LGSM (Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners) was formed in 1984, during the Miners’ Strike. Mike Jackson and Mark Ashton were its founding members, after organising a bucket collection for the striking miners during the London Pride march of 1984. Jackson and Ashton felt like there was a need to raise awareness of the miners’ strike within the lesbian and gay community, as the pair felt like solidarity of struggles was a solid reason to create the group, and there was an evident need to support the striking miners and their families, as they felt both communities were being treated unfairly by the government at the time.

Meeting Gay Rights Activist Jonathan Blake, Winner of This Year's Pride Award

Image Credit (Colin Crews) 

LGSM started small, but by 1985 there were groups in ten other towns and cities across the UK. London LGSM built solidarity links with the South Wales mining communities of Dulais and also donated funds to the Nottinghamshire Women’s Support Group.  (SOURCE)

Money was collected in gay pubs and clubs, but also outside of Gay’s The Word bookshop. All funds were to support striking miners’ families.

Lesbians Against Pit Closures (LAPC) was formed in November 1984 by some of the women members in LGSM and more than 20 women were involved in the group. They focused on raising money at women’s venues in London and donated the money raised to the Rhodisia Women’s Action Group in Worksop, Nottinghamshire. LGSM gave practical support to LAPC. (SOURCE)

The solidarity link between LGSM and South Wales mining community was an influential factor that resulted in the Trade Union movement becoming more inclusive to the gay and lesbian community, as well as adopting stronger levels of equality policies.

More can be read here.

Do you have any fond stories of meeting LGSM activists? Perhaps you were part of the LGSM group. We would love to hear from you. 

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