Actress (Jess in Different For Girls)
We need to be able to celebrate our sexuality safely
“The first time I went to Pride was in the late 1980s. It felt liberating exhilarating and unique to be in amongst such a huge group of people who just emanated, not tolerance but acceptance and embraced and celebrated difference, specifically from the perceived “norm”. I just remember feeling normal and not “other” for once. Safe, at that time, in my secret.
It takes extra courage to be out and proud.
I have listened to my black friends and my white friends and for my black friends, when it comes to coming out, there is often an extra layer of difficulty. The black community seems to be more ‘phobic than the white community so I think it takes extra courage to be out and proud. That’s why it was so amazing that Maroon films did the Batty Man documentary with Steven K Amos where he went from Brixton to Jamaica to explore the roots of and reasons for prejudice against homosexuality in the black community. Of course there are lots of white communities that are homophobic too but because of the racism that BAME LGBTQI people face from the gay community, it’s super important for an event like UKBP to take place loudly, proudly and openly in London. It is a forum and a space that non-Caucasian people can gather together and it’s so important to be able to have that celebration. That said, I personally find segregated events an issue because where do I belong? Where does that put me as a mixed race bisexual woman?
My friends and family are my scene
I’ve never been to UKBP but I did go to Pride a few times and I felt I fitted in there. It was diverse and it was a celebration and it felt empowering to be among so many other people who are denigrated because their sexuality isn’t hetero. I must admit I haven’t been to Pride for a long time and back then, about 25 years ago, I was involved in a scene where gay, lesbian, bi women of all colours mixed freely. As a bisexual woman who had relationships with men and women, married a man had children, divorced and am now with another bi-friendly man, I find that my home town and my friends, who are as diverse as any Pride march, is my scene.”