Although there have been many moments of intersectionality in the fight for LGBT rights Black, Asian, and minority ethnic members (BAME) of the community have been left out and discriminated against. This unfortunately has not changed as a recent Stonewall report showed that 51% of BAME LGBT people have been victims of racism within the LGBT community.
In 1980’s after feeling left out of the mainstream movement black lesbians began to meet regularly to share experiences and support one another with the extra discrimination they faced. Around the same time gay black men started doing the same in 1981 the two groups joined forces and formed the Black Lesbian and Gay group which offered advice and counselling via a telephone helpline and social spaces to other BAME LGBT members.
Those who started and joined the organisation were young politically active black people who had found no place for themselves. Some of the women had previously been associated with The Black Lesbian Support Network whom produced a 65-page document showcasing positive portrayals of black lesbians and was sent all over the world. The organisation struggled to raise funding for a permanent building so instead used the offices of sympathetic local councils to operate. As the group evolved outreach workers began working with other organisations to raise awareness for LGBT rights and HIV/Aids support. The group eventually secured a permanent premise thanks to donations in Peckham and is thought to have run through the 1990’s. Their aims were to create a space where black gays and lesbians felt comfortable in a world of racism and homophobia from everywhere.
Today very little can be found about the group online which speaks volumes of the dominant white presence in the LGBT movement. Last year a documentary ‘Under Your Nose’ was released which details the stories of the organisation and those involved.In 2019 UK Black Pride among others take up the mantle of highlighting racism and supporting BAME members. Every year a UK Black Pride hold a Pride celebration and various other social activities throughout the year to foster, present, and celebrate Black LGBT culture through the arts, education, and cultural events. ff