of the leading figures in the society’s work in helping trans people in Wales. A Welsh speaker, she’s a regular on BBC Radio Cymru and S4C.
25. Felicity Evans
Felicity Evans BBC Wales
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.
Her interests include books, films and bees - and she says she's happiest when interviewing someone who's written a book about a film about bees.
24. Jan Morris CBE
Journalist and travel writer
Born James Morris, she had a sex change in Morocco in 1972. But first and foremost Morris is an amazing writer. If you don't believe us, read Conundrum, which chronicles that process, and its incredible autobiographical follow-up Pleasures of a Tangled Life which described Miss Morris's pursuit of her true identity as a woman.
As an author, she wrote the Pax Britannica trilogy, a history of the British Empire which she started as a man and finished as a woman. She was also named the 15th greatest British writer since the Second World War. Later in life she went through a civil ceremony with Elizabeth Tuckniss, the woman she first married in 1949.
When not travelling, she says she lives with her wife "in the top left-hand corner of Wales, between the mountains and the sea".
23. Marc Rees
One of our leading exponents of contemporary performance and installation. His innovative interdisciplinary artworks are known for their flamboyant, humorous and often extreme interpretations of history, culture and personal experience.
In addition to working with some of Britain’s foremost physical theatre companies (Brith Gof, Earthfall and DV8) and Germany’s premiere choreographers (Angela Guerreiro, Thomas Lehmen and Tanz Compagnie Rubato) his own extensive body of work includes the solo stage works Iddo Ef/Caligula Disco/Gloria Days, the installation/performances The House Project /RevolUn/Shed*light and the BBC film A Very Gladys night. And who could forget his London 2012 Festival project. Not us.
He recently worked with National Theatre Wales to make (150), a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Welsh in Patagonia.
22. Chris Bryant MP
Member of Parliament for Rhondda
Chris, who's represented Rhondda for Labour since 2001, is Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. In his first interview in the job, he said said one of his priorities if he became a minister would be to encourage diversity and fairer funding in the arts.
He's currently writing his first novel about a group of gay and bisexual politicians who opposed appeasement and were branded the “glamour boys”.
21. Chris Needs MBE
Chris Needs about to cut the ribbon at Stan's in Ebbw Vale
The man who makes late night radio fun, unashamedly Welsh and gloriously camp. If you're not in his Friendly Garden then why not!
But it's not been bed of roses for Chris, despite having one of the most popular shows in the UK, in his book Highs and Lows he pondered: “Why do people love you being gay on stage or on air, but they don’t like it in real life? Try living with that situation – it’s a hard thing to cope with. Actually, it’s torture.”
As far as coming out was concerned, he admitted in the book It's Ok To Be Gay: "I never really ever came out… I was never in. I think I popped out of my mother’s womb with a handbag in my hand."
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.
Sarah, who knew as eight-year-old Thomas that she was born into the wrong body, describes her new unisex salon as “a one stop beauty shop all under one roof” and she’s determined to make it a success.
She has people coming to her Sarah Jane Group Salon from all over the UK.
19. Andy Bulleyment
Facebook: South Wales Gay Men's Chorus South Wales Gay Men's Chorus
Andy (above left) founded the South Wales Gay Men’s Chorus in 2008. He says: “Having ‘Gay’ at the heart of SWGC isn’t about showing what makes us different, it’s about showing what makes us the same, and using our name as a beacon of pride, community and collective strength.” Loud and oh so proud indeed.
18. Beth Fisher
Athlete, mentor, Sport Cymru ambassador
The international hockey player from Penarth lives by one simple rule: Just have confidence to be yourself. She credits her mother as her inspiration and for encouraging her to 'not be afraid of who you are'. Wise words indeed.
17. 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."
16. Craig Stephenson
Director of Commission Services and Chief Adviser to the Presiding Officer
Barry born and bred, Craig says it's important for LGBT people to be visible within the Assembly which has achieved Stonewall's Diversity Champion status. As part of that, he works to ensure there are the opportunities to attend tailor-made programmes giving LGB staff the opportunity to realise their own potential, challenge their own preconceptions and enable them to learn from the perspectives of other participants.
15. Nigel Owens
International rugby referee
He's gone through some difficult times coming to terms with his homosexuality, even taking an overdose. He's the only referee at international level who's come out, finally doing so in 2007. A man's man who takes no nonsense on or off the field, he made headlines by reprimanding Treviso’s Tobias Botes with the words “This is not soccer!”- a phrase now printed on T-shirts.
14. Owain Wyn Evans
Weatherman and World Service journalist
Despite the occasional cold front, it's been nothing but sunny days for BBC Wales weatherman Owain since coming out. His presenting style is warm, witty and wonderfully flamboyant - and he makes no apologies for it. He says: “I do camp it up sometimes doing the weather but I don’t even notice I’m doing it, when I’m waving my arms around.
"So I get the odd tweet that is a bit homophobic. I’ve been called things on Twitter and there have been general things like, ‘Who is this gay guy, he’s as camp as t***.’ But it never hurts me.”
13. Jenny Bishop OBE
Robert Parry Jones Jerry-Anne Bishop
Earlier this year, Jenny-Ann was awarded the OBE for her for her equality work. The 68-year-old from Rhyl, who used to be sales manager Paul, has advised the Welsh Government and the House of Commons on transgender equality and provides one-to-one counselling for people considering a sex swap through her support group TransForum.
12. Gareth Thomas
Author, sportsman and rugby legend
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. And did we mention Mickey Rourke is a pal and wants to play him in a film? A true icon of our times who is 'Welsh before anything else'.
11. Stifyn Parri
Actor, game show host, events producer
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. He personally called his pals Catherine Zeta Jones, Katherine Jenkins and Dame Shirley Bassey to take part.
10. Berwyn Rowlands
Founder of Iris Prize
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. Berwyn believes that popular music started with Abba and was eventually taken to another level by the Pet Shop Boys. He hails from Llangoed on Anglesey, and now lives in Cardiff with his partner, Grant.
Kelly Williams Richard Evans (left) and Russell Hughes
The owner of Russell Paul Hairdressing in Prestatyn made headlines when he put a sign in his window which stated: “If you are racist, sexist, homophobic or an a***hole...don’t come in.” He did it after a salon customer refused to let stylist Richard Evans (above left) cut his son’s hair when he realised he was gay. "So he asked me if I could do it," recalled Russell (above right). "To which I said 'No because I’m gay as well'!"
8. Karl Davies
Chief Adviser Wales, BBC Trust
Karl is the BBC Trust’s Chief Adviser Wales and coordinates its work in Wales in governing and regulating the BBC. He supports the Audience Council Wales which advises the Trust on the BBC’s performance in Wales. He was Chief Executive of Plaid Cymru for the most exciting decade in its history, steering the party through the referendum on devolution and the first elections to the National Assembly.
He is a member of the parochial church council of Eglwys Dewi Sant in Cardiff. He loves classical music and opera and his entry in Who’s Who lists his interests as food, gossip and Italy. He had his five seconds of fame when he appeared in the Ali G programme a few years ago.
7. Russell T Davies OBE
Russell T Davies
In 2007, The Independent on Sunday named Russell T. Davies the most influential gay person in Britain. The BAFTA-winning scriptwriter has worked in TV for more than 20 years, and is perhaps best known for his stereotype-smashing drama, Queer as Folk. Earlier this year he made Cucumber for Channel 4, exploring the passions and pitfalls of 21st century gay life.
In 2005 he revitalised Doctor Who, before going on to develop spin-off’s Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures.
6. Professor Jeffrey Weeks OBE
Dr Weeks' research interests include the history and sociology of sexuality and intimate life, with particular emphasis on LGBT identities and ways of life, changing family patterns, sexual values and ethics, and sexual theory.
He's the author of 22 books and more than 100 scholarly articles, and has had publications translated into Spanish, Catalan, Chinese, Japanese, Danish, Swedish, French, Russian, Italian, and Serbian. The Rhondda-born brain box is Research Professor in the Weeks Centre for Social and Policy Studies at London South Bank University.
5. Louise Thomas Louise Thomas, Chair, Pride Cymru
Chair, Pride Cymru
It's thanks to Lu and her team that this year’s Pride Cymru is the best celebration of diversity and inclusivity that it could be. The owner/director of Cognition Associates has been active in equality politics in Wales for more than 15 years. She lives in Penarth with her wife and they’re expecting twins this autumn.
4. Professor Laura McAllister
Chair, Sports Wales
If you want a reasoned and impassioned argument about ANYTHING under the sun, just call Laura. In between her duties as Professor of Governance at the University of Liverpool’s School of Management and work as as trustee of Stonewall UK and the Institute of Welsh Affairs, she's just become a mum with her partner Llinos Jones, a radio producer. If that wasn't enough, the former Bridgend comp girl played football at international level. A true Welsh icon who's also great at jelly and blancmange.
3. Andrew White
Director, Stonewall Cymru
Since 2010 Andrew has led a transformation of Wales’ main LGBT charity. He is a passionate and committed campaigner, who with his team works with the employers of nearly a third of the Welsh workforce. At Stonewall Cymru he has introduced new programmes and campaigns in education, sport and health.
He regularly meets with heads of businesses, charities and government advisors and has actively championed community engagement including direct contact with thousands of LGBT people across Wales. He lives with his husband and their son near Bridgend.
The psychotherapist and photographer from Cardiff decided to live as a woman six years ago but made the conscious decision to keep her beard to 'create another space'. As she so eloquently puts it: "If a child sees me and thinks, 'Bloody hell, so it’s not as simple as pink or blue or football or ballet – there must be 101 possibilities in between', then maybe I can serve the greater good.”
1. Captain Hannah Winterbourne
Soldier and LGB&T Sport Cymru ambassador
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.
“However I think people soon realised that it didn’t make a difference to my job. At the end of the day I can still do all the things I could do before I transitioned. That’s what the Army respects because we’re all about capability and output. That’s what matters."