Pride month is upon us and UK Black Pride is making their return to the London streets

3 years since the last in-person celebrations, Pride returns to the London streets and it's set to be bigger than ever.
by JK ABUAH May 31, 2022

As June marks Pride month, celebrations will be taking place all over the country.  3 years later, UK Black Pride returns to the streets of London with a protest for queer rights and a celebration of Black queer life. More than ever queer, trans and intersex people of colour (QTIPOC) are recognising the importance of spaces which recognise the intersection between their ethnicity and their queer identity.

This year, Pride Month has a heightened significance in the UK – marking 50 years since the first ever Pride March, in London in 1972. The organisers of Pride in London are sharing their huge excitement for the festivities of the month and beyond, raising funds for charitable groups such as the Black Trans Alliance. 

Where Pride in London struggles to represent Black queer people, UK Black Pride seeks to fill this gap. For the first time since 2019, and now in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. 

“Each year, we consider how – through programming, protest and politics – we can create space where our identities and our cultures can be expressed safely, in partnership with councils and venues that understand how important our communities are to us,” said Dr. Lady Phyll, the co-founder and CEO of UK Black Pride.

Outside of the community and protest of Black Pride and other such organisations, much of the strength in the queer community comes from it’s nightlife scene and the escapism that this brings.

The QTIPOC nightlife scene is a space for solidarity’s and community with fellow members of the queer community. These spaces exist as sanctuaries, away from the danger outside of queer spaces. 

Credit: Pxssy Palace/GUAP

An escape from the hostility and violence of other nightlife spaces across the country, families and nightlife spaces like LICK and Pxssy Palace were born. All as ways of creating safe and welcoming spaces for Queer, trans, intersex people of colour to simply exist together. 

Over the past 2 years, many Black LGBTQ+ led organisations have emerged, one being Exist Loudly by Tanya Compas. Tanya launched Exist Loudly during the start of the pandemic in 2020 and this has continued to grow ever since – providing community to young queer Black people. Tanya and Exist Loudly focus their efforts and care especially on those with strained relationships with their families for their Queer Black Christmas celebration. Exist Loudly is a loud and clear manifestation that your family does not only have to be biological, but can be chosen also. 

Credit: Exist Loudly/AZ Magazine

Across all creative mediums, the cultural impact and influence of the queer community cannot be ignored. Historically, the language that we use is so deeply inspired by and derived from Black drag queens in the United States, especially. These types of language have been rebranded as “Gen Z” or “TikTok slang” ignoring its beginnings, and the importance of these forms of community amongst the drag community. So much of the culture that we engage with has queer roots, and this pride month and beyond, this should be recognised.

Over the next month of June, there will be events all over the city to celebrate this month and celebrate the return of Pride to London streets. Not only will this be a time of celebration, but also for genuine reflection on the progress that has been made for queer people as well as the continued efforts which lie ahead. 

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