Sir Ian McKellen has presented this year’s David Kato Vision and Voice Award to Belizean LGBT activist for fighting for the withdrawal of the discriminatory anti-gay laws at his homeland. The David Kato Vision and Voice Award is presented every year in memory of murdered Ugandan LGBT campaigner David Kato. This year, the award was presented by veteran actor and LGBT activist Sir Ian McKellen at the annual fundraising gala dinner of the Kaleidoscope Trust, the worldwide LGBT equality campaign. In 2006 Caleb Orozco co-founded Belize’s only LGBT-led campaign group, the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), which brought legal action to challenge the country’s anti-gay sodomy law. Sir Ian praised the activist’s “bravery” and resilience in the face of adversity.
The awarded activist said: “The award is not about me, but about the aspirations of my community and the sacrifices and support they have shown in overcoming bigotry and taking on our opponents. I am hopeful awareness of the award will inspire more of my community to be publicly visible and to be proud about who they are. We hope we can inspire other LGBT activists that change is possible especially in a difficult political environment.