This tough but necessary decision will be a devastating blow to many LGBTQ people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds. Many people of colour are already marginalised by society; the double whammy of being LGBTQ means they rely more heavily on organised events like this to see themselves represented. With this in mind, organisers have stressed the importance of finding other ways to connect and feel part of the community at this uniquely difficult time.
A statement from the Black Pride organisation said “There is an end to this social disruption and confusion. We ask all of you to not only practice self care, but community care. We need each other.” The team stress the importance of staying home to prevent further infections, but propose that lockdown and associated policies will “disproportionately impact Black women, our elders, immigrants, refugees and people of colour in ways we know too well already.”
People who speak English as a second language may find difficulty accessing local news and support, even the changing rules of social distancing may be especially bewildering.
As many people of colour rely disproportionately on close family, shared housing, cultural bonds and social gatherings, the team at Black Pride have come up with a few organisations who may help mental health and limit the potential damage of social isolating, sometimes with homophobic family members.
Stonewall Housing has launched an urgent appeal to provide everyone living in their supported accommodation with essential items.
Opening Doors is an organisation helping LGBT+ over 50s to live happy independent lives.
Physio therapist Gabriel Pimentel is offering free online workout sessions for the 70+ age group entitled ‘The Quaran-tin Workout’.
The UK Black Pride Team also issued the following guidelines to members of its community:
Please be kind. Many are feeling alone and uncertain. Use your voices and platforms to speak truth to power and practice kindness, compassion and understanding with fellow citizens and community members. Follow the advice coming from the government and from certified medicalprofessionals about prevention, treatment and care. Where possible please stay athome. Reach out to others. Yours could be the smile that brightens another’s day.
The executive director of Black Pride Phyll Opoku-Gyimah (Lady Phyll) stated “It makes sense to take this heart-wrenching action, 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.” Adding “Our communities are full of people who have persevered, who have always found a way through, and COVID-19 us another challenge that we will get through together.”
Further updates from Black Pride’s website here: