London’s Week Of Warhol

LONDON: London has just finished a week when Andy Warhol’s latest movie was shown in the London Film Festival and his older “Trash” was given a certificate after almost two years of campaigning.

The renter of all Warhol’s movies in this country, Jimmy Vaughan, announced that the censor had approved of Trash having an X-certificate rating rather fittingly just before a Film Festival screening of Heat, which will be the next Warhol movie to run the gauntlet of the censor’s office, following Flesh and Trash.

Mr Vaughan also announced that Trash would open its London screening early next year in the West End, and not in Chelsea as had been planned.

The announcement on stage just before another movie was fitting because it matched the Hollywood world of stars that Heat is about. And for the same reason, it was rather fitting that Mr Vaughan decided to throw a party to celebrate his success at the end of the campaign to get Trash a certificate.

Joe Dallesandro who was the rent-boy in Flesh plays a trash-picking junkie in Trash and goes on to become a former child-star in Heat. All the movies are directed by Paul Morrisey.

Trash tells of the degradation through heroin of Joe who ultimately can’t make it with anyone, not even the drag queen he lives with.

Heat is a bizarre parody of the American dream of Tinsel Town. Joe is pestered by a strange group of women; there are a partly gay unmarried mother and her ex-movie queen mother pursuing him. They all live in a motel run by an immense madam, who also tries to get a bit of the action with Joe. Just to finish things off the motel is also populated by a pair of boys who work in a stage sex show.

The Warhol movie factory moved from its native New York to Hollywood to shoot Heat.

Presumably censor Stephen Murphy will take another two years before deciding to allow Heat to be shown to the public.

“Gay Sex Ed. Is A Must”

LONDON: A teach-in in London was told a teachers’ information service should be set up to advise teachers on how they can introduce gayness into sex education in schools.

The teach-in was held at the London Collegiate Centre by the Campaign for Homosexual Equality and the London Homophile Society. The subject was introducing homosexual education into schools.

It lasted all day and was split into three sections.

In the first session, called Identifying The Problem, the speaker was Malcolm Johnson. The second session was Methods of Education with David Bell as speaker. David said that if a teacher had a healthy loving relationship with his pupils they would accept his sexual orientation as an incidental and healthy part of his total personality. Too often, gay teachers simply comply with acceptable heterosexual standards and to that extent have a hollow negative relationship with their pupils.

The third part of the teach-in was on practical action with Glenys Parry of CHE speaking.

In question time one teacher said he felt that a teachers’ information service should be set up to advise teachers on the best way to teach pupils about gayness.

Others criticised Michael Douane, of Risinghill School and N. S. Neil – who are seen as progressive in education – were reactionary in their approach to homosexuality. Apparently, they said, the heads saw freedom making happy healthy heterosexual children and adults, and that homosexuality is the result of negative environmental pressures.

One teacher said that real live homosexuals should be allowed to be guest speakers at schools to avoid a discussion on homosexuality becoming too abstract. But this idea the teach-in thought, would be a challenge to school authority structures and the establishment’s thinking, and would be difficult to implement.

Glenys’s session on practical action was on the ways teachers could come out and influence their pupils’ minds by discussing the real nature of figures in history and introducing the subjects into religious instruction lessons.

Whilst the teach-in admitted that it would be difficult to introduce homosexuality into some subjects, such as metalwork, Wallace Grevatt, who did much of the organising that got the teach-in to happen, said he hoped a teachers’ action group to provide an information service and to create pressure upon educationalists to consider the possibility of introducing homosexual education into school curricula.

Sssch-Press Silence

LONDON: A sex-education movie that may be bought by the Inner London Education Authority may not be advertised in the Evening Standard, because Cobra Films who made the movie want to quote the criticism of Cobra-1 that appeared in Gay News.

Cobra-1, also called etcetcetc, approaches the subject of sex from a standpoint that values relationships higher than “the perfect position” for a couple.

When Cobra Films booked the space in the Standard the advertisement department could see no objection to running the ad.

But when Geoff Richards, formerly of the Electric Cinema Club in Portobello Road, which gave Cobra-1 its premiere, took the copy for the ad along to the Standard, he was told by the assistant advertisement manager that the Gay News criticism was “near-pornography”. The man at the Standard suggested that Cobra should find a “respectable film critic to quote — like Alexander Walker” if it wanted to run the advertisement.

But Cobra Films, who maintain that the Gay News criticism (in GN10) was the only crit that approached the movie on its own terms refused to change the wording and would not cut off the by-line tag: “Peter Holmes, Gay News.”

The result is that no advertisement for Cobra Films’ first movie appeared in the Standard. The shareholders of Beaverbrook Newspapers are the losers.

Block On Gay Mags

LONDON: Production of gay magazines has been hit by a refusal of firms that fold the magazines to do the work. They blame the print workers’ union for deciding not to handle the magazines, but a union boss told GN that the firms were “lying”.

A spokesman for Quorum magazine said that the magazine’s printers had been told by firms specialising in finishing – folding and stapling – magazines that the Society of Graphical and Allied Trades had sent a directive to its members telling them not to handle gay mags, along with many other magazines, including much pornography of a very explicit nature.

Quorum isn’t the only magazine to be hit by this ban by the firms.

Follow-Up magazine’s third issue is now three weeks late in publication.

Don Busby, who runs Follow-Up told Gay News: This is hitting me especially hard, as Follow-Up is still running at a loss without this sort of thing happening to make things worse. It’s having to exist on the money that comes in from Male International Nude.

“With things like that, the last thing I need is a hold-up in production of Follow-Up. It means that there’s no new money flowing into the magazine, and there won’t be for some time.”

Follow-Up was due for publication on November but it has had to be rescheduled for publication on November 21. Male International Nude, Don Busby’s other magazine, is not hit by the finishers’ war-of-nerves, because it has less pages and folding it is, therefore, not a specialist job.

The story that a directive had been sent to print workers was given to the magazines’ printers by, among other firms, Stewart Phillips, of Golden Square, Foldform of Blackfriars, Hatch Pinner, of Farringdon Road and Howgate of Triangle Road, London E8.

But Mr Joe Flynn, the general secretary of SOGAT told Gay News that: “Those firms are lying. There has been no such directive sent out. In fact, our members even work on International Times, which, I think, shows they’re not narrow-minded.”

The Managing Director of Hatch Pinner told Gay News: “We never refused to handle any magazine, we have never received a directive from SOGAT leaders.

“If the magazines’ publishers say we are refusing to handle the magazine, they are mistaken, that’s all I can say.”

Gay Dentist Banned

Picture has been edited as the age of the subject is not clear.SOUTHPORT: A dentist has been banned from practicing as a dentist because he is gay, and the General Dental Council’s disciplinary committee in London admit that he has never behaved in “anything but a skilled and professional manner in the surgery.”

The dentist, who has been deprived of his livelihood for his off-duty life, came to the disciplinary committee’s attention when he was convicted of a sex ‘offence’ at Preston in May.

The gay dentist, who is 48 years old, was said to be a homosexual by his defence counsel, who added that the had undergone treatment for his gayness since the conviction before last, which was in 1967.

The defence counsel said: “The offence committed in May this year was an isolated breakdown.”

The dentist is given 28 days to appeal against the committee’s decision. If he does not, his name will be erased from the dentist’s register and he will be out of work.

Enlightened Sentence

Picture has been edited as the age of the subject is not clear.ROCHESTER, N.Y.: An enlightened American Judge gets this month’s award for diplomacy. Faced with the problem of sentencing a gay convicted of first-degree assault he “reluctantly” placed him on probation because of fears that the man – 29-year-old Michael Dodd — would be “dehumanised if not killed” if sentenced to a term of imprisonment.

The case was dealt with recently by Judge David O. Boehm at Munroe County Court. Before passing sentence he asked prison officials about the potential danger to a homosexual inmate.

“They were very candid,” said Judge Boehm. There had been stabbings and fights over this situation yet all the prison officers could do was to give verbal instructions to the prisoners.

Judge Boehm said he just couldn’t see throwing Michael into that situation.

“It would be cruel and unusual punishment. He’d become an object of barter there, completely dehumanised, if he wasn’t killed.”

Judge Boehm placed Michael on probation on condition that he sought psychiatric help and stayed away from the victim of the assault.

He told Michael that if he violated any condition of parole, it “will be clear indication that you’re not concerned, as I am, with what might happen if you’re sentenced to prison.” Judge Boehm added: “I resent the fact that we have no alternatives. This is a heck of a thing and the public ought to know about it. I resent the fact that another person may come up who’s a homosexual and he may have a more serious crime and I’m stuck.”

Right on Judge Boehm and here’s hoping your views come to the notice of your English colleagues.

Teacher Sacked For Coming Out

Teachers and social workers are especially vulnerable to harassment by society. On the pretext that “we don’t want that type near our kids”, gays get sacked from working with children. If they don’t get sacked, they have to resign under pressure.

John is a teacher. He worked until a few weeks ago at a public school in Somerset. Then he appeared on a television programme on being gay. Within days he “was resigned”.

He told Gay News: ‘The situation was this, I was resigning at Christmas anyway, so all they did was to suspend me for the rest of term because I appeared on television and said I was gay. Everyone at the school was terribly decent about it.

“I was asked to go on this programme and I felt that the principles were important enough for me to take the risks involved.

“So I appeared on this programme called Now It’s Your Say on Harlech Television and I was recognised by people from the school and I knew that I was going to be recognised. I couldn’t have come out more openly.

“I had never made any pretence and all the staff at the school knew I was gay. Most of the boys there knew too. I didn’t exactly tell them it’s just that they must have realised.

“The television programme caused a great deal of embarrassment at the school, as most of the staff at the school had seen me on the programme. But the headmaster did not know about it, so I went to tell him.

“In that sense you could say I’d brought it on myself. He asked me to resign and I refused because in my mind I had done nothing wrong and I couldn’t see why I should be asked to resign.

“So now he has given me leave of absence until the end of term, so he hasn’t sacked me. My resignation has been brought forward a month or so, that’s all.

“In their view thev are being very generous and kind, but it is the principle of the thing that gets me. The very fact that if you speak the truth it is enough to get you the sack from a job.

“On the programme, which went out on October 20, there were about 25 of us gays including people from London, Bath, Reading and other places.

“It was really a question of my being associated with anything gay that would affect the parents or the old boys which frightened the headmaster into making me take leave ot absence.

“I got on well with the people at the school where I worked for four years, but standing up for a principle just seemed more important than anything else. The only way is to come out.”

John had belonged to his local gay alliance group before appearing on the HTV programme. He used to teach English and music at the school, which he asks Gay News not to name because he feels that although his being forced to resign earlier than planned was stupid and bad, it was bred out of ignorance rather than malice.

Che Shows The Way

LONDON: Any vicar’s wife who wandered into London’s Conway Hall the other Saturday wouldn’t have batted an eyelid at what she saw as hundreds of homosexuals did their thing — and in public. It was CHE’s autumn fair, and to all intents and purposes it looked like a village fete that had been rained off the cricket square and into the WI Hall.

CHE held the fair to raise money for its London social club — just as any village has a fete to pay for the work on the dry rot in the choirstalls. This autumn fair was a community event, like a village fete. Except for the fact that this was specifically for London’s gay community.

It would have warmed any vicar’s wife to see preserves and cakes on sale, lucky dips, seemly games of chance, though the rummage stall labelled “Drag” might have raised an eyebrow or both.

There may have been a vicar’s wife there, but mainly the people were those one usually gets to see in the gay ghetto. But for the fair they’d all come out, and as a social event it had that to commend it.

But all that, and speculation about vicar’s wives is irrelevant to the fact that CHE’s Autumn Fair raised £1,000 towards the Campaign’s projected gay social centre.

It’s also important to mention that the campaign, often regarded as the most staid and least go-ahead of the gay groups, actually put on the event, raised the money and gave a lot of people a good time, which didn’t just end with the fair but went on into the evening with such treats as No-No-Nanette in one act, conceived by Roger Baker and performed by Roger and the CHE Players, an amorphous bunch, who gave a lot of people an evening of entertainment, which this reporter had to miss so he could retire home with his cold. Pity.

Gays Kept Away From Shoppers

BRIGHTON: The town’s Gay Liberation Front went on the march recently when it held the first Brighton Gay Day — which campaigned specifically for the lowering of the age of gay consent to 16 and equality for homosexuals in society.

It was a start, even if only about 30 gays did come out with their banners for the rerouted march along the seafront and into a shopping precinct.

The marchers handed out leaflets to the public, but the official change-of-mind about letting the gays march through the crowded shopping centre of Brighton and leaving them only the mainly deserted sea shore to parade along, made certain that not too many people would be there to get the message Brighton GLF was trying to hand out.

The official reason for re-routing the march was that the gays’ banners might cause a breach of the peace. Brighton GLF was told of this change-of-heart just a day before the Gay Day was due to take place.

The only incident around the march was abuse thrown at the gays by members of the public. The police moved them on quietly.

Gay Television In USA

HOLLYWOOD: ABC Television is to slot into its schedules between the sponsorship commercials a made-for-television special movie about gay love, which its co-writer/producer says would have been unthinkable a year ago.

Short, bearded, William Link was talking about ‘That Certain Summer’, a TV special about a man, his former wife, their son and the husband’s gay lover.

His partner, the taller and slightly less hirsute Richard Levinson said: “We thought there would be no market for this in television, and, to our surprise, there was. Everyone accused television of being bland, but this is an adult theme.”

Levinson and Link have not tried to give their opinions about gay love, or to make a propaganda vehicle. They say they have just tried to explore the relationships of the people involved as people.

The idea for the script came when the partners were visiting a divorced man who told them his son was coming to visit. It dawned on our intrepid pen-pushers that this man was gay, living with another man. It also dawned on them that they were looking at the raw material of a television script.

The TV-special concentrates on the husband’s attempts to hide his being gay from his friends and the son’s discovery of it.

Levinson says: “No-one is the villain. The man has to live his life the way he has to. But if he does he hurts his son. If he doesn’t, he hurts himself. Each has his moments when he is not nice, they all have their fallibilities.

When they were writing the script Levinson and Link talked to psychiatrists and gays about gay love. “I think the homosexuals were more concerned with the image portrayed than in good drama.”

One of the criticisms levelled at Levinson and Link while they were canvassing opinions was that they offered no solution. Levinson defends the TV movie: “How can we offer a solution? The population can’t even agree on what homosexuality is.”

The actors, both unknown, chosen to play the parts of the father and son had no fears about playing gays.

Link says: “I asked one if he would take the part. He said he would be terrified of playing a homosexual. I asked him if he would play Hitler. He said ‘sure’.”

Levinson adds: “The odd thing was, once we got started we forgot about the homosexual implication and got involved in the production.”