Unlikely Friends

The movie Pride, by Matthew Warchus, is based on a true story about the unlikely support and cooperation of a queer activist group in London and a rural mining community. A member of the queer activist group sees what is happening to these mining communities and unions that are striking and suffering from lack of money, support, and resources and, after much convincing, starts the formation of LGSM (Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners) with the other members in the group. Their support was not taken too enthusiastically by the mining community at first, with much of them seeming to be homophobic. However, they later grow tight bonds with them, even leading one of the lead miner house organizers later coming out as gay as a result of the love and support received during this experience no doubt. In the end, some of the people from the mining community surprise the LGSM group by showing up to the pride parade to walk with them and show their support, coming full circle. 

I absolutely loved this movie and it was extremely heart warming because it was so real about the reluctance to support a community that you (thought you) knew would not support you in the first place. However, it showed that those who are struggling together, even about things that seem completely unrelated to each other, can show their support in numerous ways. I also thought it was so important how it showed the development of the miner community going from seeing the queer activist group as “those” people to later people they respect and can call close friends they can fight for. These unlikely identities coming together reminded me of Eli Clare’s battle with the seemingly contradictory identities as “redneck” but also queer. Through this movie, we saw that these identities do not have to be mutually exclusive or contradictory, which is not only important when coming to terms with our own identities, but also when looking in at social issues and our own prejudices we have, consciously or not, about our in-groups and out-groups. It relates to the constant framing and battle of the us vs them mentality but shows how that can be overcome, though obviously not always smoothly or immediately.