What is UK Black Pride?
UK Black Pride is Europe's largest celebration for African, Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American and Caribbean-heritage LGBTQI+ people. It took place last weekend and, in this article, I wanted to detail the history of the event and its importance to those of us who live in the LGBTQI+ and Minority Ethnic intersection.
UK Black Pride's aim is to promote unity and co-operation among LGBTQI+ people of African, Asian, Caribbean, Latin American and Middle Eastern descent. The theme this year was Love and Rage, to acknowledge the difficult 12 months for so many people within ethnic minority communities- the murder of George Floyd and the health inequalities that the pandemic has highlighted.
Why is UK Black Pride is Important?
When speaking about UK Black Pride, I have often encountered the question "why is another pride event needed?", or "isn't one major event enough?". To the first question I answer yes and to the second no and here is why.
Wider pride event have been crucial in raising awareness of the issues affecting the LGBTQI+ community and creating safe spaces, but for those of us who live with intersecting LGBTQI+ identities, this has not always been the case. Finding acceptance can be challenging and some people from ethnic minority backgrounds have reported experiencing racism and discrimination in mainstream LGBTQI+ spaces. For instance in March 2021 when he entire Pride in London advisory board quit amid claims of racism, bullying and marginalisation.
From a personal perspective, UK Black Pride has been fundamental in accepting who I am and reconciling being gay with being Arab and Muslim. Being in a space where I don't feel the need to explain or justify myself, where I am around those who have had a similar lived experience and where I am not in the minority has helped with my healing and feeling whole.
Like many others who live the LGBTQI+ minority ethnic intersection, I often wonder how UK Black Pride would have helped a much younger me. UK Black Pride is there so that the younger generation does not find themselves asking that same question.
For more information about UK Black Pride visit: https://www.ukblackpride.org.uk/