From 1 September 2022, model and activist Munroe Bergdorf, former professional swimmer and media personality Michael Gunning, fashion designer and stylist Kyle De’Volle, champion diver and TV personality Tom Daley, and screenwriter, director and producer Dustin Lance Black will all work to raise awareness and funds for Kaleidoscope Trust.
Speaking on the appointment of patrons, the executive director of Kaleidoscope Trust, Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, said: “This is the charity’s first time appointing patrons and we invited those who continue to offer uplifting examples of what it means to show up as ourselves fully in the world and whose public profiles reach across diverse communities and geographies. The fact of the matter is: Britain must take responsibility for its anti-LGBT+ colonial legacy, and Kaleidoscope Trust is committed to ensuring that our LGBT+ siblings across the Commonwealth are meaningfully supported in living with the freedom, safety, equality and rights they are entitled to. I’m looking forward to working with our patrons and thank them each for their support of our work and LGBT+ people everywhere.”
Olympic diver Tom Daley has recently been praised for his hard-hitting documentary Illegal To Be Me, which explored the impact of anti-LGBT+ laws across the Commonwealth. He is married to fellow patron Dustin Lance Black. The couple commented: “Kaleidoscope Trust has led and coordinated immense and important work over the past decade and the team at the charity continue to demonstrate an unwavering commitment to upholding the human rights of LGBT+ people across the Commonwealth. We are honoured to join Kaleidoscope Trust, particularly in light of the ongoing threats to LGBT+ people in the UK and around the world.”
Munroe Bergdorf said: “It should be clear to one and all within the LGBT+ communities that all of our rights are under threat. As ever, we need civil society organisations, people of goodwill and members of the public to fight hard to ensure no LGBT+ person is left behind. Joining Kaleidoscope Trust as a Patron means the world to me. Not only do I admire the intrepid work Lady Phyll leads on here in the UK, she is a demonstration that our rights at home will never be secure as long as our LGBT+ siblings across the world are not free, safe and equal. As a Kaleidoscope Trust Patron, I will use my platform and my voice to raise awareness and money to help ensure Kaleidoscope Trust can continue to do their vital work.”
Michael Gunning explained why he was motivated to apply to be one of our patrons: “As I make the transition into a new chapter in my professional life, I’m very excited to be joining Kaleidoscope Trust as a Patron. Kaleidoscope Trust does immensely impactful work, in collaboration with grassroots activists and civil society organisations across the Commonwealth, to ensure a free, safe and equal world for LGBT+ people. Visibility and representation are so important and I am honoured they asked me to use my platform and lived experience to raise awareness about the ongoing discrimination LGBT+ people are facing across the Commonwealth.”
Kyle De’Volle explained: “I was really shocked when I read the reports from Kaleidoscope Trust about just how dire the situation is for LGBT+ people across the Commonwealth and think it’s unacceptable that more of us don’t know – and therefore can’t help. It’s an honour to join Kaleidoscope Trust as a Patron. Self-expression and the freedom to live as who we are, and loving who we love, are human rights that absolutely all of us are entitled to. I’m looking forward to working with Lady Phyll and the team at Kaleidoscope Trust to raise awareness about how more of us can get involved to create a free, safe and equal world for LGBT+ people everywhere.”
The addition of patrons to Kaleidoscope Trust comes at a time of sustained threats to the rights and livelihoods of LGBT+ in the UK and around the world, and as many LGBT+ people and organisations across the Commonwealth struggle to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Kaleidoscope Trust’s new patrons will shine a light on communities often left in the shadows, giving more people a chance to support in a free, safe and equal world for all.