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Photos: Pride And Queer Stories Through The Lens Of Black Women Photographers

Dancers take the stage at a Pride event in West Hollywood, Calif., on June 8, 2019.
Alexis Hunley
Dancers take the stage at a Pride event in West Hollywood, Calif., on June 8, 2019.

Each year, Pride Month is a time to celebrate the achievements made in the fight for LGBTQ equality and remember the work that still needs to be done for equal rights and protections.

NPR reached out to the Black Women Photographers community for images of past Pride celebrations or projects focusing on LGBTQ stories. This community of photographers is striving to create a space where stories are shared among like-minded individuals in the hopes of inspiring and empowering one another.

Photographers from the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom shared with NPR their images and thoughts on what Pride means to them this year. This selection of images showcases the photographers' innovative approaches to documenting their communities, histories and points of view.

Alexis Hunley

This year, Pride means love in the fullest, truest sense. Love of self, love for my peers, love for my community. Love as an action and a choice rather than an emotion. Love that moves us toward the liberation and celebration of queer people everywhere.

Cindy Elizabeth

For me, Pride is about celebration and the acts of thriving and building intentional kinship. As a queer Black woman, this means thriving in the face of homophobia, racism and misogynoir and building intentional community with Black queer folks as well as other queer people of color. After this past year of isolation, this feels more important to me now than it ever has.

A person enjoys the music by Sugar Bear & EU on Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, D.C., on Juneteenth 2020.
/ Dee Dwyer
Dee Dwyer
A person enjoys the music by Sugar Bear & EU on Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, D.C., on Juneteenth 2020.

Dee Dwyer

Pride to me means freedom and love. It means to live in your truth loud and proud.

Lindsay Perryman

Pride means to me being able to be undeniably yourself and accepting who you are even if others don't. Accepting yourself is the most important part.

Lyra Vega Hamenya

This project ['Loved by You'] is a visual and poetic exploration of Black queer love. I aimed to capture how lonely and isolating the process of queer love can be. The journey to self acceptance is not particularly colorful and throughout the celebration of pride month, it is important to remember the full scope of global LGBTQ experience.

I was born in Ghana before moving to the UK with my parents. Recently Ghanaian MPs proposed a law making it illegal to advocate for LGBTQ+ people and identities. This law effectively removes any and all civil routes for LGBTQ+ people and organisations who seek to challenge the already hostile treatment of queer people. Pride to me is a reminder of how much we have left to do.


Complete and total self-acceptance is what Pride means to me. "Intersectionality," a term coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw, aimed at exploring the complexities within the LGBTQ+ community. Although many face discrimination due to their choice of a love partner, race and gender also add a layer of marginalization which has to be addressed. [This photo] is an attempt at giving a voice to those who have been silenced through boundless and timeless imagery.

Amna Ijaz is NPR's Visuals Team photo editing intern this summer.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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