For Immediate Release
London, 22 June 2016
Political leaders pay tribute to 11 years of UK Black Pride
UK Black Pride – Europe’s biggest community-led, not-for-profit association for African, Arab, Asian and Caribbean heritage lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people – has received good will messages from leading politicians from all corners of the British isles. For the first time leaders of England, Scotland and Wales are all represented. Snippets of their messages to mark UK Black Pride’s eleventh anniversary are detailed here. Full statements are online.
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said:
“Every year, Pride in London gets bigger and better, breaking barriers and bringing the city alive with jubilant, colourful celebrations of equality and diversity. The UK Black Pride festival is a real highlight, with a top line of talent from African, Asian, Arab and Caribbean-heritage lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people.
“This year’s Transforming Our Community theme is very significant as we continue the fight against intolerance and inequality. It is more important than ever that we celebrate the triumph of inclusiveness and acceptance. That is why I will be proudly marching at this year’s London Pride event, alongside the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community in what has become one of the iconic festivals of our city, and which underlines the capital’s reputation as one of the most LGBT-friendly cities on the planet.”
Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland; Leader of the Scottish National Party, and Member of Scottish Parliament for Glasgow Southside, said:
“The Scottish Government is considered one of the most progressive countries in Europe for LGBTI equality and human rights which is an accolade we’re very proud of. Scotland has made the most significant progress around sexual orientation equality, however, there is still some way to go before the same can be said for our trans and intersex communities. We’re not complacent, though, and are committed to making the necessary changes to help achieve genuine equality for all LGBTI people in Scotland. In our manifesto, we made strong commitments to promoting LGBTI equality, including… people who are trans or intersex.
“I consider Pride festivals a very important part in recognising LGBTI communities and the valuable role they play in enriching our society and culture. UK Black Pride provides an opportunity for us to celebrate our minority ethnic LGBTI populations, and underlines the strength of adopting an intersectional approach to address the prejudice and discrimination these groups face… I hope this festival helps to continue to make progress in this respect and would like to wish you the very best for this year’s event.”
Leanne Wood, Leader of Plaid Cymru and Welsh Assembly Member for the Rhondda, said:
“I send solidarity and greetings from Wales, and from my party Plaid Cymru, to you all as you enjoy your celebrations this weekend. Pride is all about celebrating our diversity and enjoying our differences. Let us all live and let live. Let us all reject the voices of hate and let us all embrace messages and actions for peace and love. Above all else this weekend, have a great festival!”
Diane Abbott, the Labour Party’s Shadow Secretary of State for International Development and Member of Parliament for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, said:
“I’m proud and privileged to send greetings to this year’s UK Black Pride. It is a fantastic beacon of the contribution and achievements of Black LGBT communities towards building a strong and sustainable Britain that values diversity. We have much that we can be proud of. The active participation of Black communities in all areas of public life, and the recent landmark of equal marriage, have all come off the back of struggles against racism, homophobia and transphobia that owe credit to movements of ordinary people standing up for equality. All communities must be valued, their struggles supported, and their contributions celebrated. I’m proud to have supported UK Black Pride from the very beginning and will remain an ally as it goes from strength to strength.”
Tim Farron, Leader of the Liberal Democrats and Member of Parliament for Westmorland and Lonsdale, said:
“Black Pride is a great occasion to stand up for a more equal and diverse society at a time of a worrying increase in populism and extremism. As a Liberal Democrat, one of my most deeply held beliefs is in equality and opportunity for all. Following same sex marriage, I am fully aware that there are still many inequalities which Britain’s LGBT+ community have to contend with, from lack of recognition of relationships among public services, to the serious issues around healthcare for trans people, to treating elderly LGBT+ people with the dignity they deserve in their later years, to ensuring blood donation rules are based on medical risk evidence not sexuality. We stand in solidarity with all who want a more tolerant and respectful country. Have a good and peaceful event.”
Dr. Shahrar Ali, Deputy Leader of the Green Party and Home Affairs spokesman, said: “People of ethnic backgrounds are often doubly discriminated against due to their sexuality. There is no place in society for prejudice of any sort and the Green Party will campaign alongside all those who would fight such ignorance. I am proud to support this vital festival.”
To attend the eleventh UK Black Pride festival, which is an integral part of Pride in London’s Pride in the Park celebration on Sunday 26 June in London Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, simply come along from 12 noon until 9pm. The FREE event will feature a main stage from where UK Black Pride will blend live music, politics and poetry to deliver an entertaining, family-friendly, and inclusive festival of community pride. With a disco stage, comedians, sports activities, education and welfare stalls, alongside world food and drink (or bring your own picnic), it’s guaranteed that there will be something for all tastes. Join us!
UK Black Pride maintains a strong identity as a grassroots movement. We believe the most effective way to secure the fight for LGBT equality and inclusion is by opposing all forms of bigotry and putting people and politics before profit. The Transfoming our community theme signals our determination to stand for a powerful voice for trans people who need to be fully included within the LGBT communities’ struggles against all purveyors of hate whoever they are and wherever they may be. Join us!
Notes for editors:
The Conservative Party was asked to submit a statement of support but did not do so.
There are many ways to get involved in making UK Black Pride 2016 a success: