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UK Black Pride is this Sunday and this is why it matters

UK Black Pride is this Sunday and this is why it matters

Happening this Sunday 8 July, UK Black Pride is Europe’s largest not-for-profit event for African, Arab, Asian, and Caribbean-heritage people identifying as LGBTI.

The one-day festival will take place at Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens in South London between 12pm and 8pm. Sponsored once again by Stonewall and DIVA, it will be free to attend. 

‘We come together in the face of rising racism’

Phyll Opoku-Gyimah at London’s Southbank Centre in 2014 | Photo: Wiki

When we come together […], we do so in the face of rising racism, xenophobia, transphobia and sexism. In the knowledge that UK Black Pride will remain at the forefront of fighting for our community and building up our grassroots movement so that we can work together and win together,’ said Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, UK Black Pride founder and executive director.

The activist, also known as Lady Phyll, explained what this year’s theme Shades of the Diaspora means to the community.

‘[It] acknowledges the layered and intersecting lived experience of Black LGBTI people in Britain and beyond,’ she said.

‘As we demand safety and equality for all, we’re proud to have continued support of Stonewall, Diva, the trade unions and, crucially, Black LGBTI people, to deliver a free, community-led festival against racism and homophobia.’

Why Black Pride matters

Anick is an intersex activist and will take part in this year’s UK Black Pride | Photo: GSN

Anick, an intersex activist, only went to his first UK Black Pride last year and it changed his life.

‘I had spent so long hiding who I was, it just didn’t feel comfortable being publicly out anywhere,’ he tells Gay Star News.

‘The idea of going to any Pride wasn’t really something that was on my mind.’

When he came out as an intersex person, he started to feel more at home in his own body.

‘I needed to find other people who are like me, so I decided that I wanted to go to my first Pride, even if I was going to be on my own.’

You can see the full interview with Anick as part of a #GayStarNewsLive broadcast on our Facebook Live, and YouTube Thursday 5 July, 7 pm BST / 2 pm EDT:

‘We’re helping young people go to their first UK Black Pride’

Stonewall is one of the groups advocating for the inclusion of Black people in the celebration for the LGBT community. The charity will sponsor UK Black Pride for the eighth year in a row.

‘UK Black Pride is one of the key events in the LGBT calendar. We are proud to be a part of it again in 2018,’ said Stonewall Chief Executive Ruth Hunt.

‘Creating a space for BAME LGBT people to come together to both celebrate and look ahead at what still needs to be done is absolutely vital.’

She also said they are ‘excited to be helping scores of young people from around the UK come to their first UK Black Pride this year, for what we know will be a life-changing experience for them.’

Furthermore, she highlighted the importance of a Black Pride:

‘It’s never been more needed. Stonewall’s research shows half of all BAME LGBT people have faced discrimination from within our own community. That can’t be swept under the carpet. It’s something we all need to stand up and take action to change.’

UK Black Pride in 2017 | Photo: Roxenne Anderson/Facebook

DIVA and the other media partners

The UK’s leading lesbian and bisexual women’s magazine DIVA will continue its headline sponsorship of UK Black Pride festival for the second year in 2018.

Director of DIVA publisher Twin Media Group Linda Riley said: ‘DIVA has always striven to reflect the diversity of our whole community.’

She also said: ‘Inclusion for all is at the heart of everything we do. I wish everyone taking part in this amazing event a wonderful day of love and friendship.’

Other media partners for the event include Gay Times, Proximity and we at Gay Star News are also a proud sponsor.

UK Black Pride founder Phyll Opoku-Gyimah at Pride in London | Photo: DIVA

There will be activities for everyone

UK Black Pride will be an inclusive, family-friendly festival aimed to appeal to the community.

The event will feature several stages and tents providing the attendees with live music, politics, and poetry events.

Moreover, there will be comedians, sports activities, education and welfare stalls, as well as world food and drink.

After the festival, head to Her Upstairs in Kentish Town for the official UK Black Pride afterparty.

Hosted by The Cocoa Butter Club, founded to showcase and celebrate performers of color, it will be a multi-floor after party, filled with food, performances, DJs, and dancing until 3 am.

Read more from Gay Star News:

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