An open letter to the British LGBT Awards

Dear British LGBT Awards Directors,

We are a group of LGBTQ+ activists who are part of Just Stop Oil standing in solidarity with Fossil Free Pride who will be taking action on the night of your event.

We are writing this open letter to demand that you: reject all involvement and sponsorship of the British LGBT Awards by the fossil fuel companies and the banks that fund them, issue a statement to demand that the government end new oil and gas; and, encourage your peers to join us in civil resistance.

We are in an unprecedented climate emergency which is being catastrophically fuelled by the oil and gas industry. As a result of corporate greed, the UK has faced food shortages, floods, and heatwaves. Millions of people in East Africa are facing starvation due to drought; Pakistan is still suffering from last year’s devastating flood; and wildfires have destroyed 13.3 million acres of Canada so far. This is only a small percentage of the scale of devastation caused by the climate crisis. By signing the complete IPCC report, our Government has made it clear that they are aware of this enormous threat as well as the cause of it, but they are continuing to fund the murderous industry that is causing so much destruction.

Knowingly causing the deaths of millions by acting in the interests of the fossil fuel industry is not just illegal, it is genocidal. By choosing to accept sponsorship from BP, Shell, and the banks that fund them the British LGBT Awards is choosing the side of genocide. 

Fossil fuel partnerships shame and embarrass the LGBTQ+ community at a time when much of the cultural world is rejecting all ties to this toxic industry, including The Royal Shakespeare Company, The BFI and Southbank Centre, Picturehouse Cinemas and The British Museum.

As you know, 1 in 5 LGBTQ+ people – and 1 in 4 transgender people – have experienced homelessness (Stonewall research) at some point in their lives. LGBTQ+ young people are already four times more likely to become homeless than their non-LGBTQ+ peers. When the climate crisis means that we will have to fight for loaves of bread, many of us won’t be able to afford to house ourselves or pay our bills, and thousands of homes will be destroyed every year, who do you think will suffer first? 

In the face of sponsorship deals from the billionaires who are forcing us to choose between resistance or death, it seems you have forgotten to put our safety and futures first. 

We in the LGBTQ+ community will not allow the deadliest and most dangerous companies to use our existence to greenwash and rainbow wash their brands.

This is a line in the sand for us. No company should be involved in the British LGBT Awards whose business model includes knowingly killing LGBTQ+ people.

We urge you to think again and act to put things right by excluding these sponsors from all aspects of this year’s British LGBT Awards, and the fossil fuel industry from all future awards. It is shameful that in 2023, when the climate crisis has killed so many people, and fossil fuels are undoubtedly the leading cause, you still have chosen to take money from such abusive and negligent companies as Shell and BP. 

While we are aware that you may say that it is too late to cancel sponsorships, the science tells us that it is now or never. It is NEVER too late to choose the side of life. Please attempt to right this wrong by publishing a statement of regret over your decision, and agreeing to distance your event entirely from the fossil fuel industry now and in all future circumstances.

The climate crisis is a war between the fossil fuel industry and everyone else. Civil resistance is in our blood, and we will not stop fighting until we know that a safe and happy future has been won for the next generation. 

Yours sincerely,

Just Stop Oil