PinkNews Adds Penny Wong and Susan Calman to Their List of 2017 LGBTQ+ Heroes

It seemed like a great idea when PinkNews, an online news site in the U.K. covering politics, entertainment, religion and community news for the LGBT+ community, decided to create a list of “The heroes who made 2017 so much better.

They included some remarkable people. Andrea Jenkins became the first openly transgender woman of color to be elected to any office when she won a seat on the Minneapolis City Council in November’s elections in the U.S.

In the same elections, Danica Roem won a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates, becoming the first openly transgender woman to serve at the state level.

Also on PinkNews’s list was the city of Palm Springs, California, where the November elections resulted in a city council made up of Geoff Kors and J.R. Roberts, two gay men, Lisa Middleton who is an openly trans woman and Christy Holstege, a bi woman.

Yet missing from the PinkNews list was any mention of the word “lesbian,” even though their aim is to cover news for the LBGT+ community. 

The Care2 team decided to create a petition asking PinkNews to represent lesbians on their list, and to make a concerted effort to feature lesbians in their stories moving forward. 

The petition also acknowledged that “While some of the trans women already included might be lesbian, PinkNews haven’t mentioned this, showing that these women have been included by PinkNews due to their profile as trans women, not as lesbians.”

It seems the petition struck a chord with Care2 activists as it gathered almost 11,000 signatures within just a few days.


Benjamin Cohen, the CEO of PinkNews let Care2 know via Twitter that the list was updated to include two lesbians.

The petition included a link to a blog by Karen Ingala Smith entitled “Just a Selection of the Lesbians who made 2017 so much better,” and PinkNews did indeed add two lesbians from Smith’s suggestions to bring their total number to 13.

Here are the two women:

Penny Wong (seen above) is an Australian politician who has represented South Australia in the Senate since 2002, and she is also the country’s first openly lesbian politician. Having previously campaigned against marriage equality, she reversed course and campaigned vigorously in favor of the measure, which was approved by her country last November.

Susan Calman, who came out as a lesbian when she was 19, is a lawyer who turned herself into a stand-up comedian. She is now well-known as a comedian, TV presenter and panellist on several BBC Radio 4 shows. In 2017 Calman competed in the BBC’s “Strictly Come Dancing,” although she and her partner were eliminated in week 10 of the competition.

The Care2 petition explained why these inclusions are so important:

“Every part of the LGBT+ community should be valued, and the profile of lesbians has historically come second to that of gay men within our community. There is misogyny behind this lack of visibility, and this needs to change. In missing out lesbians from its important list of LGBT+ heroes, PinkNews is perpetuating this inequality.”

Congratulations to all the Care2 activists who signed this petition! And thank you PinkNews for responding to feedback from activists. 

If you are inspired by this victory, why not start your own petition about an issue thats important to you? Creating a petition is easy, as youll see if you check out these guidelines, and soon Care2 members will be signing up to support you.


Photo Credit: NCCARF


Cathy B
Cathy B21 hours ago

Thank you for posting.

sharon b
sharon b5 days ago


Danuta W
Danuta W7 days ago

Thank you for sharing

Colin C
Colin C9 days ago

In 2010 Senator Wong opposed Gay Marriage, she is on the right side of history now but she first and foremost is a politician. Australian Marriage Equality spokesperson, Alex Greenwich, said at the time that Senator Wong’s rationale for opposing marriage equality is deeply hypocritical.

Angela J
Angela J11 days ago

Thank you.

Paulo R
Paulo Reeson11 days ago


Paulo R
Paulo Reeson11 days ago


Nancy Wrightington

^5 and standing "O"

Winn A
Winn A12 days ago


Antje S
Antje S12 days ago

Thank you for sharing