UK Black Pride 2019: Thousands visit Haggerston Park for biggest celebration of LGBTQ+ people of colour

Dancing to the music from the main stage at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby

Dancing to the music from the main stage at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

UK Black Pride welcomed thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people of colour to its new home in Haggerston Park on Sunday.

Flag of Dominica and Pride at UK Black Pride at the main stage. Picture: Siorna Ashby

Flag of Dominica and Pride at UK Black Pride at the main stage. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

The celebration is organised by and dedicated to LGBTQ+ people of African, Asian, Caribbean, Middle Eastern and Latin American descent.

They can face discrimination from both the communities they grew up in and the wider LGBTQ+ community itself.

Pride flags for sale at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby

Pride flags for sale at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

Black Pride is an event that celebrates the diversity of LGBTQ+ people and recognises unique struggles that queer people of colour - QTIPOC, or queer, transgender and intersex people of colour - face.

British-Iraqi writer, drag performer and filmmaker Amrou Al-Khadi spoke of his first experience at Black Pride last year.

Jason Kwan performing live at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby

Jason Kwan performing live at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant


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"It can be particularly tricky for queer people of colour or faith intersecting at the site of different opposing groups," he told the Gazette.

"Being queer and Muslim, you kind of exist on this tectonic faultline where a lot of Muslims hate you for being gay and a lot of gay people are quite Islamaphobic, and I [thought]: 'I'm not going to belong anywhere.'

Jordan Charles, from BBC1's All Together Now, speaking at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby

Jordan Charles, from BBC1's All Together Now, speaking at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

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"Then all of a sudden, I heard this song from my childhood a song by a Muslim singer called Umm Kulthum, and I was like: 'How am I hearing this at a queer space? I only [heard] this when my mum grounded me for wearing pink socks!'

"Then I looked to the left and it was almost like this apparition of people who had always been there. It was queer Arabs and Muslims in Pride. It was just in my periphery my whole life."

Crowds at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby

Crowds at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

Birmingham has seen weeks of protests by some faith groups against the inclusion of LGBTQ+ people's stories and rights in teaching.

Ferhan Khan, a queer Muslim activist, spoke on a panel at Black Pride about what queer Muslims can do to educate those around them community and stand up to homophobia.

Listening to the speakers at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby

Listening to the speakers at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

He told the Gazette how important it is to be "as visible as you can without putting your life in danger".

"Pride means a celebration of being who I am - uncompromising, unequivocally who I am, 100 per cent," said Ferhan.

Amber Hikes, director of Phillidelphia's Office of LGBT Affairs, speaks at UK Black Pride. Amber is

Amber Hikes, director of Phillidelphia's Office of LGBT Affairs, speaks at UK Black Pride. Amber is the creator of the inclusive pride flag, which includes black and brown stripes. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

There are 72 countries today that criminalise gay relationships. Some still have the death penalty.

It follows that people who come from or exist within communities not accepting of LGBTQ+ identites may hide who they are - Black Pride is an opportunity for them to express these identities and see others like themselves.

Celebrating at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby

Celebrating at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

One member of Rainbow Sisters, a support group for lesbian and bisexual women asylum seekers, spoke about about struggling with her sexual identity after leaving Uganda 18 years ago.

She found a "family" in the LGBTQ+ community and was proud and happy to attend Black Pride.

Opening Doors London (ODL) are a charity providing information and support services specifically for

Opening Doors London (ODL) are a charity providing information and support services specifically for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT+) people over 50 in the UK. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

"I'm telling you," she said, "it's really important you feel you are with your family.

"If I'm with my family I feel so happy - I feel so great. I feel I'm loved 'cause ever since I was born I've never been loved.

Volunteer and the crowds at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby

Volunteer and the crowds at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

"Before, I didn't have a family, so now I feel I've got people who love me around - I'm really so grateful for all LGBTQ+ people in the world. They're the most beautiful people."

Rainbow Sisters were shocked to see Serco marching in Saturday's main Pride parade. The contractor runs the Yarl's Wood immigration detention centre, where some of the group's women were detained.

UK Black Pride in Haggerston Park. Picture: Siorna Ashby

UK Black Pride in Haggerston Park. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

They opened the wellbeing and wellness stage. As well as discussions on issues and concerns important to queer people of colour, there was music by LGBTQ+ artists while many enjoyed the African and Caribbean food on offer.

Black Pride has been running for 13 years, having been founded by a group called Black Lesbians in the UK.

Celebrating at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby

Celebrating at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

Last year it was held in Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, but since the number of people attending has grown, the biggest Pride celebration of its kind in Europe has moved to Hackney.

Selfies at UK Black Pride UK. Picture: Siorna Ashby

Selfies at UK Black Pride UK. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

Pride Flag worn proudly at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby

Pride Flag worn proudly at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

Dancing to the music from the main stage at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby

Dancing to the music from the main stage at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

Dancing in the crowds at UK Black Pride with Bollocks to Brexit in the background. Picture: Siorna A

Dancing in the crowds at UK Black Pride with Bollocks to Brexit in the background. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

UK Black Pride supporter. Picture: Siorna Ashby

UK Black Pride supporter. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

Gamersinc representing at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby

Gamersinc representing at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

Proud rainbow fans were welcomed as the sun came out in the afternoon at UK Black Pride. Picture: Si

Proud rainbow fans were welcomed as the sun came out in the afternoon at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

Dancing to the main stage music at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby

Dancing to the main stage music at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

Happiness with wings at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby

Happiness with wings at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

Crowds start to gather at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby

Crowds start to gather at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

Celebrating UK Black Pride with colour and smiles. Picture: Siorna Ashby

Celebrating UK Black Pride with colour and smiles. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

Neo10Y performing at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby

Neo10Y performing at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

Deanz & Charmer rock the stage at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby

Deanz & Charmer rock the stage at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

House of Rainbow, offering support to the LGBTQ community. Picture: Siorna Ashby

House of Rainbow, offering support to the LGBTQ community. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

Flag of Dominica & Pride at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby

Flag of Dominica & Pride at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

London Fire Brigade stall at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby

London Fire Brigade stall at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

Stonewall at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby

Stonewall at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

Anthony Hunte. programme and volunteering manager at Spectre, with the Gia headdress promoting HIV t

Anthony Hunte. programme and volunteering manager at Spectre, with the Gia headdress promoting HIV testing services. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

The Kaleidoscope Trust, working to uphold the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans peopl

The Kaleidoscope Trust, working to uphold the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people internationally. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

Naz Project, raising awareness of sexual health at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby

Naz Project, raising awareness of sexual health at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

UK Black Pride in Haggerston Park. Picture: Siorna Ashby

UK Black Pride in Haggerston Park. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

UK Black Pride in Haggerston Park. Picture: Siorna Ashby

UK Black Pride in Haggerston Park. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

The Sainsbury's Group celebrating UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby

The Sainsbury's Group celebrating UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

Anthony Hunte. programme and volunteering manager at Spectre, with Gia, promoting HIV testing servic

Anthony Hunte. programme and volunteering manager at Spectre, with Gia, promoting HIV testing services. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby

UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

Rainbow wristbands unite at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby

Rainbow wristbands unite at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

Rainbow Sisters at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby

Rainbow Sisters at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

Rainbow Sisters at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby

Rainbow Sisters at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

An attendee waves the rainbow flag proudly. Picture: Siorna Ashby

An attendee waves the rainbow flag proudly. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

Hackney Mayor philip Glanville signs up for Amnesty International's Rainbow Network. Picture: Siorna

Hackney Mayor philip Glanville signs up for Amnesty International's Rainbow Network. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

UK Black Pride co founder and executive director Phyll Opoku-Gyimah at UK Black Pride. Picture: Sior

UK Black Pride co founder and executive director Phyll Opoku-Gyimah at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

Hackney mayor Philip Glanville and UK Black Pride co-founder and executive director Phyll Opoku-Gyim

Hackney mayor Philip Glanville and UK Black Pride co-founder and executive director Phyll Opoku-Gyimah raise flags before the event. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

UK Black Pride co founder and executive director Phyll Opoku-Gyimah; Pari Dhillion, UK Black Pride d

UK Black Pride co founder and executive director Phyll Opoku-Gyimah; Pari Dhillion, UK Black Pride director; and Hackney mayor Philip Glanville arrive at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

Hackney rolled out the rainbow carpet. Hackney mayor Philip Glanville and UK Black Pride co founder

Hackney rolled out the rainbow carpet. Hackney mayor Philip Glanville and UK Black Pride co founder and executive Director Phyll Opoku-Gyimah walk the rainbow crossing. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

Diane Abbott makes a special appearance at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby

Diane Abbott makes a special appearance at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

Pride rainbow flag with the Star of David at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby

Pride rainbow flag with the Star of David at UK Black Pride. Picture: Siorna Ashby - Credit: Archant

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