This year, for the first time the Army LGBT Forum and the AFCIO Victoria manned a stall at the UK Black Pride Picnic in the Park. Held on Sunday 30th June 2014 the stall composed of two forum members and two members of the local Army Reserve unit. Invited by Ms. Phyll Opoku-Gyimah (Director and Co-Founder of UkBlackPride) after speaking at the Army LGBT Forum annual conference we were delighted to attend.
The day was very relaxed with people browsing the various stalls, food area and relaxation area punctuated with the periodical gravitational pull of the performances and presentations on the main stage area; it had the feel of a family event.
Our stand was very busy with people interested in discussing life in the Army focused upon on being LGBT or being a member of the BME community.
The day was a great success with lots of enquiry and interaction between the BME LGBT community and the Army. Sgt Guy Lowe-Barrow remarked:
The thing that struck me the most was how welcoming the participants were. The engagement with the general public was extremely positive and many people commented on the how great it was to see the Army being pro active and engaging specifically with the BME LGBT community.
The day ended with a performance from the heading-lining act Misha B of X-Factor fame.