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What About Black LGBT Pride?

By Patrick Ingram and Justin B. Terry-Smith

June 1, 2013

Justin B. Terry-Smith

Justin B. Terry-Smith

From Justin: Patrick and I had originally discussed doing this project together for Capital Pride. Then I received an email from a Caucasian friend regarding some words we'd exchanged about Black Gay Pride: "I only said what I said because imagine the large uproar if people got together and decided to have a White Gay Pride" -- I was not too happy about his comments. After talking with him, he still didn't know what I meant at all.

So, Patrick and I decided to make another video with people who came to Black Gay Pride, asking them what it really means to them. Hopefully, this would help others, like my friend, to understand that this was not meant to threaten, but to enlighten those who didn't understand why we have a Black Gay Pride. Listening is probably the best thing.

I forewent hosting a party to go to Black Gay Pride. I realized that this was a demographic that I was born into. The issues that we face may not be the same as other communities, BUT WE MUST HAVE THEM AT THE TABLE WITH US TO HELP AS WELL!! WE MUST WORK TOGETHER.

This was a great experience, especially working with Patrick, another black, gay, HIV-positive blogger; I loved it. We asked black gay men, women and transgendered people what Black Pride meant to them. Patrick then asked me, to my surprise, at the beginning of the interview what Black Pride means to me. I don't really remember what I said then, but I will say this: It means I'M PROUD TO BE A BLACK, GAY, MARRIED FATHER AND LEATHERMAN WHO HAPPENS TO KNOW HIS HIV STATUS!

Patrick Ingram

Patrick Ingram

From Patrick: I love to blog and always jump at the opportunity to be involved with At one point, Justin and I had a conversation about working together on a project that was Pride related. We were originally going to stick with just Capital Pride in general; however, after Justin's dealing with some of his Caucasian friend's complaining about Black Gay Pride, I knew that we were onto something.

By interviewing LGBT individuals and asking them what Black Gay Pride meant to them, we were able to find the driving force that keeps people coming back to D.C. from all over the country (and world) to attend this event. The diverse individuals we interviewed felt a sense of community; felt it is a safe place to talk about issues specifically related to the African-American LGBT community; and appreciated the ability to be around fun and festivities.

Every person interviewed brought a very unique perspective. The different angles that people had of Black Pride were interesting, but summed up why so many spend their Memorial Day holiday in the D.C. area. The many events that take place, like the workshops and Health and Wellness Festival, were also very popular among the attendees. At the end of the process, I realized that it is indeed important to have an overall all-inclusive Pride; however, it is just as important to have Prides for the many sub-groups (i.e., Latino, Black, Transgender, Asian/Pacific, etc.).

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