In 1984-85 in the UK there was a huge miners strike, affecting the coal industry. I don’t know the full details, something to do with crap wages and Maggie Thatcher being a bitch. What I do know from movies such as Billy Eliot is that it had horrible affects on the mining communities and their families. With no money coming in because of the strike, many families struggled. The police and the government were not happy with the strike, and were unsympathetic.
But there was one community who was. The gays.
A small group of gays and lesbians started Gays and Lesbians Support the Miners (LGSM), raising funds for a small mining town in Whales. The whole story is depicted in the film Pride.
Pride is one of my favourite films. I can’t sympathise with the gay aspect, or the mining aspect. But the film, and the story it was based it, is massively inspiring. It’s all about solidarity, sticking up for the downtrotten and, most importantly, having some pride.
Pride is important, not just to the gay community, but to anyone left of centre or different or part of a minority. It could be your background, it could be your fashion voice. There are lots of things that people can pick on you for, and you have to try and maintain your pride.
The LGSM held a benefit concert titled Pits and Perverts, taking what was intended to be a hurtful newspaper headline, and owning it. Something that is apparently tradition in the gay community. The t-shirt I’m wearing in the pictures are the t-shirts that were sold at said concert. Being a huge fan of both of the story and the film, when I went to London I headed to Gays the Word bookshop, which had been the HQ for LGSM, and bought the t-shirt, still in production.
I’m not gay, but I am a huge supporter of gay rights. It’s important for minorities or outcast groups to have support from outside. Like the miners had the gays. Or, after the success of LGSM, when gay rights was proposed in parliment there was a blackout vote from one particular union. The miners.
I love this t-shirt and everything it represents, and I’ll wear it with pride