Stonewall’s Diaspora Showcase returns for second year
BAME/POC LGBT Activists, performers, poets and writers share stories of hope and marginalisation
Event highlights importance of spaces for BAME LGBT community
Stonewall’s network of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) staff once again put on a unique display of talent from people of colour (POC) within LGBT communities on Friday 20 December. The event was kindly hosted by Stoke Newington Town Hall and supported by Barefoot Wines and Ben & Jerry’s.
Following last year’s inaugural Diaspora Showcase, this year’s event brought even more BAME/POC people together to listen, discuss and reflect on the experience of being a minority within a minority. As the event was created by and made for BAME/POC people, tickets were specifically reserved for members of the community.
Guests were treated to inspiring speeches, powerful poetry and thought-provoking art that explored what it means to be in the BAME/POC LGBT community. Ali Romagnoli’s photography exhibit decorated the room, while the likes of Katy Jalili, Lilly SnatchDragon and Shakona Fire took to the stage.
Research by Stonewall demonstrates why safe spaces like the Diaspora Showcase are needed. BAME LGBT people are twice as likely than white people to attend LGBT-specific events, despite the fact that half of BAME LGBT people (51 per cent) experiencing discrimination from within the community.
The 2019 Diaspora Showcase was the third event in a wider series put together by Stonewall’s BAME and POC staff network. It’s part of the organisation’s ongoing commitment to becoming a more BAME-inclusive organisation. In the past year, the charity has strengthened its partnership with UK Black Pride and run a free community role model programme for BAME/POC LGBT young people.
Yeme Onoabhagbe and Mae Kabore, Co-Chairs of Stonewall’s BAME and POC Staff Network said: ‘Our network puts their heart and soul into making events like the Diaspora Showcase happen. As a community that experiences racism from both within and outside the LGBT community, it’s so important BAME LGBT people have spaces that belong to us, where we can safely discuss the challenges we face and celebrate who we are.
‘We know that BAME LGBT people are about twice as likely to attend LGBT-specific venues or events as white LGBT people. Part of building a more inclusive culture is creating spaces where BAME LGBT people can be themselves, free from discrimination and abuse.
‘As an organisation, Stonewall is committed to working with and for BAME LGBT individuals, communities and groups, so we can build a world where all LGBT people are accepted without exception.’