The pivotal role of Black LGBT people in Western LGBT history is documented but often forgotten. From Marsha P. Johnson and Stormé DeLarverie who were major figures in the Stonewall uprisings of 1969, to modern day LGBT leaders like Munroe Bergdorf and Lady Phyll, Black people have always paved the way for LGBT liberation. But Black LGBT people have also always existed outside of the Western context. Africa’s rich history of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities is rarely taught or discussed in schools.
Even in 2019, Black LGBT people experience extreme levels of discrimination. 51% of BAME LGBT people reported having experienced racism in the LGBT+ community. This number rises to 61% for Black LGBT people.
It is important that anyone who wants to be an ally to Black LGBT people
- Listens to the voices of a community that have been historically erased
- Supports those communities by recognising the privilege that they have and weaponising it to ensure that all members of the LGBT community are included
- Showcases the community, be it in the workplace, in social spaces or just in your personal lives.