My experience at the world’s largest ever Black Pride

“Meeting other people of colour and meeting Black people that were queer, it changed the game for me. It changed life for me.”

A group of friends at UK Black Pride.
Image: Marco Dias

On Sunday, August 14, the 2022 edition of UK Black Pride made history with over 25,000 attendees, making it the world’s largest ever Black Pride. Marco Dias travelled to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, London for the momentous occasion, photographing and interviewing fabulous attendees in all their glory.

Speaking on the significance of the event, Marco said: “Words alone can’t describe what it meant for me to be at UK Black Pride this year. First, it is because this is the first Black Pride after the pandemic, and it happened with so much style and breaking records!” They added that “the crowd went crazy” when Lady Phyll announced the historic news.

“We were blessed with stunning weather, even the sun came out to celebrate with us. The theme of this year’s celebration was ‘Power’, but love, community and compassion were also very much part of the celebration.

“Being in an event this big, with this amount of queer people of colour, expressing themselves and celebrating life means so much to me. It gives me hope that we, queer people together, we can continue to change this world to a better place for the next generations.”

They continued: “Together we are power! Together we are love. And Black is beautiful!”

Fellow protestors and party-goers also explained to Marco what Black Pride means to them. 

“It means a lot. Growing up in East London there wasn’t a big, gay, Black community. There wasn’t really a community so you don’t really see a lot of representation,” one person, Dolly, commented.

“Meeting other People of Colour and meeting Black people that were queer, it changed the game for me. It changed life for me. It was like a whole new family.”

Dolly and friends at UK Black Pride.

Another person, Chipo, said that Black Pride is “knowing who you are all the time. Every day you wake up not needing approval from anybody outside of you to be you, period.

“Whether it’s your sexuality, your individuality, your whatever-ality, your personality. You got Pride in that melanin, period.”

Chipo’s friend Ngemba also weighed in, stating that Black Pride is “understanding that you can be who you are.

“The moment that you walk in, you just see other people that look like you, be like you and live the same dreams. So that’s really important.”

Chipo, Marco and Ngemba at UK Black Pride.

Bam, who is Irish, explained that Black Pride means “everything” to her, and that it allows her to explore “different avenues” in order to be herself.

Bam and her group of friends.

Sofia put it simply, saying that the occasion offered a “safe space” and sense of “community,” while Chan powerfully stated that the overwhelming feeling was “liberation”.

Marco, Sofia, Chan and a friend.

© 2022 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.

During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.

GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.