The activist and executive director of UK Black Pride and Kaleidoscope Trust is “honoured” to be given the role

BY MILLICENT MACHELL, IMAGE BY KOFI PAINTSIL

Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, also known as Lady Phyll, has announced that she will be representing Black queer British communities at Toronto’s Pride celebration this year.

Phyll is widely recognised for her activism and has been named on a list of 100 Great Black Britons as part of an initiative to celebrate Black British people during Black History Month in 2020. She was also offered an MBE in 2016, which she publicly refused. She said that she could not accept the award so long as “LGBTQI people are still being persecuted, tortured and even killed” across the world by laws put in place by the British Empire.

She has been at the forefront of LGBTQI activism for years and has spoken widely about intersectionality between race, class and sexuality. She has been a trustee of Stonewall, continues to work as co-founder and executive director of UK Black Pride and is currently Executive Director of human rights charity the Kaleidoscope Trust

This is not the first time that Phyll has taken on such a role in a Pride celebration. In 2019, she acted as a Grand Marshall of New York Pride, during the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall riots. 

Toronto’s 2022 Pride Festival will take place over the weekend of 24-26 June. The festival will be preceded by a full month of celebration. Events will include a Trans March, Dyke March, Bi+ Pride Programming and multiple stages featuring LGBTQI artists.

The organisation promises to support “our communities in the pursuit of our unequivocal rights to be known, be heard, be understood, be accepted, be respected, and to celebrate the beauty of who we are.”

Due to the pandemic, this will be the first time in two years that Pride marches are able to be hosted. We can’t wait to attend our local pride events! You can find your local UK celebrations here.

Lady Phyll was also the cover star of our LGBT+ History Month issue. Want to read more of her inspiring words? You can grab a copy here.

DIVA magazine celebrates 28 years in print in 2022. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQI media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable. 

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