It’s been another twelve months of pandemic life but, hey, you know what always cheers me up at this time of year? Giving thanks and announcing my Super Humans! Every year since 2011, I have shared a list of the people who have had positive impact on my life in the previous 12 months and who, in my opinion, deserve an award for their greatness. These are some of the fabulous folk who have shaped my year and brought me both joy and inspiration, so I want to thank them for all they have done.
Debbie Murray – As I have already mentioned, 2021 has been a year of photoshoots for me and the very first one was with Debbie, way back in February. I found her on Instagram (@_emerald_photography_) last year and was soon hooked on the combination of beautiful images on her grid and fab feminist content in her stories. We got to meet in person when I visited Edinburgh in July, creating more photoshoot magic and, because she’s an absolute angel, she also planned a lovely night on the cocktails for me with other Instagram friends.
Virginia A. Hendricks – A long-term friend, Ginny and I were due to meet for drinks and a catch-up in March 2020 and this was swiftly turned into a video call, which then became a weekly fixture throughout the first two lockdowns. She’s now moved back to London and so we’ve had lots more fun together in 2021. Looking forward to more in 2022!
Chris Brosnahan – Again, someone who I’ve known a long time, Chris is a friend who I reconnected with during lockdown last year. A writer and short-film-maker with a talent for crafting a viral tweet, he runs a writing group at The All Good Bookshop where he also helped out last month when they were in desperate need of staff due to Covid. (There was some mischief, but I don’t think it turned into Black Books overnight.) He also recently raised £2,700 for Mind by shaving his hair and beard off, but thankfully the fuzz is returning to keep him warm over winter.
Allie / Geeky Faye – A non-binary nerd, artist and excitable maker, Allie has spent this year 3D printing all the things and building a dedicated following on YouTube. They are a wonderful human who is a fantastic friend and brilliant creator (check out these earrings and ‘Queersgiving’ place cards), and I’m enjoying watching their art get so much love online. Looking forward to seeing what they do in 2022.
Roberta Dolinska – A true one-off, Roberta is the woman behind the Gowns by Roberta brand and I’m lucky to also call her my friend. We met via Instagram (are you sensing a theme here?), and met in person for the first time when I visited Edinburgh in the summer. Her personal style is so iconic that if I was an artist she’d definitely be my muse. 2021 has been a year of challenges, so I really hope that next year is a little kinder to her.
Phopy – Another long-time friend who I’ve reconnected with this year, Phopy is a wonderful woman and I very much enjoy our catch ups. The first time I ventured out this year to socialise with new people (quite a daunting prospect back in May!) was to join Phopy for a small birthday afternoon tea at her place. My introduction to the now-ubiquitous lateral flow test proved to be a great success, as that small gathering of vaccinated negative-testing femme folk was so full of joy… and hugs!
Carina Vicente – We first met back in 2017 at The Underpinnings Museum‘s première soirée in the glamorous location of Fontaine’s and had kept in touch via Instagram ever since. Sadly (for me) Carina no longer lives in the UK but she returned for a visit in August this year, so we made plans to meet for cocktails and a lovely afternoon trip to see the Alice exhibition at the V&A. A truly wonderful human who really brightened my year.
Leslie Byron Pitt – Another of the photographers who I’ve had the pleasure to work with this year, Leslie and I have been chatting for ages and it was nice to finally meet up in August and shoot together. I highly recommend following him on Instagram for his photography and on Twitter for his movie insights. Another wonderful person who’s had a dreadfully challenging year, I really hope that 2022 is much more positive for him.
Jon Topper – Simply the best person I could have wished to be stuck in a small flat with for most of the last two years, Topper and I are currently making plans to have more space for our bullshit in 2022. I also have more plans that are going to take up a lot of my time over the next two years which he is very supportive of, but I suspect that’s because he’ll get even more alone time. Thanks for all the love, for making me laugh, and for always listening even when you’d much rather have silence.
Shotgun Carousel – Every year, I save one spot on the list for a group of people and this year it had to be the wonderful cabaret performers who I had been looking forward to seeing on New Year’s Eve. Sadly, due to a few cases of Covid during rehearsals, their festive show The Grotteaux has had to be postponed so I will miss out on ending 2021 with queer joy. I wish them all a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing them on stage next year instead.