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UK Black Pride warns coronavirus will adversely affect queer people of colour as annual festival is postponed

Patrick Kelleher March 26, 2020
UK Black Pride postponed coronavirus

UK Black Pride 2019 (Quintina Valero/Getty)

UK Black Pride has been indefinitely postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that has seen the UK go into lockdown.

The event, which is Europe’s largest celebration for LGBT+ people of African, Asian, Caribbean, Middle Eastern and Latin American descent, has been postponed for the safety and wellbeing of the public.

In a statement, event organisers asked everyone to do their part in helping to slow the spread of coronavirus and said there is an end in sight to the pandemic.

“We ask all of you to not only practice self-care, but community care. We need each other,” the statement said.

“For many in our communities, COVID-19 is only making worse what it already means to live as queer people of colour in Britain.”

UK Black Pride said the coronavirus pandemic will impact people of colour ‘in ways we all know too well already’.

“COVID-19, and the attendant lockdowns and policies, will disproportionately impact Black women, our elders, immigrants, refugees and people of colour in ways we all know too well already.

“We know how many of us need a space like UK Black Pride to celebrate who we are, and we are acutely aware of how many in our communities will be having an especially difficult time during this social upheaval.”

For many in our communities, COVID-19 is only making worse what it already means to live as queer people of colour in Britain.

The group also urged people to be kind to each other, to stay at home, and to reach out to others while observing physical distancing guidelines.

Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, executive director of UK Black Pride, said the decision to postpone the event is “heart-wrenching, but must be done”.

The group insisted that its annual celebration ‘will happen’.

“For 15 years we have prioritised the safety and wellbeing of LGBT+ people of African, Asian, Caribbean, Middle Eastern and Latin American descent and in light of COVID-19, it makes sense to take this action,” Opoku-Gyimah said.

“But we don’t stop being LGBTQ POC during COVID-19, and so the team and I are working very hard to put forth digital opportunities for our communities to connect, celebrate and challenge inequalities.”

She continued: “Our communities are full of people who have persevered, who have always found a way through, and COVID-19 is another challenge that we will get through together.

“UK Black Pride will happen and we cannot wait to see you all.”

“I’m so grateful that UK Black Pride is celebrating its 15th birthday. You all make it what it is. I can’t wait to see you all soon.”

 

More: Coronavirus, COVID-19, Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, UK Black Pride

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