Your Letters Cont.

03-197207XX-09Continued from Page 2

Littlehampton,
Sussex.

Dear Friends,

Why oh why must the minority of gay campaigners always use foul language, clown-tactics and general public rudeness? to put our case (what is our case)? over. We (the majority) don’t want it done this way.

You will find that the majority of gay people argue their way of love with calm, sensible reason. Public bodies, i.e.: Central Government, Local Government. Police and social services etc; would rather listen to sensible suggestions and requests than take heed of ‘Gay-Circus’.

Instead of constantly criticising and giving abuse to Court and Government decisions, no matter how unjust, why not try appeals, reasoned public support.

If law is unjust or a bad one then the public will have it changed, in time. Don’t treat the public as a moronic TV audience, but get about and inform them of the facts, as we see them, ask, politely, for their help. It is amazing how many people, when informed of a wrong, will give help and advice. All it takes is a PLEASE, some thing that seems to be lacking.

Why are the gay organisations segrating us from our fellow man and woman? We’re not zoo specimens, we are ordinary, yes ordinary, humans who want to live life our way, and love our way. Segregation will NOT bring public recognition of our way of life. We MUST mix, we cannot make ourselves into an island.

Why are there not more reports from CHE and CHE groups? Have these groups no Press Officers, or are they just plain lazy? There seems to be too much GLF reporting in Gay News. An organisation that does more harm than good to our campaign, it seems their one aim is to cause trouble. Does GLF now stand for: ‘Get Lost FREEDOM’? I would hate to see Gay News turn into a ‘revolutionary rag’. At the moment this news paper is what is just wanted by the more moderate majority, but please be very careful.

Remember, preach calm, reason and tolerance and we WILL win much much more support. It takes time but then thats life.

Kindest regards
Norman Redman.

 

Monday 10th July.

The Campaign for Homosexual Equality has sent the following letter to United States senator George McGovern.

Dear Senator McGovern,

We are much encouraged by the pledge you have given to work for full rights for homosexuals. We urge you to resist all pressures to drop this pledge from your programme or to accord it a lower priority.

Homosexuals are discriminated against and oppressed in nearly every country in the world and any action in obtaining full civil rights for homosexuals in any one country contributes to their struggle all over the world. We in Britain have been greatly encouraged by your adoption of our cause. We earnestly hope that at this stage you will not abandon it.

Many of us sincerely hope that you will obtain the Democratic nomination and be elected President of the United States. That you will use the office to liberate social injustices that oppress them.

We wish you well.

 

CHALLENGE
6 Dauphine Court
Spencer Road
Wealdstone
Harrow

17th July, 1972

Dear Gay News.

I was very interested to read in your first issue about the furore which appeared to have developed over GLF’s representation on Jimmy Savile’s Homosexual Speakeasy program, and particularly of Michael Butler’s unfortunate involvement in this seemingly underhand business.

We were pleased to have eight members there and naturally we plugged Challenge. GLF’s only representation, out of their thousands of supporters, were three people who managed to squeeze in because they happened to be involved with Gay News.

At Challenge we were bewildered by Michael Butler’s letter:

“The BBC rang and asked me to find thirty gay people as representatives of as many gay organisations and groups as I know, excepting Gay Lib. They also talked about something called “Challenge” which I assumed to be a Gay Liberation Front venture”.

On March 16 our Secretary sent Michael Butler a letter which stated our aims and intentions very clearly. When he greeted us at the Speakeasy recording he apologised for not replying and for not taking up our invitation to come and speak at one of our meetings, so he knew what Challenge was at that time.

The suggestion that he thought “something called Challenge” was a “Gay Liberation Front venture” might possibly placate GLF by implying that in inviting Challenge he thought he was not really excluding GLF. But if one doesn’t think it right to exclude a group as large as GLF then why on earth have any part in the BBC’s plan to do so?

Love and peace.
Hugh.

 

111a High Road.
Leyton,
LONDON,
E.15 2DF

27th June, 1972.

Dear Sir:

I don’t think I am far wrong in stating that the majority of “straights” think of homosexual’s as half-men, half-women, or men who want to be women, and visa versa.

So what does GLF do? They, above everyone else, confirm the attitude and opinion of the straights by encouraging their members to come to meetings, disco’s, gay-days, and demos, etc, in drag. What for? Only GLF knows.

I was once a regular attendant at most of the London GLF meetings. One in particular was the Disco at the White Lion in Putney. But I was completely shaken, confused and (yes) shocked by what I saw. Boys wearing false-eyelashes and bright red lipstick, some even in complete drag. And men with beards and moustaches wearing women’s dresses and a baloon or pillow up the front to stimulate pregnancy. This was too much for me and I had to get away.

Now let me get one thing clear. I am not anti-transvestite. To each his own, and I would not dream of imposing my own set of morals on anyone. Let everyone do their own thing. I don’t imprison anyone. Because, like the straights, if you imprison others, you also imprison yourself. Nor do I see any harm in a bloke dressed as a bird. It’s not wrong. It’s not right. It just is. But why come to GLF and put back the cause of homosexuals 200 years or more?

We all know that every man has homosexual tendencies. That is no surprise to anyone. But if we, as homosexuals, are to be taken seriously, we have to appeal to the straights latent homosexuality. But if they think that by “coming out” of their plastic shells that they too, will become half-women, half-men, then they will NEVER come out .. and we will never be free to live our lives the way we want to live them in our own natural and beautiful way.

For God’s sake, GLF, wake up! And do what’s right. To help ourselves, we have to help others to understand us. It is just as important to learn what not to do, than what to do.

I think the whole idea of GLF needs to be pulled down and re-shaped. Throw out the pot-smoking freaks who are no help to anyone, let alone themselves, and be a bit more, if I may say so, professional.

So, members of GLF who like coming in drag, the next time there is a public demo, think before you attend it in drag. Ask yourself: “Is this really the way to be accepted? I have no doubt that it ISN’T the way.
With Love and Hope,

Wolf von Jurgen

 

The Family Planning Association.
Margaret Pyke House.
Mortimer Street, London W1A 4QW
12th July, 1972.

Dear Sirs,

I should be grateful if you would let me have a copy of your new publication.

II am especially interested in the article “The Twilight World of the Heterosexual”. (Gay News No.1)

Yours faithfully.
W.G.Smith,
Press Secretary.

The Wild Boys

03-197207XX-09THE WILD BOYS: A Book of the Dead. William S Burroughs (Calder & Boyars £2.50)

If you were in Marrakesh and heard about a gang of petrol-bomber boys, you too could start a fantasy of sexy teenage boys in the future. They wear only rainbow-coloured jockstraps and roam the bandit lands, a law unto themselves. You also want to be nostalgic about 1920 and a shy boy called Audrey who goes for a car ride with his mysterious schoolmate. You remember all those aloof youths in America and Mexico who seem to belong in another alien time-dimension and you transport them through the barriers. Then, if you are William Burroughs, you see it all like a movie, with all the rough-cuts and re-takes left in. and you get the marvellous kaleidoscope called The Wild Boys.

The plot only reveals itself two thirds through this short book, although all the ingredients are around from the beginning. In 1976 General Greenfield reads out a letter:

“Dear Mom and Dad:
I am going to join the wild boys. When you read this I will be far away.
Johnny.

Can we stand idly by while our youth, the very life-blood of our nation drains away into foreign sewers?” They couldn’t. Of the 20,000 soldiers who marched away, only 1,500 staggered back from the desert, the rest sent mad by a killer virus, and finished off by the boys with machine guns. That was the last Great American Crusade, a chapter which is a hilarious send-up of all the expeditionary forces that ever were.

Then in 1989, the story and civilisation is abandoned. Nobody is really alive. In Morocco the rich live in total luxury and cynically finance the saboteurs. The poor go to the wall and the CIA prowl knowledgeably but ineffectually around. But the wild boys are evolving by themselves. With the help of Mayan magic they have jerked through the barriers to gain the other time-dimension.

There are glider boys with laser guns, naked bow gun boys, shaman boys who ride the wind, and many more, including those who have control of beasts and bugs: “Five naked boys release cobras above a police post. As the snakes glide down, the boys move their heads from side to side. Phalluses sway and stiffen. The boys snap their heads forward mouth open and ejaculate. Strangled cries from the police box. Faces impassive the boys wait until their erections subside”. They can create offspring by pulling down mist to make flesh, forming from the anus outward on the prick of the entranced boy in the middle of the orgy ring. A great fantasy of penis power, but no practical ideas for GLF.

Many of the early scenes in the book are about innocent sex between ordinary boys, like the time when Johnny has crabs and Mark makes him undress. The same encounters take place again and again in successive paragraphs. like re-writes or an attempt to remember a long time ago. The action is always fast and ultra-graphic, but not really pornographic which would be the attempt to supply the reader with all the details for a substitute sex life. But for any male gay. this book is very very erotic.

Straight reviewers have carefully said that the sex nearly overwhelms the rest of the book; that it is of only academic interest to the heterosexual reader, and so forth. Let others write in praise of older women or nymphets (and without getting such censure). We can only rejoice at this celebration of one form of good sex. Read it once to enjoy the brilliant pictures passing by. Read it twice to judge for yourself if there is any significant theme other than Burroughs himself (probably not), and a third time for the writing of all the other sideshows. Read it once anyway.

Mrs Gayle’s Diary

03-197207XX-09Goals for Gays: if I were asked to select the one most conspicuously missing from the current scene, I’d plump for Credibility. New gay groupings and ‘gay leaders’ mushroom these days who takes them seriously? How seriously do they take themselves? Occasionally, all too painfully so. But humourless solipsism (or ego-tripping run riot) isn’t any substitute for a cool, realistic look at where we are in mid-1972 and where we should be travelling to.

In the past decade and a half, life has improved for gay people, though by no means far enough. In the middle 1950s homosexuality was a taboo subject, save for court reports usually in the more lurid ‘Sundays’ with such typical headings as “Scoutmaster gaoled for serious offences”, or “‘You Are Filthy Beasts’ Judge tells men”. Since then, we’ve advanced, via the tepid 1967 “two-consenting-adults-in-private” law, from the hush-hush criminal bracket to ‘underprivileged minority’ status; a situation still legally and socially quite inadequate but giving real scope, at last, for some solid self-help. Which is what “the homophile movement” is about. The movement, inevitably, is a mosaic, a spectrum: not a monolith. To progress it must, surely, work as a coalition in which every element, from ‘radicals’ to ‘fabians’, does its own thing in its own style and reserves most (hopefully all) of its powder and shot for the anti-gay instead of sniping at other gays.

For what are the facts? The facts are that we are still a generally disregarded, disliked and misrepresented minority whose prime need is for increased public comprehension and awareness of what not merely ‘gayness’ but warm, responsive human living is all about. For such a mammoth task (which amounts to the reeducation of a whole generation) we are lacking in resources, manpower and. to some extent, the necessary self-insight. To succeed, we have to make universal sisterly and brotherly love the prime principle of our gay politics as well as of our gay living. As a friend who’s done some hard and courageous work for our cause in Northern Ireland said after hearing the Jimmy Saville “Speakeasy” programme, “All that talk about better social acceptance sounds fine, but when, oh when, are we going to start treating each other better? That’s where it all begins . . . One youngster I know is currently very depressed by the values he feels expected to adopt from people, even of about his own age, on recently encountering the gay scene a sort of environmental pollution.” Or as another fledgling put it on contrasting his ideals with the meat market, “If you can’t beat them join them” – and promptly did. There’s food for thought here.

But even when we’re not being our own worst enemies, we have some pretty complacent friends as anyone who watched the recent BBC2 “Measures of Conscience” series must have concluded. What was remarkable about this lengthily researched exploration into the roles of Parliament and pressure groups in achieving the death penalty, abortion, homosexual and other reforms of the latter 1960s was the politicians’ obvious sense of high adventurousness at having dared to tackle such “unpopular” subjects and their seemingly universal lack of recognition that anything further remains to be done. In the final programme that white hope of all small liberals, Roy Jenkins, seemed to feel that about the right balance between the claims of personal freedom and state-enforced morality had now been struck and was apparently oblivious to the remaining inequalities in the laws affecting gay people. (It was of course the same Roy Jenkins who in a 1960 Commons debate said: “I wish that people would not speak as though one were representing a pressure lobby of homosexuals. In considering this question, I am not concerned only with what homosexuals want or even primarily with what they want (boldface mine) I am concerned with what I think is a reasonable law for a civilised country.”) And the by now well-known Arran-Abse duo reeked of its usual paternalism in the earlier programme on the ‘Wolfenden’ reform. What is simply astonishing about the whole operation is that none of its political protagonists seem even in retrospect to have considered the propriety of legislating for a substantial minority of three or four million people without contemplating the desirability, let alone the necessity, of endeavouring to obtain some representative views from homosexuals as such. Would they have dared to treat issues of racial discrimination similarly?

Speaking of Lord Arran and Mr. Abse, one wonders whether either of them will care to expound to readers of GAY NEWS the precise grounds for their vehement opposition to the notion of social clubs run by gay people for gay people (and, of course their straight friends) on non-exploitative lines? Anyone who remembers the flurry of protest which the mere mention of COC brought forth after law reform from both its sponsors might conclude that they regard ‘club’ as a four-letter word. Or maybe they think ghettos are created by those who are pushed into them? Would the exclusive establishments to which they belong welcome (or elect) self-proclaimed homosexuals?

The most effective way to eliminate ghettos, of course, is to break down the thought-barriers erected by the prejudiced or unthinking majority. If there were no exclusively heterosexual life-style and culture, there would be no need for anyone to think in terms of gay counter-culture. Which reminds me: some people do play this game to excessive lengths. I was once entertaining an acquaintance to a – so far as I was concerned – totally unerotic tete-a-tete. I put on the first record which happened to come to hand; the Max Bruch G Minor violin concerto, if I recollect aright. Immediately his eyes lit up with anticipation. “Ah!” he said, “you’re playing homosexual music”.