Pride Hits the Big Screen

Based on a true story, this empowering film about the importance of solidarity lives up to its name

By Hans Pedersen - Oct. 3, 2014

Pride is refreshing from the get-go and, as it builds up steam, the storyline unfolds in funny and touching ways.

Directed by Matthew Warchus, this inspirational gem tells the story of how members of the British LGBT community forged a powerful alliance a couple decades ago.

Set in 1984 during the National Union of Mineworkers strike, the opening scenes focus on Joe (George MacKay), a 20-year-old who’s thrust into the middle of his first gay pride parade.

Among the pride marchers is Mark (Ben Schnetzer), a cute activist with a ’50s retro look who hatches a plan: He suggests they form an alliance and raise money for the striking coal miners – a group that seems to hate Margaret Thatcher as much as the gays do.

The small but dedicated group of activists bypasses the union and reach out directly to the council of a small Welsh mining town to find coal miners who will accept the money.

The miner who comes to collect the money is touched, and speaks to a crowd at a local gay pub after a couple hundred pounds are raised, telling them what a good feeling it is “to find out you had a friend you never knew existed…”

He and a couple of women find solidarity with the LGBT crowd (adorably dubbing themselves LGSM for Lesbians & Gays Support Miners). Everyone seems to recognize that police brutality against miners is not that different from cops who brutalize gays.

Joe acts as the staff photographer, keeping the truth hidden from his parents through the entire ordeal.

One of the activists, a lesbian punk rocker (Faye Marsay, who steals several scenes), gets a couple other women involved to start addressing women’s issues, and there’s talk of a splinter group. Rifts between gays and lesbians in the movement is just one of the details helping illustrate an authentic picture.

Also lending authenticity is the sheer variety of characters who identify as gay, lesbian or trans in this story. It’s a treat to have a wider look at the huge spectrum of colors in the rainbow.

When all the sweet-faced activists get invited to the miners’ hall, the colorful LGSM group stands out among the straight-laced crowd clad in earth tones. While there are prejudices to overcome, soon enough, the miners get to ask the questions they’ve always had: Are all lesbians vegetarians? When two men live together who does the housework?

The laughs stemming from this culture clash start to build quickly in a tale that’s inspiring without becoming maudlin. And it’s Culture Club that helps everyone bond, ultimately tearing up the floor together to “Chameleon.”

It’s also a happy romp through the fashions and styles of the ’80s, evoking the mood of the era to a T, without resorting to music soundtrack clichés (such as choosing only songs from that decade). The activists’ hope and dream is that Bronski Beat will swoop in and save the day by performing at a massive benefit concert.

But fear of AIDS heightens the tensions as well, stoking the fire of bigotry.

While the story is a string of flashbacks for many Brits, those of us stateside are likely to find this chronicle of ’80s labor history insightful.

Touching and funny subplots are delicately woven into the story too. One of the activists is a Chippendales-style dancer (Dominic West) and starts teaching a miner how to dance to woo women.

And during a night on the town, several of the townspeople make their way inside a men-only club, and what follows is a hilarious brief exchange between a rubber fetishist and one of the senior ladies.

In the end, homophobes have surprisingly few friends and the power of pride is affirmed powerfully.

Serving as the spine of the film are great performances across the board, especially from seasoned pros such as Bill Nighy (Love Actually) and Imelda Staunton (Maleficent).

Ultimately, it’s an empowering story about the importance of solidarity, conveyed in an authentic and heartfelt way. One is hard-pressed to find a flaw in the film, and could argue it follows a formula in the same tradition as The Full Monty or Saving Grace. But that’s also another way of saying it’s a kick-ass movie, since it works.

This gem churns out enough laughs in the final act to buoy your spirits until the next weepy moment. It’s highly unlikely you’ll leaver the theatre disappointed.

Keep readingShow less
WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

Keep readingShow less
by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

Keep readingShow less

Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

Keep readingShow less