UK Black Pride is Europe’s largest celebration for LGBTQ+ people of African, Asian, Caribbean, Middle Eastern and Latin American descent. Whitney Robinson, co-chair of the King’s Race Equality Network, explains why it is such an important event.
Over half of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) LGBTQ+ people in the UK have reported facing discrimination from within the LGBTQ+ community. Equality at King’s cannot be achieved until every single member of staff can experience equality within and outside of the LGBTQ+ community.
We are proud that colleagues from Proudly King’s and the Race Equality Network stood together this Pride because, in the words of the writer, feminist and civil rights activist Audre Lorde:
There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives. Our struggles are particular, but we are not alone.” We can achieve so much more by supporting not only our own causes, but others which can affect a great number of people from our community
As a straight black woman, I’ve experienced discrimination based on my gender and, like many other ethnic minorities, racism and ridicule based on the pigmentation of my skin. However, unlike ethnic minorities of all shades and backgrounds who identify as LGBTQ+, I’ve never been a victim of prejudice and violence based on who I choose to love!
As coined in 1989 by law professor and civic rights advocate Kimberlé Crenshaw, intersectionality is the overlap between different categories of social identities such as race, class, gender, disability, religion and sexual orientation. Crenshaw argues that this overlap is key in creating interdependent streams of discrimination for those significantly marginalised within society.
Ethnic minorities often report experiencing homophobia within their cultural communities alongside racism and isolation within the LGBTQ+ community. A third of Black, Asian and minority ethnic LGBTQ+ people have experienced hate crime based on their sexual orientation and/or gender identity, compared to one in five white LGBTQ+ people. With statistics like this in mind the need for movements such as UK Black Pride are becoming increasingly apparent.
UK Black Pride is an opportunity to embrace the power of intersectionality through celebrating and embracing the heritage of LGBTQ+ ethnic minorities within a setting reflective of their experiences and culture. As the King’s community, let’s stand together in solidarity towards advancing and achieving true equality, diversity and inclusion for all!
This year we make small beginnings with our presence at UK Black Pride and a Gypsy feminism event run in collaboration with Traveller Pride. We encourage every person, regardless of their identity, to take part in staff networks at King’s. We hope we can collaborate more with the Race Equality Network in the future and work together with every single network to make King’s – and the world – a better place. – Kirsty McLaren (right) & Josh Pullen (bottom), co-chairs of Proudly King’s