July 14, 2020 at 7:00 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Activists hold first-ever global Black Pride event

Actor Billy Porter is among those who participated in the first-ever global Black Pride event that took place on July 10.

Global Black Gay Men Connect organized the 12-hour virtual event — the First Global Black Gay Pride is a Riot — with the support of upwards of a dozen LGBTQ advocacy groups. They include OutRight Action International, Mobilizing Our Brothers Initiative (MOBI) in New York City, GLAAD, the Caribbean Equality Forum, the Eastern Caribbean Alliance, BlackOutUK, the Love Tank, Living Free UK, Pan Africa ILGA and the House of Rainbow.

Grindr provided technical support for the event. Canadian Minister of Diversity and Inclusion Bardish Chagger also participated.

“We created the event to provide a space for Black queer people across the globe to connect and celebrate each other,” Micheal Ighodaro, a member of Global Black Gay Men Connect’s board of directors, told the Washington Blade on Tuesday in an email. “Its hard to believe this was the first global Black Pride. we wanted to create this space for dialogue and also getting Black LGBTQI people across the globe to engage each other in art and activism.” 

The coronavirus pandemic has forced the cancellation of hundreds of in-person Pride celebrations around the world.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, actress Laverne Cox and singer Adam Lambert are among the hundreds of people who participated in last month’s virtual Global Pride 2020 that sought to amplify the Black Lives Matter movement. Ighodaro told the Blade the Canadian government is the only government that responded to First Global Black Gay Pride is a Riot organizers’ request to participate in the event.

“This says a lot about how we see Black LGBTQI people and Black LGBTQI-led initiatives,” he said.

Ighodaro told the Blade organizers hope next year’s global Black Pride event will be in person.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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