Elainea Emmott via UK Black Pride

UK Black Pride have announced a virtual day of celebrations in honour of their 15th anniversary.

The festival, which celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people of African, Asian, Caribbean, Latin American and Middle Eastern descent, will host “performances, live DJ sessions and speakers” alongside a “series of virtual rooms hosted by our partners within the community” on 16 August.

“When Lady Phyll and a busload of Black lesbians traveled to Southend-on-Sea in 2005 for the first UK Black Pride, no one could have imagined just how big this safe and brave space would grow,” a statement reads on social media.

“We deserve spaces to call our own, where we can celebrate who we are safely. We deserve to be surrounded by people who love us, who understand us and who want to see us win. We deserve moments in which we can breathe, relax, let our hair down, where we don’t have to worry about explaining our existence to others. We deserve to find joy publicly, loudly and with abandon.

“The fact of the matter is, too many of us don’t have safe spaces we can go back to, or family who love us without conditions and expectations. We all come from a long-line of queer people of colour who have fought to create homes that live up to their definition: a place where we are loved, respected and cared for.”

The theme for UK Black Pride’s historic 15th anniversary is “home” and will kick off at 6pm on their official website.

“We hope to always be that place you feel you can come to when your feet are tired and your heart is heavy,” they added. “We hope to continue to create spaces for you all that remind you that with us is one of the places where you belong.”

Lady Phyll added: “It’s not been easy, we have been challenged, ridiculed, disrespected, discriminated but yet still our resilience, passion, determination, commitment, the need for equality/equity and for love has brought us to this place, so many people to thank for helping build UKBP.”