Pride: Lesbians and Gays supporting the miners 1984-85

Support groups throughout the UK were encouraged to pair with a mining community after the Thatcher administration stopped distributing the funds of the National Union of Mineworkers. The Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) was formed by Mark Ashton and Michael Jackson after the pair began collecting in the 1984 Pride march in London. The LGSM group were based predominantly in the ‘Gay’s the Word’ bookshop, acting as headquarters and were twinned with the Neath, Dulais and Swansea Valleys Miners Support Groups, forming an alliance with the Welsh mining town Onllwyn . In November 1984, a group of lesbians broke away from LGSM to form a the Lesbians Against Pit Closures.The largest fundraising event that LGSM organized was the ‘Pits and Perverts’ benefit concert, held in the Electric Ballroom in Camden Town, London on 10 December 1984, with the title originating from an insulting headline in The Sun Newspaper which the group decided to use against them and wear the headline with pride.The LGSM raised an approximate total of £20,000 for the mines families who were on strike. Miners labour groups valuer this alliance and began to support and participate in gay pride events, including leading London’s Lesbian and Gay Pride parade in 1985, and at the 1985 Labour Party conference, a resolution committing the party to the support of LGBT rights passed, due to block voting support from the National Union of Mineworkers.In 1982, Jonathan Blake, member of the LGSM was the 2nd person in the UK to be diagnosed as HIV positive. He is now in his 60’s.Mark Ashston, founder of LGSM, was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in 1987, dying only 12 days later of Pneumocystis pneumonia.Below are videos of the Pride march in the film with captions about key individuals, and a second about conveying the true story in the film, speaking with both the real people and the actors who portrayed them.https://youtu.be/U3ZqlDMaCwwhttps://youtu.be/PDb643AxUhE

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