Members of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) will lead a parade through Newcastle city centre on Saturday July 18, as part of the Newcastle Pride festival 2015.
It will be the first time that the group, whose story was told in comedy film Pride released last year, has taken part in the event – with the timing proving particularly significant.
LGSM, made up of gay men and lesbians from across the UK, was originally formed in support of the British miners’ strike in 1984.
A large contingent of miners and their families from Blaenant Lodge, South Wales returned the allegiance the following year by taking part in the 1985 Gay Pride March in London.
The National Union of Mineworkers and its allies also supported a motion promoting equal rights for the gay and lesbian community at the 1985 Trades Union Congress and Labour Party Conference, paving the way for real policies to be introduced.
Dave Lewis, press secretary for LGSM, said: “The mutually supportive relationship between LGSM and the mining community proved to be a real turning point in the fight for equal rights and helped pave the way for the changes we’ve seen over the past few years.
“We’re absolutely delighted to be continuing this fight in the Newcastle Pride Parade 2015, particularly as it marks the London march’s 30th anniversary.”
LGSM members, Dave Lewis, Mike Jackson and Cath Booth will lead the Newcastle Pride Parade from Newcastle Civic Centre, where they will be joined by Dunston Silver Band and an estimated 7000 members of the general public.
Mike, who is one of the group’s original founders, will also speak on the festival’s Main Stage at the Town Moor, alongside leader of Newcastle City Council, Nick Forbes, Emma Roebuck from Gay Advice Darlington and Mark Nichols, Chair of event organiser, Northern Pride.
Mark said: “LGSM is one of the most significant groups in LGBT history and we’re absolutely honoured to have Mike, Dave and Cath leading this year’s parade.
“With the addition of Dunston Silver Band we hope to be able to recreate the electric atmosphere of the 1985 London Pride March and help Newcastle Pride 2015 earn its own place in the history books.”
The Newcastle Pride Parade 2015 will set off from Newcastle Civic Centre to the Town Moor at noon on Saturday July 18, with participants being asked to arrive by 11.30am.
It forms part of three days of free entertainment and activities taking place during Newcastle Pride 2015, which also marks 45 years of Pride around the world. Full listings for this, and all of the events running from July 17 to 19, can be found at www.northern-pride.com or by searching northernprideuk on Facebook and Twitter.