Bergdorf will be the face of it’s new Beauty Spotlight campaign (
In the same 12 month period, professional car driver Richard Hammond managed to anger the LGBT+ community in two ridiculous ways.
The first was at the end of 2016, when he revealed that his heterosexuality meant that he couldn't enjoy one of life's great pleasures. "It's alright, I don't eat ice cream," he cooed rather confusingly in response to Jeremy Clarkson discussing the inability to eat a Magnum in a Volvo.
It's something to do with being straight.
Ice cream is a bit – you know. There’s nothing wrong with it, but a grown man eating an ice cream – it’s that way, rather than that way…
No, we're not sure what he meant either.
But less than a year later, right at the beginning of December 2017, he tried to clarify his comments.
“It may be because I live in a hideously safe and contained middle-class world, where a person’s sexuality is not an issue," he said in an interview with The Sunday Times, "but when I hear of people in the media coming out, I think, why do they even feel the need to mention it?”
One in five lesbian, gay or bi workers experienced verbal bullying from one of their colleagues in last five years.
Nearly 45 per cent of LGBT+ pupils - including 64 per cent of trans pupils - are bullied for being LGBT+ in school.
So maybe, just maybe, it's important for people who come out in the media to shout about it, be proud about it and be a visible beacon of strength for those who aren't white, straight or cisgender.
Of course, a great many LGBT+ people are defining their community every single day of their lives, but we've picked nine groups and individuals whose work and contributions this year have inspired.
Of course, we know there are many, many more, so we encourage you to reflect and look back on your own personal LGBT+ heroes from 2017.
1. Munroe Bergdorf.
Last year, Munroe Bergdorf became the modern face of diversity. As a trans woman of colour, it should come as no surprise that some took aim at her.
After calling out institutionalised racism and white supremacy following the abhorrent race riots in Charlottesville earlier this year, Munroe was sacked as the face of a L'Oreal campaign, but she became an inspiration and an icon to the black community and the trans community alike - not least because of her clash with Piers Morgan.
2. Bisi Alimi.
Bisi Alimi is a gay Nigerian activist who holds the distinction of being the first man to ever come out on national Nigerian TV.
After fleeing his country in fear for his life, he was granted asylum in the UK in 2009 and was conferred with citizenship in 2014.
Since then, he has founded the Bisi Alimi Foundation and co-founded The Kaleidoscope Trust to fight for equal rights and dignity for LGBT+ people around the world. If you need an example of his kind heart and generosity, on 10 December he and his husband offered to open their doors for the vulnerable and lonely on Christmas Day.
In 2018, we could all do with being more like Bisi.
Last year my husband & I opened our doors to people on #christmasday & it was not just a beautiful thing, it was al… https://t.co/XZSWswDXSQ
He broke the mould for what it meant to be a gay man in the entertainment industry, using male pronouns in songs for his band Years & Years, continually being an advocate for LGBT+ rights, and refusing to be anything other than a visible, shamelessly queer man - even performing in a kimono in front of tens of thousands at Wembley Arena.
In 2017 though, he took it a step further with his documentary Growing Up Gay, which deftly deconstructed what it means to be LGBT+ in the UK and the effects modern living can have on the community's mental health. Essential viewing for every single person in the country.
4. Fox Fisher and Owl.
Fox and Owl are partners in work and partners in life.
Together they co-founded My Genderation, a film project which aims to celebrate and raise awareness of the trans experiences, and non-binary gender identities. To date, they have created and produced more than 60 films. Earlier this year they made national news by clashing with - you guessed it - Piers Morgan over gender neutrality.
They remain two of the loudest voices amidst a soundscape of transphobic white noise, advocating for the dignity and fair treatment of trans people. They are also writing a Trans Survival Guide together, to be published in 2018.
Fox and Owl campaign for transgender rights
5. Ryan Atkin.
It seems strange that we're still getting 'firsts' for gay people in 2017, but this year we saw the first-ever professional football referee come out as gay.
Although we know there are gay football players who have come out in retirement, and although we know there are gay footballers playing today who remain in the closet, the first-ever out gay active professional football player since Justin Fashanu in the 1990s still alludes us.
This summer, Ryan Atkin brought us one step closer to that reality. Today, he remains a visible gay presence on the pitch in major football games and now works alongside Stonewall to help champion inclusiveness and diversity throughout sport.
Being Gay should not be a barrier to the beautiful game of football. Allies within the sport are more crucial than… https://t.co/2dQdk8S1aV
While the moral panic the that has been whipped up against the trans community in 2017 has been abhorrent, what makes it even worse is the focus on children and young people.
As we know from Stonewall, more than four in five young trans people have self-harmed, and more than two in five young trans people have attempted suicide. That's why an organisation like Mermaids is not only of the upmost importance; for some people it can be a matter of life and death.
Mermaids is about embracing, educating and empowering, and serves as a vital resource for young people, parents and teachers alike. Although they were founded in 1995, Mermaids have never been more vital.
8. Phyll Opoku-Gyimah.
Or Lady Phyll, as she's also known. This woman should be counted as a role model by each and every one of us.
Sitting in the cross-section of the intersectionality of her blackness and her gayness, Lady Phyll's work is about empowering queer people of colour and the minorities within the LGBT+ community, who can sometimes be the hardest people to reach while asking people in power and with privilege to do their bit to help people along.
She is the co-founder and director of UK Black Pride, which works year-round and throughout the UK to promote unity and cooperation, while combating racism and celebrating black culture throughout the LGBT+ community. UK Black Pride - and in impact Lady Phyll is making on the LGBT+ community - continues to grow year after year.
9. Patrick Strudwick.
Patrick Strudwick is a pioneer in the British media industry, telling queer stories from all corners of the LGBT+ community to a mainstream audience as BuzzFeed's LGBT+ editor.
Through his journalism, he exposes prejudice and abuse of privilege both outside our community and even within for those people who take their positions for granted. This year, he appeared on Good Morning Britain to confront Piers Morgan about his interviewing of a gay conversation therapist on national TV and forced Piers to call off the interview after calling him a 'narcissist'.
When you need to count people going out to bat for the LGBT+ community, Patrick Strudwick continues to prove that he's one of the heaviest hitters.