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Pioneering activist supports pride at UCLan

30 September 2015

Lyndsey Boardman

Gay activist Jonathan Blake is special guest at screening of true-story film Pride  

One of the real-life gay rights campaigners whose story was portrayed on the big screen in the film Pride has visited the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) to celebrate Preston’s own pride weekend festival.

Ground-breaking HIV-positive activist Jonathan Blake came to UCLan for a screening of the film Pride, which was organised by the UCLan Creative Communities Group to kick-start Preston Pride weekend. The film tells the true story of how a group of gay activists, known as Lesbians and Gays Support Miners (LGSM), helped a group of Welsh striking miners in the 1980s and formed an unlikely alliance against their common enemy, Margaret Thatcher.

“I was really pleased to be invited by Preston Pride to attend the University of Central Lancashire for the screening of the film Pride on Friday evening and I am more than happy to attend next year."

Jonathan was one of the original members of the LGSM. He commented: “I was really pleased to be invited by Preston Pride to attend the University of Central Lancashire for the screening of the film Pride on Friday evening and I am more than happy to attend next year. The hospitality was excellent and Preston is a fabulous place, you should be proud. Solidarity!”

Russell Hogarth, UCLan Honorary Fellow, Community Ambassador and chair the UCLan Creative Communities Group, said: “The UCLan Creative Communities Group was delighted to host the film Pride on behalf of the University and the Preston Pride organisation, kick-starting their annual Pride event in the city. The evening was a great success and the audience were delighted that Jonathan very kindly came along on the night to handle questions and answers after the film.”

“More than 3,000 people attended throughout the day on Saturday and the Pride work will continue to raise and support the profile of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGB&T) community in Preston going forward into 2016."

Preston Pride committee member Debs Bradshaw added: “On behalf of the Pride committee it’s been a fantastic partner collaboration with the University of Central Lancashire in 2015 supporting Preston Pride.

“The film night was a great success and fed very nicely into the main event on Saturday. Can I thank the UCLan Creative Communities Group for helping to organise and run the event on Friday evening, it was a pleasure working with Russell and his colleagues and delightful to meet the Pro Vice-Chancellor Dr Lynne Livesey.

“More than 3,000 people attended throughout the day on Saturday and the Pride work will continue to raise and support the profile of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGB&T) community in Preston going forward into 2016. We are all looking forward to more collaborative work UCLan in the future.”