CONVERSATION WITH JONATHAN BLAKE
Gender Bender meets Jonathan Blake, one of the protagonists of the true story from which the film Pride is based on, a national premier at the Gender Bender festival this year.
Blake (who in the film is interpreted by Dominic West) was one of the ‘Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners’ group members in 1984, a group which raised funds for the miners involved in strike action against the Thatcher government. But he was also one of the first people to be infected by HIV in Great Britain: “At that time it was the equivalent of a death sentence”, he revealed to the newspaper Metro. “I had this killer virus running through my veins, I didn’t want to transmit it to anybody, and I felt very, very isolated living in the East End. But I slowly began to find the courage to start going out again. The most essential thing for me was to keep myself busy, continuously in movement, and that is what I did. Today in 65 and I’m still here.” Regarding the film he said: “Everyone thought that we would have taken this film to the grave, and there it would have stayed.”