Pose star Dominique Jackson and trans icon Munroe Bergdorf lead star-studded UK Black Pride line-up

The line-up celebrates Black queer talent

Pose star Dominique Jackson and transgender model and activist Munroe Bergdorf head up the line-up for the digital UK Black Pride festival.

Like many Pride events, the physical UK Black Pride gathering was cancelled in 2020 due to coronavirus, but organisers have put their all into creating a day-long celebration of Black queer experiences.

The digital festival, which will take place online on Saturday (August 16), marks the 15th birthday of UK Black Pride – with queer people from anywhere in the world able to tune in via the UK Black Pride website.

Drag Race UK, Pose stars lead line-up for UK Black Pride

Pose star Dominique Jackson will speak as part of the event, alongside trans model, activist and newly-restored L’Oreal diversity ambassador Munroe Bergdorf.

Drag Race UK star Vinegar Strokes will host alongside playwright Rikki Beadle-Blair MBE, with a headline performance from singer-songwriter VINCINT.

The UK Black Pride line-up celebrates Black queer talent

The line-up celebrates Black queer talent

Performances include drag artists Valqaeda amd Beau Jangles, singer Jason Kwan, Afrobeats star Nyja, and Aaron Carty’s Beyoncé Experience. Meanwhile, a ‘Wellbeing Area’ will see talks from MicroRainbow, Rainbow Noir, Kiki Bristol and Gendered Intelligence.

The Desi room is hosted by Ryan Lanji, founder of queer Bollywood club night Hungama and winner of Netflix’s The Big Flower Fight, and comedian and human rights defender Maria Munir. Bollywood dancer Shiva Raichandani, burlesque dancer April Fiasco and singer Teenasai Balamu are among the performers. The Queer Young Folx room is hosted by Sabah Choudrey from the Colours Youth Network and Don One from Albert Kennedy Trust, with performances from K-Pop dance group O.D.C, drag artist Soroya Marchelle, poet Tajah Hamilton and singer Atlantis Ghandi.

Co-founder Phyll Opoku-Gyimah said: “Our anniversary celebration comes at a difficult time for many in our communities, and we want to reiterate to our communities that we are committed to being the pride-home for LGBTQ people of colour across the UK.

“It’s an emotional moment for me and the team at UK Black Pride, and this celebration is an opportunity for us to come together to celebrate who we are and to say ‘thank you’ to everyone, past and present, who has helped make UK Black Pride what it is. We love our community so much and we hope our anniversary celebration goes some way in helping alleviate some of the loneliness and isolation that so many have been feeling.”

‘We deserve spaces to call our own, where we can celebrate who we are’

A video from UK Black Pride announced the theme of “Come Home.” It says: “In 2005 when Lady Phyll and a busload of Black lesbians travelled to Southend-on-Sea for the first ever UK Black Pride, no-one could have imagined how big and brave this safe space would grow. UK Black Pride has become Europe’s largest celebration for LGBTQ people of African, Asian, Caribbean, Middle Eastern and Latin American descent. But more than that, UK Black Pride is a movement.

“We deserve spaces to call our own, where we can celebrate who we are, safely. We deserve to be surrounded by people who love us, who understand us and who want to see us win.

“We deserve to find moments in which we can breathe, relax and let our hair down, where we don’t have to worry about explaining ourselves to others.

“We deserve to find joy, publicly, loudly and with abandon. UK Black Pride has become a home for many, from the volunteers who work year-long to support Lady Phyll and the communities we represent. To those who attend the annual event, each finds a space to exhale, to find joy, and to feel safe.”

It adds: “We all come from a long line of queer people of colour who have fought to create homes that live up to their definition: a place where we are loved, respected and cared for. UK Black Pride’s 2020 theme is home.

“We hope to always be that place you feel you can come to when your feet are tired and your heart is heavy. We hope to always create spaces like this, that remind you that we are chosen family.”