Black people need to stop treating homosexuality as if it's a white man's disease. We need to embrace the vibrant presence of gays and lesbians in our community and stop siding with bigots and racists.
Over the past 10 years the confidence and presence of black lesbians and gay men has been growing steadily. There have been a number of long-running clubs (Queer Nation, Caribana, Bootylicious), publications (MOC) and websites that have struggled against the odds to exist and reflect our lives. Also there have been two Black Pride events (UK Black Pride and Outburst) every year for the past three years.
On the Friday that Ian Baynham's vigil took place, OutburstUK hosted the only black gay event in Black History Month – attended by more than 200 black lesbians and gays. It would benefit all of us if more such events happened next year because visibility is the key to overturning ignorance.