July 2017 – Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) Poster, 1984

 Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners Poster NMLH.1992.128

Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) Poster (1984)

50 years ago this month the Sexual Offences Act (1967) was passed. In England and Wales, it partially decriminalised male homosexual acts in private between two men over the age of 21. Prior to this, gay men and their relationships had been criminalized.

Following 1967, gay people still faced social prejudice and open hostility in some sections of British society but through campaigning and activism, attitudes began to change.

A key moment in the struggle for LGBT+ rights was the close relationship between the Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) campaign and a group of Welsh miners during the 1984-1985 Miners’ Strike. At a time of both homophobia and opposition towards strikes and trade unionism, they united to oppose Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the tabloid newspapers and the police. Further pressure led to the Labour Party adopting lesbian and gay rights as policy in 1985.

Through concerts like this one in 1984, headlined by the openly-gay band Bronski Beat, LGSM col­lec­ted more money for the striking miners than any other sup­port group in the UK. The film Pride (2014) was inspired by LGSM and the People’s History Museum has recently acquired a promotional poster from the film signed by the director.

To see either of these posters, please contact collections@phm.org.uk More objects relating to the fight for LGBT+ rights from the early 20th century to the present day can be seen in our Never Going Underground exhibition.