UK Black Pride

The theme for UK Black Pride this year is Shades Of The Diaspora.

Ahead of the 14th annual UK Black Pride celebrations, which take place in London’s Vauxhall Pleasure Garden on Sunday 8 July, Lady Phyll has shared an open letter to black LGBTQ living in Britain about the importance of the event.

“A momentary reprieve from the assault course of life that we know so intimately is the reason we set up UK Black Pride thirteen years ago,” she wrote.

“We need spaces for ourselves. Spaces in which we can let out a collective sigh of relief. Spaces in which we’re free from ‘the gaze’. Spaces in which the only version of ourselves that will do, the only version of ourselves that is allowed, is the truest. Spaces in which we are protected, fought for, and celebrated. As we all know well, the necessity of safe spaces by us and for us hasn’t waned, either.

“The continued growth of UK Black Pride isn’t only because it’s a space away from danger. As we come together and our histories and cultures collide, we learn that we are not alone. That in our pain is also our joy.”

In the letter, Phyll also explains that one of the biggest questions she and the UK Black Pride team continue to ask themselves is “How do we ensure everyone feels welcome and knows they’re welcome?”

And that’s where this year’s theme, Shades Of The Diaspora, comes into play.

“Shades of the Diaspora speaks to our ongoing mission to unite Black LGBT+ people in Britain whose global roots shoot from Africa to Asia, the Caribbean to the Middle East, and the United States or Latin America,” she continued.

“It speaks to the growing number of our diasporic community who show up to UK Black Pride each year. It speaks to the shades of our experiences. It speaks to the complex and interwoven experiences of our asylum-seeking and refugee family.

“It speaks to the unique hurdles of our gay Black brothers, the infuriating oppression of queer Black women around the world, and the relentless attacks on our trans siblings. It speaks to the experiences of our Intersex community, whose voices are finally rising in a beautiful chorus.

“It speaks to experiences that can’t be named, those who suffer in silence, those who cannot come out. It acknowledges that all our experiences are not the same, but that we will fight together for a future rooted in freedom and equality.”

You can read Lady Phyll’s full open letter ahead of UK Black Pride here.