My summer of love: ‘I took a date to Black Pride – and realised I loved him’

He was able to exist so easily in my world that it helped me feel happier there too

In the summer of 2015, I attended UK Black Pride (an annual event celebrating African, Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American and Caribbean-heritage LGBTQI+ people). It is one of the few places where I feel truly among family. My difference as a queer person of colour disappears in the sea of black and brown faces dancing in the sunshine – jumping around to the likes of Mark Morrison’s Return of the Mack and Jazzy Jeff’s Summertime; songs that also bring back memories of London in the 90s, the London of my teens.

I come from a working-class, multicultural, east London community, but, after graduating from university, I also graduated to the middle classes. At UK Black Pride, I was reminded how far away I now felt from that world and, in that instant, recognised why love seemed to elude me. I dated men from my “circle”: men I’d met working as a lawyer or through university friends. Men who were middle class. Men who were often (but not always) white.

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