I really really liked this movie.
It was full of positive revolutionary feelings. It’s the story of an organization called Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, a group created by queer activists in London who recognized that Welsh miners were experiencing the same sort of police harassment that they were. They raised money in solidarity with the unions. It’s an inspiring story about the importance of coalition politics. It made me feel all good and warm inside. At the ending (spoilers), the miners came to pride to march in the parade and support the lesbians and gays. It was beautiful. I was inspired and hopeful.
But then I went looking for some more information about the people behind the story, and I learned that Mark Ashton was a serious communist, which was completely left out of the movie. Apparently your hero can be gay, but not a communist. Pink but not red.
Because gay rights have taken huge steps forward since 1985, but so much of that has to do with capitalism. Gays can be such good consumers, right? It’s a whole new market to tap into!
It’s been thirty years since the events of the movie, and to recognize that London pride asked the remaining members of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners to march at the front of the parade, just like they did in 85. But when that meant they wouldn’t be allowed to march with the unions, which was sort of the whole point. They wound up later in the parade. Some corporate crap wound up in the front. I’m not surprised, but I’m pissed. This kind of shit is why I don’t go to pride — I don’t get a kick out a crowd celebrating the commodification of my(our) identity. It makes me tired.
This movie is great though. It’s bright, and fun, and funny, full of joy and hope. It’s a story about people trying to make the world better, and it made me want to go out and try to do that too. It’s very worth your time.