Saluting Our Sisters: The Inspiring Story of Phyll Opoku-Gyimah

Every Black History Month, we take a moment to shine a light on the trailblazers in our community. This year, under the theme “Saluting Our Sisters”, we’re turning our attention to Lady Phyll – Phyll Opoku-Gyimah. Her life story is filled with moments of courage, dedication, and tireless commitment to change.


Phyll Opoku-Gyimah was born in London in 1974, but her family’s roots trace back to Ghana. Her parents, who moved from Ghana, instilled in her a deep sense of pride in her heritage. They also taught her about the importance of community and hard work. London during the 1980s and 90s was a challenging place for a young Black girl coming to terms with her LGBTQ+ identity. These challenges, combined with insightful discussions about rights and politics at home, sparked a passion for activism in Phyll. During her school and university days, she became actively involved in groups that aimed to make a positive change in society.

The Birth of UK Black Pride

In 2005, sensing a gap in the pride celebrations, Lady Phyll co-founded UK Black Pride. She realised the importance of having a special space where Black LGBTQ+ individuals could come together and celebrate their unique identities. What began as a modest gathering has, with Phyll’s determination and leadership, grown into Europe’s leading celebration for Black LGBTQ+ people.

Championing Rights and Equality

Lady Phyll’s work wasn’t just limited to organising events. She became a strong voice against injustices, especially those faced by the Black and LGBTQ+ communities. Understanding the interconnectedness of challenges like racism and LGBTQ+ discrimination, she worked hard to bring these issues to the forefront. Her role in the Kaleidoscope Trust further exemplified her commitment. There, she worked diligently to champion LGBTQ+ rights on an international scale.

Creating Waves of Change

The true measure of Phyll’s influence is seen in the communities she’s uplifted and the people she’s inspired. By breaking barriers and challenging norms, she’s paved the way for countless individuals. Her story serves as a powerful reminder that when faced with adversity, one can rise, speak out, and create lasting change.

The story of Lady Phyll, filled with determination and a commitment to justice, is one we should all take a moment to reflect upon. As we “Salute Our Sisters” this Black History Month, Lady Phyll stands as a shining example of the profound impact one individual can have. Through her work and dedication, she’s charted a path for many to follow, championing a future where everyone is celebrated for who they are.