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10 LGBT icons in the East of England that you should know

As LGBT History Month draws to an end, we've highlighted prominent LGBT figures with strong links to the East.

Transgender activist and model Munroe Bergdorf Credit: PA

Munroe Bergdorf

British model, DJ and LGBT activist Munroe Bergdorf identifies as a black, queer transwoman.

The 31-year-old, who was born in Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex, was L’Oréal's first trans model. However, she was dropped by the brand in a flurry of controversy after criticising white privilege.

She continues to be a prominent figure and activist. Munroe has spoken extensively about her struggles while transitioning, including difficulties attending an all-boys school and being raped.

Garry Ormes

Essex Pride has ran every year since 2003 by LGBT campaigner Garry Ormes.

The countywide festival aims to promote Essex as a diverse and accepting place to live. Essex Pride contributed towards Chelmsford's bid for city status in 2012.

44-year-old Mr Ormes, frequently speaks out on local radio and social media platforms about LGBT equality.

Composer Benjamin Britten Credit: PA

Benjamin Britten

Composer and pianist Benjamin Britten was born in 1913 in Lowestoft, Suffolk.

Homosexuality was only decriminalised in 1967, so when Britten started a relationship with tenor Peter Pears in 1939, they were forced to conceal it.

Much of Britten's works are now believed to highlight his clandestine relationship with Pears.

Their struggle is an important part of the history of LGBT rights.

Zoe O'Connell

Championing transgender and LGBT issues across Cambridgeshire is Zoe O'Connell's passion.

The transgender Liberal Democrat councillor, has spoken out about her own experience of homophobia and transphobia while on the campaign trail in Trumpington.

Zoe has co-authored Liberal Democrat policy papers on equality and security. She has also written for prominent titles like The Guardian and The Huffington Post.

Sarah Brown

For several years Sarah Brown, a Cambridge city councillor between 2010 and 2014, was the only transgender politician in the UK.

In 2011. 2012 and 2013, she featured on the Independent's "Pink List" - a collation of the most influential LGBT people in the UK.

She now works closely to improve conditions for transgender people in the NHS as well as taking an active role at the Kite Trust and Stonewall's Trans Advisory Group.

Politician Ben Bradshaw Credit: PA

Ben Bradshaw

The 58-year-old was the first openly gay MP to win an election back in 1997.

Ben, who was born in Norwich and went to Thorpe Grammar School, campaigned for equal rights for lesbian, gay and bisexual people.

In 2009, he was voted Stonewall's Politician of the Year for his work; in 2006 he became the first MP to enter a civil partnership after marrying BBC journalist Neal Dalgleish.

Comedian and actor Stephen Fry Credit: PA

Stephen Fry

Writer, actor, TV presenter and LGBT activist Stephen Fry has spoken extensively about being bisexual, calling himself only "90 percent gay".

Fry, who has a house in West Bilney, Norfolk, created a documentary that explored attitudes to homosexuality around the world. Out There aired on BBC Two in 2013.

The programme saw Fry spend two years confronting "notorious homophobes" with the aim of challenging their prejudices.

He later said he had attempted suicide during filming. Fry, who has bipolar disorder, has also worked extensively with mental health charity Mind.

Rylan Clark-Neal

Essex-born TV personality Rylan Clark-Neal has openly challenged prejudice after having homophobic slurs yelled at him in the street.

Rylan and his husband Dan Neal, a former policeman, became the first gay couple to host This Morning together back in 2016.

Comedian Alan Carr Credit: PA

Alan Carr

Comedian and broadcaster Alan Carr has hosted the British LGBT awards, which celebrate the achievements of the community.

Carr spend much of his childhood in Northampton before moving to Manchester where he began his comedy career.

Dodie Clark

Essex musician Dodie Clark has found popularity through YouTube. Under the user name 'doddleoddle', Dodie posts original songs along with piano and ukelele covers.

In 2016, Dodie came out as bisexual via her channel. She has since made a number of videos on the subject.