Revellers Gather for UK Black Pride in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Revellers Gather for UK Black Pride in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

In a celebration of inclusivity and equality, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park played host to the 18th annual UK Black Pride event. LGBTQI+ individuals of African, Asian, Caribbean, Latin American, and Middle Eastern heritage congregated under the sun’s warmth in East London.

The event showcased various performers, including Miss Banks, DJ Biggy C, and KSoul. The central theme of the gathering was “legacy,” signifying not only the acknowledgment of past efforts to advance inclusivity but also the empowerment of future generations to continue the fight for equality.

Amanda Kamanda (she/her) highlighted the importance of the event: “I’m here to celebrate black pride but also to bring visibility to LGBTQ people of color.

What I’m sending out today is we are queer; we are African, and we are here.”

The event served as a unifying force, drawing a diverse range of individuals together to commemorate their shared black pride and foster a sense of unity within the LGBTQ community.

**Calls for Greater Global Acceptance Amidst Celebration**

Among the attendees was the founder of UK Black Pride, Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, known as Lady Phyll, who reflected on the event’s growth since its inception.

What began as a modest gathering has now evolved into Europe’s largest celebration of LGBTQI+ individuals from African, Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American, and Caribbean backgrounds.

However, amidst the revelry and celebration, there were poignant calls for attention to regions of the world where being gay is still met with intolerance and discrimination.

Nakanyeke Shakirah (she/her) shared her story of leaving Uganda due to the dangers she faced as an LGBTQ individual: “Our president told us that we should not be in Uganda.

We are here to be free, because our President told us if we return, we will be killed.” Her words echoed the sentiments of those who had fled oppressive environments to find refuge and acceptance in the UK.

Md Nazir Uddin (he/him) added his perspective, shedding light on the challenges faced by LGBTQ individuals in Bangladesh: “In Bangladesh it’s illegal to be homosexual by law, and in Bangladesh there are lots of Islamic groups who try to find LGBT and kill them – in Islam it’s prohibited.”

He expressed his gratitude for finding a safe haven in the UK, where he can openly be himself without fear of persecution.

As the UK Black Pride event continued to thrive, it served not only as a celebration of progress but also as a reminder of the ongoing struggles faced by LGBTQ individuals in various parts of the world.

The legacy being forged through events like these is a testament to the resilience and strength of the community in their pursuit of equality and acceptance.

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