We are we dedicated to the nurturing and uplifting of queer Black people in Ireland. This includes activism (protesting, educating, organising) and advocacy by and for every one of us. We aim to provide, to the best of our abilities, the necessary spaces needed for Black LGBTQIA+ people in Ireland to thrive. We are frequently failed by the structures we exist in and are beholden to – the immigration system, the HSE, educational institutions, workplaces – and we felt it important to create places where queer Black people could air their grievances about these structures without fear of losing their jobs or being deported. To facilitate this, we will run events such as talks, workshops, lectures and social gatherings that cater specifically to our community.
We are not here to create a ‘dialogue’. We are not here to initiate non-Black LGBTQIA+ people, especially not white cisgender people, into understanding us and affording us the dignity and empathy we rightly deserve, and we are not here to exhaust ourselves with pithy debates about our existence. Our existence is non-negotiable.
Above all, Black Pride Ireland prioritises Black LGBTQIA+ people. Ensuring the safety and emotional physical and spiritual wellbeing of Black LGBTQIA+ people will always be our calling card – this will never, ever change. While we welcome the support and allyship of non-Black queer folks of colour, and of anyone else, it is important that we be explicit about our priority, so that there is zero ambiguity about what we are and what we do. At every single one of our events, physical violence, non-consensual outing and sexual assault will not be tolerated. Anyone known to be engaging in these behaviours will be ejected from our spaces, and will not be allowed to return.
We stand in full support of some of the most vulnerable members of our community; that is, Black trans women and queer Black migrants and refugees. We wholly condemn the national travesty that is Direct Provision, and the ways in which the Irish healthcare system maltreats Black LGBTQIA+ people.
Corporations, like Aramark, have long benefitted from the subjugation and exploitation of migrants and refugees. These same corporations at which most of us must break our backs daily (and be underpaid while doing so) in order to afford housing, education and healthcare. Black Pride Ireland is a collective dedicated to freeing ourselves from the capitalist notion that our value as people is derived from our productivity and the wealth we generate for our oppressors. We are decisively anti-capitalist.
It’s common knowledge that many of us queer Black people in Ireland come from families who are hostile towards us because of our sexuality. This may be due to social, religious or cultural reasons. There are very few places in Ireland a Black LGBTQIA+ person can find respite from homophobic family members and the racist structures we’re forced to navigate. Because of this, we want to be a safe haven for queer Black folks. We want our collective to feel comfortable, restful and homely, and like the supportive unit many of us were denied. While organising and activism are absolutely necessary, it is also important that we take time for relaxation and leisure, otherwise, we will find ourselves ground down by the harsh realities of being Black and LGBTQIA+.
In moving forward with Black Pride Ireland, we hope to realise the goals we have set out for ourselves. Like any collaborative effort, communication and critique are crucial to our long-term plans, and we welcome your constructive feedback.
We hope to do ourselves and all the Black LGBTQIA+ people in Ireland justice.