On behalf of the organising committee of UK Black Pride, we wish everyone a fantastic day as we come together to celebrate our lives and experiences while standing in solidarity with those who have lost, or continue to struggle, for the right to live theirs without prejudice and discrimination both at home in Britain and abroad.
As Europe’s biggest celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people of African, Arab, Asian and Caribbean heritage – in unity with our friends and supporters – we have much to be proud of.
The meaning of Pride cannot be under-estimated. Its message to Black LGBT communities is that we’re strong, Black, LGBT people with the confidence to be ourselves and live as we decide. It also sends out a clear message to wider communities that there must be no place for racism, homophobia or other intolerance in our multicultural society.
Even as the success of the Olympics rings in our ears, Black and LGBT people continue to be harassed by the BNP and EDL while high incidents of homophobic and racist hate crime persist. New research from the Runnymede Trust and Stonewall (our main sponsor) describes how Black LGB peoples’ access to public services is precarious; while the national government’s austerity policies are hurting the most vulnerable in our society. All the while, the opportunity to openly celebrate the success of Black LGBT people in all fields remains a very high hurdle.
In this context, the LGBT and wider public’s understanding of the diversity in our midst must move beyond myopic media reports about events in other countries while ignoring discrimination in our own British back yard. Without this we risk compounding the marginalisation of Black LGBT people in Britain.
UK Black Pride is proud to work with our amazing community of activists, sponsors and supporters to challenge the stereotypes about Britain’s Black LGBT communities. This is why our event – led by LGBT volunteers – belongs to our community. It reflects our experiences on terms that meet our interests, without any need to posture or justify. We celebrate all contributions of strong, Black LGBT people and inspire others to share this pride.
We are indebted to our supporters and sponsors for helping us deliver this not-for-profit event. We’re also grateful to the advocates for change: politicians, trade unions and LGBT groups, for their support in ensuring we can put pride before profit.
Today is about celebrating and hold our heads high to give confidence to those who continue to be denied equality. So, enjoy the event today, the after-party at Bootylicious, and visit: www.ukblackpride.org.uk to get involved in activities all year round.
UK Black Pride Board
P.S. For those who have not managed to get their tickets ahead of time, you are still able to pay at the door to get entry to the event