A Stonewall Spokesperson said :“Pride events are a highlight of the LGBT calendar, and a valuable opportunity for diverse groups of people to come together, celebrate the progress we have made and renew our commitment to fight for true equality for all LGBT people.
“This year, in line with our strategy, Stonewall will be extending its reach into communities and attend well over 30 Prides across Britain. This includes attending Prides at Ely in Cambridgeshire and Grampian Pride in the Highlands of Scotland, where they are celebrating Pride for the first time, and bringing more than 350 LGBT young people together by hosting five youth pride events across the country.
“We know that racism is a real issue across LGBT communities and Stonewall has committed to a major programme of work on black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) inclusion. The board has therefore decided to significantly extend our support and participation in UK Black Pride this year. UK Black Pride is an event run in London by and for LGBT people who identify as BAME, as well as welcoming their families and friends regardless of their ethnicity, faith or background. It is an event we are proud to support and showcases the best of what community-led Pride events can be – it is free to attend, accessible and welcoming to all, run by the community it is there to serve and has a real social purpose at its heart. We will work with them to ensure more young LGBT people who identify as BAME, and their friends, are able to attend this year by covering the travel costs of 75 young people who want to attend. Our focus on this event is a reflection that racism is a serious problem across LGBT communities, and that we want to be part of the solution – learning from BAME activists and supporting organisations like UK Black Pride in their work.
“We have also made the decision not to attend Pride in London this year. We know this is an event that’s important to many in our communities and very much hope to attend in future years. However last year, Pride in London’s Community Advisory Board again raised concerns about the lack of diversity and inclusion at Pride in London – particularly of black and minority ethnic communities. Pride in London rejected those concerns from the community in the strongest terms and, as yet, have failed to make any public acknowledgment that they may need to make significant changes if Pride in London is to be an event for everyone.
“We continue to be very willing to support Pride in London on this journey and recognise that they are taking some steps to increase the diversity of Pride in London and the events around it. We’re looking to support Prides around Britain to create events that are as inclusive as possible of all LGBT people in their communities. It is vital that organisations listen to those they represent and respond with an openness to improve and change.
“We are excited to extend our support of UK Black Pride, have a strong presence at more community Pride events than ever, celebrate our diverse LGBT communities, and talk to thousands of LGBT people around Britain this summer.”