It’s a tall order to provide a history of LGBTQ+ rights in 90-odd minutes, but this often inspiring documentary covers a lot of ground using choice personal testimonies and archive footage. The focus is predominantly British, tracing the origins of the Pride march and questioning its future.
The opening story comes from a 96-year-old World War II veteran who recalls his fear of discovery, before ’60s news footage of Soho declares that, ‘for many of us, this is revolting: men dancing with men’. Legal progress – and the resulting police backlash – is then explained by the likes of former ‘EastEnders’ star Michael Cashman, who recalls the notorious ‘Beverley Sisters’, two pretty policemen who worked as honey traps. Then it’s on to the Gay Liberation Front and the Pride parties of recent years.
Filmmaker Ashley Joiner takes care to look at some subgroups within the larger community, though there will always be more: we hear from trans protesters and members of Black Pride, before darting back to the Welsh miners and gay Londoners that inspired the film ‘Pride’ (which, weirdly, isn’t mentioned). There are female talking heads but this still feels weighted towards male gay rights – after a brief explanation that lesbianism was never illegal. The final emphasis is on intersectionality and the need for further progress: it seems every breakthrough exposes the need for another. While not exhaustive, this is a thought-provoking watch.