The inaugural in-person Global Black Pride event is set to take place in Toronto this summer, marking a significant shift for the organization which had previously operated solely in a virtual capacity due to the pandemic. Established in 2020 amidst global calls for racial justice following the killings of Black Americans like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, Global Black Pride aims to recognize and celebrate the contributions of Black individuals to the LGBTQ2S+ movement worldwide.
The decision to transition to a hybrid format for this year’s event, combining both digital and physical elements, reflects a desire to expand participation and engagement. Scheduled from July 28 to July 31, 2022, the event will be co-hosted by Blackness Yes!, a Toronto-based organization known for its advocacy and support for Black LGBTQ2S+ communities.
Aligned with Toronto’s Caribbean Caribana festival and Canada’s Emancipation Day, Global Black Pride will culminate in the Blockobana celebration, a longstanding event organized by Blackness Yes! The festival, described as a space where LGBTQI+ African, Black, and Caribbean individuals can celebrate free from discrimination, underscores the political significance of Black Pride as both a form of protest and celebration.
Gerald Garth, Global Black Pride’s head of events and communications, emphasizes the event’s dual purpose of celebration and advocacy, aiming to center the ongoing fight for equity and justice for Black LGBTQI+ individuals globally. The organization seeks to address historical underrecognition of Black LGBTQ2S+ contributions within the broader LGBTQ movement, as highlighted by co-founder and president Micheal Ighodaro.
While the event will have a global reach, its location in Toronto holds particular significance, given the city’s history of Black activism within the queer community, notably during the 1981 bathhouse protests. Organizers hope to honor this legacy while fostering solidarity and celebration among Black queer and trans individuals worldwide. Vice president Rikki Nathanson underscores the importance of celebrating Black culture, diversity, and unity on a global scale.