UK Black Pride: The postponement of UKBP 2020 hits harder now more than ever
Updated: Jul 9
UK Black Pride 2020 has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is no surprise that like many other major events, festivals and gatherings, UK Black Pride 2020 has been postponed until further notice due to the coronavirus outbreak.
For many black and ethnic minority people who identify with the LGBTQ+ community, "coming out" and expressing their sexuality to family and friends whilst feeling secure and safe can be difficult. Being a BAME member of the LGBTQ+ community can be very displacing.
Coming out to family in a heteronormative black household can be extremely difficult. UK Black Pride provides a safe space to be with people who you do not have to defend your existence or sense of identity.
Besides June being Pride Month, the global Black Lives Matter protests, sparked by outrage after the killing of George Floyd, would have given Black Pride yet more significance.
Alongside the disproportionate numbers of deaths in the black community from COVID-19, and the current international attention on police brutality toward black people, the black community is going through a very traumatic period.
Black Pride would have provided a moment of unity, affirmation and acceptance in a time where the colour of our skin still continues to divide society and incite racism and brutality.
Moreover, Black Pride would have provided an important opportunity for black and ethnic minority individuals to have their own moment of focus and personal healing and to collectively celebrate Black trans and queer individuals who feel (and often are) an afterthought in society.
With the physical event postponed until safe to resume, many individuals who need that sense of relief and healing will have no choice but to wait for another year or so.
Generally, society is rarely exposed to queer culture and figures in popular media, news and entertainment platforms. In recent years, this has started to change. Various TV shows, including children's entertainment, have made important steps to normalise sexual identities other than heteronormative ones.
In popular kids (and adults) TV series Steven Universe, for example, writers made history in 2018 with its lesbian wedding between characters Ruby and Sapphire. The series won a GLADD Award, the first animated show to do so, for its portrayal of gender identity and sexuality.
More than ever, it is imperative for us to remember that black members of the LGBTQ+ community are not alone - coronavirus lockdown will amplify feelings of isolation, but the experiences felt by this community, and those who continue to support it, are more powerful together than not.