A straight Nigerian talk show host will lead a panel of LGBT experts to examine why some black and other ethnic minorities feel unwelcome in gay UK.
Black and Asian people, and other ethnic minorities in Britain, often feel or are excluded from LGBT life.
The result is problems with the police, racism, increased mental health issues, greater exposure to homophobia, rejection, loneliness, forced marriages and hate crime.
Now two black LGBT champions, have organized an expert panel to examine the issues.
Bisi Alimi, one of the organizers and a GSN contributor, told us: ‘The number of LGBT people who are facing challenges in accessing services is on the increase.
‘According to the Runnymede and Stonewall report “One Minority at a Time”, many of the respondents said they “felt their ethnicity and sexual orientation impacted directly upon the way the police interacted with them”.
‘This has played greatly on the mental health of many LGBT people in the UK. As much as many black and minority ethnic (BME) LGBT people face racism within the mainstream LGBT community, there are increasing rates of homophobia and rejection from friends and families within the BME community as well.’
The event will focus on how to increase black, Asian and other UK miniorities’ visibility, both on the gay scene and in the media.
It will also seek out role models, and examine how to eliminate racism and make our community more inclusive.
Racial preferences around sex, and the way online daters in particular say they don’t want to meet certain races, is likely to be a hot topic.
Alimi said: ‘Being LGBT and BME is becoming too much of a cross for many to bear and it is having its impact on young BME LGBT people in the country with increasing fear of rejection, loneliness, homophobia, forced marriages and hate crime.
‘The recent police report said one in four LGBT people have experienced homophobia in recent times but the burden is even higher among BME LGBTs who lack the confidence to report abuse due to family ties.’
The panel includes:
The panel will be hosted by Funmi Iyanda, a multi-award winning Nigerian producer, talk show host, journalist and activist.
She is best known for independently producing and hosting Nigeria’s most popular talk show New Dawn with Funmi Iyanda, which ran on the national network for eight years and made her one of Nigeria’s most watched TV personalities.
The event is running from 6.30pm to 9.30pm on 25 October at University College London (UCL). Find out more and buy tickets here. Gay Star News is the event’s media partner.