A SOLDIER from Gwersyllt is one of the most influential gay people in Britain.
That is according to the Pink List in the Independent on Sunday which rated L/Cpl James Wharton, 23, above a host of famous gay stars and other figures.
The list is the newspaper’s annual celebration of the gay and lesbian community.
Former Ysgol Bryn Alyn pupil James, a member of the Blues and Royals, made history when he married long-term boyfriend Thom McCaffrey, 21, from Acton, in a civil partnership service in March, the first gay wedding for a member of the Household Cavalry.
James had no idea he had made the list until the congratulations started rolling in.
He told the Leader: “I was just lying in bed when I got a text message from a friend saying well done.
“When he told me I had made the Pink List I was absolutely amazed and had no idea I was even being considered for it.
“I have always followed the Pink List and have been interested in who is who. I once joked to my friend ‘I’m going to be on that list one day’ and now I am. It’s unbelievable.”
The couple, who now live in Putney, London, with their pet pug Pickle, met through a mutual friend when they were teenagers.
Thom, a former pupil of St David’s School, who works as a Virgin Atlantic steward, has been cooking up Mexican food to impress James, who said: “We’re really enjoying married life so far.
“We tell each other we love each other every day and Thom has been doing a lot of the cooking which is nice.
“He likes to think of himself as Nigella Lawson.”
Last August the Leader reported James was the first gay cover star of the British Army magazine Soldier.
He was pictured on the front page and gave an interview about life in the armed forces.
The article marked 10 years of gay and lesbian soldiers openly serving in the army.
James added: “Thom was over the moon when he found out about the list. The phone hasn’t stopped ringing with people wishing us well.”
James made number 19 on the Pink List, ranking higher than comedian Matt Lucas, fashion guru Gok Wan and illusionist Derren Brown.
At number 18 was impresario Sir Cameron Mackintosh, producer of West End hits Oliver! and The Phantom of the Opera.
One below James was businessman Sir Michael Bishop who built airline BMI from scratch.
James served in Iraq in 2007 on long-range desert patrols.
The decision to lift the ban on gay military personnel came after two landmark cases heard at the European Court of Human Rights which found the Ministry of Defence’s policy was not sustainable.
James is currently enjoying a period of leave before he and Thom fly to San Francisco, after which they will head to Edinburgh for a bit of culture.
See full story in the Leader