Karen is one of six finalists and is the only female on the shortlist in the LGBTQI+ Political Leadership category of the awards.
The Proud Scotland Awards are designed to celebrate the LGBTQI+ community by recognising the outstanding work and commitment of individuals and organisations within and supportive of the community in Scotland.
Karen previously opened up about her experience of growing up in a same sex household and has been quick to make a name for herself as an ally to the LGBTQI+ community. The first Parliamentary Motion Karen threw her weight behind was one expressing support for Stonewall, an LGBTQI+ organisation, and trans inclusivity.
She quickly rose to prominence when she made history as the first MSP to take her parliamentary affirmation in British Sign Language (BSL) and now sits on the Scottish Parliament’s Equalities, Human Rights and Civil Justice Committee, which oversees much of the Parliament’s work on LGBTQI+ rights and inclusion.
Karen has previously been vocal in her support to reform the Gender Recognition Act to make it more inclusive of trans people and has publicly supported making the practice of LGBTQI+ Conversion Therapy illegal in Scotland.
She said: “My commitment to supporting members of the LGBTQI+ community has never been stronger. It really is a privilege to be recognised for the work being undertaken to support the LGBTQI+ community.
I am unwavering in my support when I say LGBTQI+ rights are human rights, and trans rights are human rights. It is my hope that my work in parliament over the next five years will be evidence of that. Through actions, not just words. Enacting real change in my role as an MSP to do my part in making sure Scotland is the kind and inclusive country we all want it to be.
“Thank you to the organisers of the Proud Scotland Awards. There are so many inspiring people who have also been shortlisted – Joe Fitzpatrick in my own category, for example; actor David Paisley, who’s shortlisted in the Community Champion category; and so many others. Good luck to everyone!”