The awards have been running since 2013 and exist to celebrate the hard work of grass roots event organisers and community businesses who are committed to improving the lesbian, bi and queer scene. This year almost 4,000 women cast 47,523 votes to decide the winners across the 40 categories.
We beat some strong competition in the form of Barberette, Pink Lobster Dating, Pretty Pink Pearl, Square Peg Media and That's the Spot.
Our own Kate Frank was there to pick up the award for the Sh! team. She gives us her thoughts on the night:
"It was an absolutely fabulous night, well... late afternoon!
Broadway Theatre was full of empowered, inspiring women. I was sitting there, in full #powerlesbian mode, next to Sarah Waters! (Yes, I was fangirling hard, as was everyone else in the room - reading 'Fingersmith' in my early teens was a major sexual identity breakthrough).
I was amazed by the supportive and warm atmosphere. Katie and Naomi did wonderful job, not only by inviting such an inspiring
crowd but also by creating a fun yet professional event. I was surprised and flustered when Sh! was called to collect an award for the most inspiring business serving the Lesbian, Bi Queer & Questioning community. I thanked everyone on behalf of the whole Team Sh! and invited everyone to join us for a Spank You Very Much Class.
Every day we are working hard at Sh! to create an empowered and safe space for women to explore their sexuality. Such a rare and precious space is worth protecting. It is one of the few sex education platforms that not only sprung from the queer community, but has many LBQ staff and continues to base its practices on the experiences and life stories that queer women share with us.
Working in a family-like, women orientated small business that has been focused on sexually empowering women since the 90s' (some of our Team Sh! girls are younger than our shop!) is one of the best jobs a girl in London can have. That's why I am always dying to talk about Sh! to anyone who would like to listen... and on that night I had a full room of gorgeous, powerful LBQ women who were very eager to let me do so."
The nights other awesome winners were:
ARTS AND CULTURE
Independent Author - Kiki Archer
Publishing House Author - Sarah Waters
LBQ Book - Too Late I Love You by Kiki Archer
International Festival - Pride In London
LBQ Comedian - Rosie Wilby
LBQ Live Performance Event - Coming Out of my Box by Emma Stroud
Musician - Solo Artist - Lucy Spraggan
Musician - Group/Band - Playing House
Live Performance Performer - MIRI
Recorded Performance Performer - Lucy Spraggan
AWARENESS AND PROMOTION
Voluntary/Community Project - Love Human Rights
Journalist - Katie Bennett-Hall
Photographer/Videographer - Laura Dixon
Local Network/Forum - Gay Women's Network
Best/most effective LBQ focussed politician - Sandi Toksvig
Role Model - Rosie Spaughton
LBQ Blogger/Vlogger Rose Ellen Dix
Volunteer - Sarah Lavender
Radio Show or Podcast - The Girls Hour
Web series - She's in London
Independent Film - Crazy Bitches
Short Film - Life in Colors
Media Outlet (online or print) - Diva Magazine
DJ - Carmen London
Inclusive event - Project X
LBQ friendly space - SHE Soho
Event organiser - Nikki Chubb
Bar staff - Bex Smith and Cressida Lawlor
Security staff - Anna Georgiou, Pinx Security
Most Creative Space or Event - Sink the Pink
DJ - DJ Lady Lola
LBQ friendly space - Diva Cafe
Most Creative Space or Event - Brighton Pride
SOCIAL AND COMMUNITY
Social Group Organiser - Jennifer Lorrimer, LezBeSocial
Social Group - Lesbian Book Readers Club
Dating/Network Service - HER App
Corporate Network - Freshfields LGBT Network