UK lesbian and gay bookshop Gay’s the Word will feature in the forthcoming film “Pride”, produced by BBC and Pathe films. The film, which is released next Friday (12th September), follows the unlikely alliance between London’s lesbian and gay community and Welsh miners in 1984–85, under collective opposition to the policies of Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government.
“Pride” won the Queer Palm Award at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, and Gay’s the Word manager Uli Lenart said for the shop to feature so heavily in the film was “fantastic”. “Not every bookshop gets to be the focus of a film. We think it is fantastic and the film is truly brilliant—very funny but very touching at the same time,” he said.
“It also articulates that bookshops are more than places that sell books, they are community hubs. Gay’s the Word was a real site of civil rights change in terms of LGBT rights during [the 1980s], it was a meeting place where people could run discussion groups and support groups.”
Customs & Excise staff raided the shop in 1984, seizing thousands of pounds’ worth of stock, including works by Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal, Christopher Isherwood and Jean Genet. “They tried to close the bookshop down, seeing it as a hub for action against Thatcher’s anti-gay policies,” Lenard said.
Film producers re-created the shop because its current layout was deemed too modern, he added.