New space for LGBTQ+ community launches in Darlington with gay activist Mike Jackson

The Rainbow Screen, a new space for LGBTQ+ people and allies to come together to watch and discuss a queer film each month, launches at The Forum Music Centre in Darlington in September 2022, with a guest appearance from gay activist Mike Jackson.

The Rainbow Screen was formed by Megan Hemsley, a young representative of the LGBTQ+ community. She approached The Forum Music Centre wih her idea, which was wholly supported by the venue.

The Forum Music Centre team member and project leader for The Rainbow Screen, Kirsten Yates applied to the County Durham & Darlington Community Safety Fund, who have pledged support to help purchase film licences for a year-long programme at the Darlington music venue.

The first Rainbow Screen event will take place on Tuesday 27th September 2022, with a showing of the BAFTA-nominated film “Pride” at The Forum Music Centre, followed by a Q&A with Mike Jackson, who was the co-founder of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) whose compelling story the film is based on.

LGSM began during the year-long miners’ strike of 1984-5, when Accrington-born Mike, alongside Mark Ashton, organised a bucket collection to support the striking miners on the June 1984 London Pride march.

Mike fought for LGBTQ+ rights at a time of state-sanctioned homophobia and pandemic public prejudice, and today continues to fight for socialism and workers’ rights.

The story of LGSM was adapted into the 2014 film, “Pride”, written by Stephen Beresford and directed by Matthew Warchus, which starred Joe Gilgun (as Mike Jackson) and Ben Schnetzer (Mark Ashton), alongside Andrew Scott (Gethin Roberts), Bill Nighy (Cliff), Imelda Staunton (Hefina) and Paddy Considine (Dai Donovan).

“Pride” went on to win numerous awards at the British Independent Film Awards, including Best British Independent Film, Best Supporting Actres for Imelda Staunton and Best Supporting Actor for Andrew Scott.

Megan Hemsley, founder of The Rainbow Screen, said: “I am absolutely delighted to be welcoming Mike to Darlington. The story of LGSM is so inspiring, and I am looking forward to hearing more about their endeavours from Mike.”

Alison McKay, Chief Executive of The Forum Music Centre, said: “Following the success of the Darlington Pride events in August, it’s great to be able to continue supporting the LGBTQ+ by providing them with a safe space to connect here at The Forum Music Centre every month.”

The Rainbow Screen’s showing of “Pride”, followed by the Q&A with Mike Jackson, will be held on Tuesday 27th September 2022. Doors open at 5:30pm, with the film beginning at 6:30pm.

Tickets are priced at £7, which are available to purchase through The Forum Music Centre website or from the venue in person. Every paying ticket holder will receive a further free ticket, allowing them to bring a friend.

The event is suitable for people aged 16+ (under 18s must be accompanied by an adult).

To find out more about The Rainbow Screen and their upcoming events, visit their Facebook page:

You can also visit Forum Music Studio website for more information on this event. Visit for tickets.

< Back to blog