19720901-02Paragraph one was going to be about our little bust and its implications for us and other small newspapers (news story, GN5). However, the matter is still being dealt with by the magistrates court, so any comment from us would be in contempt of court. When the case has been heard we’ll tell you all about it.

Paragraph two might have been about money again, but you’ve heard all that before . . .

So instead we’d like to congratulate the London Evening Standard News on using the word GAY in their headlines without apology, quotation marks or explanations when covering the bank robbery in the States (Wed Aug 3rd). No newsagent will ever be able to complain about displaying the word gay in his/her shop any more. And at last the ordinary media are using our own non-derogatory term to describe us instead of insulting words like “queer” or clinical chillers like “invert” or “homosexual”.

As to the incidents themselves – well, you can read our report in this issue. At the time of writing this, however, we have only the facts published in the straight press, but their treatment of them seems to have been clear and unbiased. One can only hope that the public will follow the lead of the press in not connecting the gunmen’s homosexuality with their gun-toting, except as incidental factors, though it does seem as if the story made so many front pages because the gunmen were gay – gay is apparently news these days.

On a lighter note, we’d like to take issue with the gentleman who said ‘the name Gay News is a con; there’s nothing really gay in it’. Well, dear, what were you expecting? Pull-out knitting patterns for your jazzy new tank-top? who do you think we are Cosmopollution?

The nub of the charge is that we review films, books, records and the like because we think they’re good (or bad) whether they’re specifically gay or not. And that we haven’t, to date, doled out any ‘dishy’ pin-ups or chatty columns on make-up or clothes. Or leathers and chains for that matter.

And the answer to that is that we are a paper rather than a magazine. That the whole role-playing bitch-versus-butch game seems to us to be rather a waste of time. That people are people – so there’s not too much need to concentrate on specifically gay things just because they’re gay, ignoring the quality and conditioning effect. And in any case, there are a number of new magazines appearing at the moment which cover the lighter side of things as their main concern.

The main function and concern of the paper is serious — though we hope to be fun as well (with ‘Biograph’, ‘2032’, ‘More than one Alice’, and more to come, including a possible gay horror story). But the point we do take from the comment is that we aren’t sexy enough. We aren’t.

Has anybody any ideas on how to make a paper sexy without falling into the traps of treating people as bed-fodder (or rather, wank-fodder) of perpetuating myths about ‘types’ and so on?

The other thing about us that takes other people some time to get used to is our totally informal way of working, with no specific jobs allocated to anyone apart from vaguely defined areas of responsibility. We all do a little bit of everything at some time or another, which is lots of fun when it works and awful when it doesn’t – hence the curious numbering of pages in our last issue!

But it does mean that questions such as ‘Can I speak to the person who deals with . . .” don’t mean all that much. Any of us could answer most of the queries you might bring up, though we do have specialists in a few areas. And it does seem as if we will get more job-orientated in future, if only because each of us is developing some pet-hate or pet-love jobs. Perhaps it will then be a little easier for other people to work with us.

We also have now got our First Phantom Phoner – he/she just phones in from a call box and then waits to be cut off as the pips run out. One day soon he/she will speak. Or something. We’ll keep you posted. Seriously, though! there’s no need to be shy.

Finally, to answer a few queries raised in the last issue’s letters. When replying to box numbers, it isn’t necessary to stamp each box reply because we collect replies for a week or so and send them off together in one large envelope. It would be nice if people placing ads would enclose one such large stamped, self-addressed envelope – it might speed up your replies.

We’re very sorry that the gentleman who thought we were a CHE publication has had to wait this long to realise what he’s missing in Battersea . . .

To Richard Webster in Durham . . . it is an economically impossible job!

To everyone else, thanks, keep it up, and good luck. Byee!

As you may have noticed, there are 16 pages in this issue. That won’t happen every time, but we got lots of luvverly advertising this time. And to make room for it and all the goodies we intended to print, we had to have more pages. On which we spent the extra cash from the ads. So – we’re still as broke as ever. Still, that’s life. Hope you like it. Wish we could do it more often . . .

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