Large-scale events have been cancelled around the world due to the uncertainty around how long the COVID-19 pandemic could last – and the latest casualty is UK Black Pride.
The event, founded in 2005, was due to take place on 28 June (the day after Pride in London, also postponed) and is an important community pillar for LGBTQ people of African, Asian, Caribbean, Latin American and Middle Eastern descent.
UK Black Pride organisers say that COVID-19 will "disproportionately impact Black women, our elders, immigrants, refugees and people of colour in ways that we all know too well already".
In a statement announcing the postponement, event organisers urged people to "not only practice self-care, but community care" and to do their part in helping to slow the spread of the virus.
It also acknowledged the part it plays for LGBTQ people of colour, saying "We know how many of us need a space like UK Black Pride to celebrate who we are, and we are acutely aware of how many in our communities will be having an especially difficult time during this social upheaval."
Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, UK Black Pride's executive director, called the decision "heart-wrenching" but necessary to ensure people's health and safety.
“For 15 years, we have prioritised the safety and wellbeing of LGBT+ people of African, Asian, Caribbean, Middle Eastern and Latin American descent and in light of COVID-19, it makes sense to take this action," she said.
Phyll Opoku-Gyimah is executive direcor of UK Black Pride
“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.
“Our communities are full of people who have persevered, who have always found a way through, and COVID-19 is another challenge that we will get through together."
She added: “UK Black Pride will happen and we cannot wait to see you all.”