Black Pride’s: The myths & truths

Brandi Stewart, founder of OKC Urban Pride. Facebook photo.

by Mahkesha Hogg
Black LGBT Issues Columnist

Last year I attended my first OKC Urban Pride (Black OKC Pride). It was amazing! I promoted the events as often as I could on social media and was proud to get the notifications out to the greater OKC Pride community.

Many in our community did not know OKC had an Urban Pride. In years past we have had Black Pride events, but it had been a few years since we have had a week full of events. 

I decided to talk about the myths and truths of Black Pride’s because while I was promoting it, I noticed time and time again white people in our community who make comments like, “Can white people come?” or “Is it a black only thing?” 

Keep in mind none of the promotional items had the actual word “black” on them. It showed pics of black LGBT+ people on the flyers or at previous events. There’s this big misconception inside and outside of the black LGBT+ community if black people are shown, then it certainly means no others are allowed. 

Black people, in general, are inclusive people.

I grew up in a predominately black church and remember when white people would come, on occasion, how they were received. There might have been a few stares of surprise at first, but they were very quickly greeted and welcomed. I have noticed this type of treatment in many of my black circles. So, I am baffled as to why people would think we would promote segregation or exclusion. 

I had a conversation with an older white gay man at the Habana Inn weeks after OKC Urban Pride was over and he said to me, “I saw the flyers for the Black Pride, and we wanted to go but didn’t know if they would let white people in.”

I looked amazed and shocked by his statement, and it occurred to me that many white people may feel this way.

We talked for a while about it, and he realized there was no reason for him to feel that way because no one had ever said white people or non-black people couldn’t come. It was his fears of not feeling like he would fit in which drove him to this conclusion. I explained to him that if he ever had a question about it feel free to ask.

I felt bad because he and his partner missed out.

The only reason organizers felt the need to have a separate Pride was because they wanted to get down the way they get down. There’s a whole different type of culture that exists within the Black Pride community, and they encourage people to experience it.

Brandi Stewart (founder of OKC Urban Pride) has always promoted inclusion and wants everyone to have fun the urban way. There’s nothing to be afraid of, and you will feel like family when you attend a Black Pride.

Copyright The Gayly. June 20, 2018. 10:35 a.m. CST.