- @ CliffJoann­ou

t’s that time of year again. No, not Halloween. ( Although I may have already dusted off my rubber Playboy bunny outfi t for that most queerest of holidays.) And no, neither am I talking about the annual celebratio­n of the birth of Jesus Christ, which as you may or may not know takes its inspiratio­n from the Mariah Carey classic All I Want For Christmas is You.

I am, of course, speaking in reference to the Virgin Atlantic Attitude Awards 2019 powered by Jaguar, Europe’s biggest LGBTQ awards event.

By the time you read this, we would have dry cleaned our tuxes and put the gin- soaked red carpet out to dry as we wrap- up the best part of nine months of preparatio­n to put together a seated dinner and celebratio­n for 650 guests. This year, the Attitude Magazine Foundation was raising money for The Food Chain, a charity that delivers meals and groceries, off ers cookery and nutrition classes and communal eating opportunit­ies to people living with HIV in London, and to their dependants.

There’s an extraordin­ary amount of work that goes into the awards, both at the event and in the lead up to the big day. It’s like planning a wedding that is attended by a mix of our friends in the LGBTQ community, with added media ( E!, BBC News, et al) and plenty of celebs ( from Cheryl to Christine and the Queens via Taron Egerton) invited for added oomph. I can only imagine this kind of fuss is akin to what it must be like every time Kim Kardashian ( or Danniella Westbrook) wants to pop out for a pint of milk.

But I digress…

My going- round- the- houses, beating- around- the- bush point is that it takes a hell of a lot of work to produce a magazine every four weeks, put out the level of daily digital content that we do, and plan and deliver not only the Attitude Awards but also the Pride Awards every year. It all seems to run so smoothly on the surface, but behind the scenes, and as deadlines approach, stress levels hit a high as we fi nd ourselves delivering a world- class brand that generates internatio­nal news on a team of just 20 or so people.

It’s become almost a running joke that when I deliver my short speech to the room on the night, and sign off by thanking the team at Attitude, I leave somebody’s name out. So, here we are — in print and in a manner in which I cannot omit anyone — are the names ( that you will also fi nd on the page opposite) of the people who work super- hard to make it all the more easy for me to stand on a stage dressed in a fancy tux half- cut from champagne just so I can leave one or two of them off my gratitude list:

Darren, Mike, Tim, Thomas, Will, Steve, Markus, Hugh, Jamie, Gary, Laurene, Joseph, Nick, Sean, Andy,

Jo, Craig, Nigel, Lesley, Tina and Tom.

So, enjoy this very special “awards” issue of Attitude _— our most star- studded to date — and rest assured it really was delivered with only the most glamorous blood, sweat and tears that the aforementi­oned queens and allies of queens could muster. And do check out our social platforms and attitude. co. uk for highlights of the awards, and for the fi rst time ever, a Facebook livestream of the whole damn thing.

“This issue is delivered with only the most glamorous blood, sweat and tears”

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