Only 25% of respondents felt that their local LGBTQI spaces were welcoming
BY ELEANOR NOYCE, IMAGE BY ZACKARY DRUCKER FOR THE GENDER SPECTRUM COLLECTION
Surveying over 1400 people, findings from UK Black Pride’s We Will Be Heard Report, launched in collaboration with Stonewall and NYX Professional Makeup, have revealed the lived experiences of LGBTQI Black people and people of colour. Largely a response to the UK Government’s 2018 National LGBT+ Survey, UK Black Pride recognises that 94.2% of its respondents were white and thus, not reflective of the intersections between race, gender and sexuality.
Importantly, the We Will Be Heard report forms the basis of UK Black Pride’s forthcoming Community Action Plan, analysing how a myriad of communities feel about community spaces, safety, media, mental health and the workplace. Critically, the report found that only 25% of respondents felt that their local LGBTQI spaces were welcoming for Black people and people of colour and 82% did not feel represented by UK LGBTQI media. 47% of respondents have been insulted or harassed in person, with 61% avoiding certain areas for fear of being attacked.
Further, the survey reflects that Covid-19 has had a disproportionate impact on LGBTQI Black people and people of colour, with 53% of respondents reporting that their mental wellbeing decreased during lockdown. By contrast, 47% reported a mental health condition.
Importantly, 39% of respondents experienced online harassment in the last year, with statistics rising to 59% amongst Pakistani respondents and 57% amongst trans respondents. Trans and non-binary people feel largely uncomfortable using spaces like public toilets, with 70% of trans and 62% of non-binary respondents reporting a sense of unease whilst using public facilities. This compares to 27% of all respondents.
These findings demonstrate that there’s still a long way to go. UK Black Pride’s co-founder and executive director, Lady Phyll, states: “Each of us deserves respect, safety and acceptance. The work ahead of us at UK Black Pride is the building of our first Community Action Plan, through which we’ll distribute funding to organisations working in services of LGBTQI+ Black people and people of colour, and which address some of the key findings within this report. Our hope is that other organisations will join us in committing to addressing and redressing some of the disparities made clear here.
The findings from our inaugural survey are an important addition to the narrative about what life is like in the UK for LGBTQI+ people. Too often, our communities are overlooked and we felt it was important to ensure our voices, experiences and joys were accounted for meaningfully, so that those who want to be allies to our communities can take appropriate action.”
UK Black Pride is Europe’s largest pride celebration of LGBTQI+ people of African, Asian, Caribbean, Latin American and Middle Eastern descent. To keep up with their work, follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. To read the full report, visit the UK Black Pride website.
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