Viktoria Harrysson, who has 50,000 followers on YouTube, was awarded the Transgender of the Year prize at the televised QX Gay Gala. Viktoria says she realized she was a girl when she was ten.
In an emotional speech she thanked her parents, who also attended the gala, for supporting her.
“This is such a big thing. I feel like a sweaty potato, but I am so happy,” she said. She was awarded the prize by Sara Danius, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, best known as the person who announces the winner of the Nobel Literature Prize.
Other prizes went to ice hockey player Anders Nilsson, who was awarded Hetero of the Year. The Swede, who plays for the Vancouver Canucks in Canada, won the prize for wearing a helmet painted in the colours of the rainbow to show his support for diversity in sport.
The Homo of the Year prize went to veteran performer and drag artist Christer Lindarw.
Christer Lindarw, Homo of the Year. Photo: Erik Simander/TT
A special prize for Kiss of the Year went to the stars of an ad for Canal Digital, Irish model Shane and English actor Paul, who flew in from London to receive the award. See the film below:
The popularity of the gala, which was celebrating its twentieth anniversary, was underlined by the stream of international singers who turned out to perform. They included gay favourites Mel C of the Spice Girls and Israeli Eurovision winner Dana International. Other performers included Harpo, who sung Moviestar, his global hit from 1976, and current Swedish favourite Kamferdrops with Jag trodde änglarna fanns.
Mel C. Photo: Erik Simander/TT
There were serious notes too: Helena Bergström paid tribute to fellow actor Rikard Wolff, who died last year at the age of 59. And TV producer Christer Björkman, who won a prize for his book Generalen, added a note of caution to the celebrations:
“We must keep reminding ourselves, our families, friends and the media that all these steps forward can easily be reversed. We can never allow that to happen.”