There’s a huge amount of talk this year about UK Black Pride. And if you aren’t sure what it is, then let us take this opportunity to tell you. Pride in London is the capital’s celebration and acknowledgment of LGBT+ people in the city, with a colourful day of events which begin with the Parade marching from Baker Street through to Whitehall. Pride in London is happening on July 7th.

UK Black Pride happens the following day. UKBP is its own event and has carved its name into the LGBTQ+ calendar and unlike many Pride festivals around the globe, UKBP is FREE.

On July 8th, the team will take over Vauxhall Park Gardens with their ground-breaking event. Formed by friends back in 2005, the day is a proud celebration of LGBTQ+ people of African, Asian, Caribbean, Middle Eastern and Latin American descent, as well as their friends and families. The day is not about separatism. It’s a celebration of Black LGBTQ+ culture and an acknowledgement of the struggles that people of colour within the community experience.

It’s no surprise to people within the gay scene(s) in-and-around the UK that casual racism, ignorance and fetishization lead to people of colour being either overlooked, objectified or experiencing unacceptable behaviour. If it is a surprise to you, then it’s time to wake up.

This is a fabulous day to celebrate culture, gender identity and sexuality – whilst acknowledging that the LGBT+ community still has strides to in order to truly embrace people from all backgrounds. The UK Black Pride mission statement proudly proclaims that the aim of the day and events surrounding (and afterwards) is ‘to foster, present and celebrate Black LGBT culture through education, the arts, cultural events and advocacy. ‘

Executive director Phyll Opoku-Gyimah (a personal role-model of mine) recognised in 2005 that the black LGBT+ community shouldn’t be waiting for a resolution – they should figure one out for themselves. And they sure did. She found that Pride in London didn’t reach out to the different intersections of the community, and so UK Black Pride was founded. Affectionately known as Lady Phyll, she stole my heart when she rejected her nomination for MBE in the 2016 New Year Honours. Her reason for rejection was simple; “LGBTQ+ people are still being persecuted, tortured and even killed” across the world by laws put in place by the British Empire.

Credit: AJAMU Fine Art Photography.

If you’ve heard of Pride in London but haven’t yet heard of UK Black Pride, then perhaps you’ll understand the need for this event. See you there.

• Where: Vauxhall Park Gardens
• When: July 8th 2018, 12:00pm
• How much? FREE
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