History is the documentation of the enduring human story at large. For purposes of organization and to grasp the mind boggling hundreds of thousands of years we have been on this planet it is broken down into parts. Some of these parts are racial, cultural, or religious; but each are important in their own right. “Pride” entails one such momentous event in Gay and English history. In the mid-eighties the United Kingdom’s coal miners went on a year long strike for better wages, treatment, and benefits. During the process they were brutalized by the police and became the nation’s focus of anger. Even then prime minister Margaret Thatcher publicly denounced them. Interestingly, while the miners were persecuted more, the Gay and Lesbian community found a reprieve. Realizing this a group of gay activists, dubbing their support group, “Gays & Lesbians Support The Miners” (GLSM) formed to provide financial assistance for the National Union of Mine Workers. Armed with determination, and buckets to carry their donations, the group soon became the saviors of a small southern Welsh town. Pride details their heartwarming interaction.
The group was initially met with resistance from the very people they were trying to help. Thankfully, the citizens of the town were able to rally together and allow the GLSM to help them. The members of the group taught them tolerance and acceptance, while they provided them with a getaway from the oppression. The film is beautifully written and wonderfully filmed. Besides the history lesson you learn you also see a coming of age story, a coming out story, tales of forgiveness, life altering decisions, and the stigma of HIV/AIDS. In short the film says it perfectly, “…There’s no greater feeling than learning you have an unknown and unexpected friend in the midst of a battle…” Indeed, the miners and gays did find friends in one another. The year following the miners’ return to work, thousands of them came to march and support the LGBT community during London’s Gay Pride in 1985. Later, the the miners’ union drafted gay rights into the charter. You can catch PRIDE anywhere in the United Kingdom and in limited release in select American theaters!