Manchester Metropolitan University

News story

MMU academic is 'national treasure'

TWO Manchester Metropolitan University academics have been named among the nation’s most influential gay people.

Poet Laureate Professor Carol Ann Duffy and Stephen Whittle, Professor of Equalities Law, are among the Britons named on The Independent on Sunday’s Pink List 2013 - the hundred or so gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people that make a difference in Britain today.

When the first Pink List was published in 2000, it was a list of 50 influential people who were brave enough to be “out”,” says the paper. “This year the judges decided that a Pink List contender can no longer simply be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender and famous. They need to make a difference.”

Influential words

Carol Ann, who is Creative Director of the Manchester Writing School in the Department of English is 24th on this year’s list, while Stephen a long-time campaigner for transgender rights, is named on a special list of ‘national treasures’.

Ms Duffy is best-known for her works Standing Female Nude (1985) and Selling Manhattan (1987). Her work is included on the national curriculum for schools and frequently features themes of sexuality, inequality and bereavement.

Manchester-born Stephen, who founded the UK’s female to man network in 1989, and has been president of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, joins the likes of David Hockney, Jeanette Winterson, Stephen Fry and Alice Arnold on the 40-strong list of ‘national treasures’ (see full list below).

Legal champion

Stephen, who was born female but began hormone replacement therapy in his early twenties, wrote in Disembodied Law: Trans People's Legal(Outer) Space: "I face an inadequate legal framework in which to exist. We are simply ‘not’ within a world that only permits two sexes, only allows two forms of gender role, gender identity or expression. Always falling outside of the ‘norm’ our lives become less, our humanity is questioned, and our oppression is legitimized.”

In 2002, Whittle was given the Human Rights Award by the Civil Rights group Liberty, for his commitment and dedication to ensuring the advancement of rights for transsexual people through judicial means, and was awarded an OBE for services to Gender Issues in 2005.

He is currently carrying out an extensive research project on the legal implications of the Indian caste system in Britain funded by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission. http://www.staff.mmu.ac.uk/manmetlife/news/view/ehrc-commissions-study-on-caste-in-uk

Our National Treaures

April Ashley MBE Model; Russell T Davies OBE TV producer and screenwriter; Lauren Harries Media personality; Phyllida Lloyd CBE Theatre director; Matthew Parris Journalist; Alice Purnell OBE Trans campaigner; Stephen Whittle OBE Professor of equalities law; Sir Cameron Mackintosh Theatre producer; Paul O’Grady MBE Actor, presenter; Neil Tennant Musician; David Hockney OM, CH Artist; Andrew Pierce Journalist; Jeanette Winterson OBE Writer; Boy George Musician and DJ; Eileen Gallagher OBE Television producer; Sir Elton John Musician; Philip Hensher Writer; Julian Clary Comedian and writer; Alice Arnold Broadcaster; Alan Bennett Playwright; Alan Hollinghurst Novelist; Stephen Fry Actor and writer; Sir Ian McKellen CH, CBE Actor; Jonathan Harvey Playwright; Paul Burston Author and journalist; Fiona Shaw CBE Actress and director; Simon Callow CBE Actor; Rupert Everett Actor; Sir Nicholas Hytner Theatre director; Val McDermid Novelist; Brian Sewell Art critic; John Barrowman Actor; Sandi Toksvig Actor and presenter; Graham Norton Comedian and presenter; Colm Tóibín Novelist; Linda Bellos OBE Activist; David Lan Playwright and film-maker; Dr Christian Jessen TV presenter and doctor; Michael Grandage CBE Theatre director and producer; Jackie Kay MBE Poet and novelist

Next Story MMU wins UK 'Building of the Year'
Previous Story Enterprise experts helping to create European jobs