cover image Pride: The Unlikely Story of the True Heroes of the Miners’ Strike

Pride: The Unlikely Story of the True Heroes of the Miners’ Strike

Tim Tate, with the members of LGSM. John Blake (IPG, dist.), $15.95 trade paper

The vital assistance provided by English gay and lesbian activists to striking Welsh miners in 1984 and 1985, the subject of the film Pride, is winningly presented in this oral history. After Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government cracked down on the mining industry, Welsh miners hurriedly executed a strike, but the short lead time and lack of planning meant their families weren’t prepared for the resulting loss in income and struggled to get by. Despite the miners’ antigay prejudices, members of England’s gay and lesbian communities, who had also been targeted by the Thatcher regime, decided to organize to raise funds for food and other necessities for miners’ families. They formed Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM). LGSM member Brett Haran describes the initiative as “an opportunity to engage with people who opposed us; to point out that the miners were under attack just as we’d always been under attack and so we need to make common cause.” The history is effectively conveyed in the voices of the participants, with minimal annotation and context provided by Tate. Even those familiar with the contours of the story from the film will learn something new from these detailed narratives, which chillingly describe how aggressively the Thatcher government oppressed its perceived foes. (May)