We use cookies to track usage and preferences. See Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
US
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Christmas Presents

LIVING PRIDE

AS PART OF LGSM, JONATHAN BLAKE WAS PART OF THE MAGICAL STORY THAT INSPIRED THE MOVIE PRIDE, IN WHICH HE WAS PORTRAYED BY DOMINIC WEST. AND, AS ONE OF THE FIRST PEOPLE IN BRITAIN TO BE DIAGNOSED WITH HIV, HE IS A FORMIDABLE SURVIVOR.

JONATHAN BLAKE

An original member of Lesbians and Gays Support The Miners

Jonathan Blake sits with me in the blooming garden of his humble flat in Brixton, part of a housing co-operative formed from a handful of lesbian and gay squats back in the early 1980s. It’s an example of just one such community in which he has found himself stubbornly forging his way through his 65 years. Jonathan is a true rebel. As he tells me his story, it’s clear that his fight has always been in the name of constructing, repairing and — crucially — surviving.

Originally from the outskirts of Birmingham, Jonathan arrived in London in 1967 — the year homosexuality was decriminalised— and went to drama school to pursue his dreams of becoming an actor. “It was an extraordinary period,” he says of the 1970s. “I spent 12 years working as a jobbing actor, and then I just felt it kind of gave me up.” For most of 1981 and 1982, Jonathan waited tables at Joe Allen in Covent Garden, before falling ill with what would transpire to be HIV. The first known case of the disease in Britain occurred in 1981, but the virus causing it was not identified until 1983. “I was diagnosed in October 1982 when it was called HTVL-3,” Jonathan explains. “All that was known was that it was terminal diagnosis. I had an old lover who I had stayed with in San Francisco earlier that year, when I went over for a wedding. At this point there was talk of something going on, but there really wasn’t a lot, so I indulged in the bathhouses there, and I worked out much later on that it was there that I met my virus.”

READ MORE
Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Attitude - 259
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Issue - 259
$4.99
Or 499 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only $ 2.00 per issue
SAVE
60%
$25.99
Or 2599 points
Monthly Digital Subscription
Only $ 2.76 per issue
SAVE
40%
$2.99
Or 299 points

View Issues

About Attitude

This very special edition of Attitude is our biggest ever. It marks our first annual Pride Awards, which were created to champion the unsung heroes of the LGBT community; all of our 11 recipients grace the cover, and their extraordinary stories are told inside. They will all be honoured at an event in London, hosted by Alan Cumming, on 26 June. This issue also marks Attitude’s 21st birthday, and inside we feature 21 ordinary 21 year olds from the LGBT community who speak about what matters to them as they come of age in Britain in 2015. The issue also includes interviews with Roisin Murphy, Little Mix, Mary Lambert, Aston Merrygold, Kavana, Collabro, actor Layton Williams, and director Bill Condon; as well as features on the rebranding of Switchboard, and a look back at Queen’s iconic Live Aid performance 30 years on. All this, plus our regular fashion spreads, columnists, real life features, travel and fitness.
Ways to Pay Pocketmags Payment Types
At Pocketmags you get Secure Billing Great Offers HTML Reader Gifting options Loyalty Points