Transvestism

Judging from the tone of your centre page feature in GN 6 and from your readers’ correspondence it would appear your journal has some things against transvestism.

Perhaps your journal (which I may take to be a reflection of the opinion of the ‘straight’ gay world) realises that a great deal of TV’s are not homosexual. Most regard themselves as women, not as gay men. Besides I have found out from experience that gay men just don’t want to know us, they regard us as being altogether much too feminine.

Note I use term ‘Feminine’ as opposed to ‘Effeminate’. The two are poles apart. I for one don’t ‘camp it out in drag’. Drag is a word I never use. I dress in clothes. Many TV’s I know (myself included) appear in female clothing most of the time. Tastefully dressed in a style to suit the individual and properly made (not the hideous war-paint as worn by ‘queens’) up we are accepted without question as women. We wouldn’t wish it otherwise.

A great deal of straight people seem to have the impression that all TV’s are gay and dress as they do solely to attract partners for sex. Nothing could be further from the truth, homosexual practices disgust me. The thought of any man using my body to alleviate his lust nauseates me!

The people who give us a bad name are ‘gay camp queens’ who flutter their eyelashes etc. Therefore if your contributors regard TV’s as giving gays a bad name, so then do TV’s regard gays as giving them the same. Also another reason why gays give us the cold-shoulder – we are to them quite useless for sex and in the ‘meat-market’ gay scene, this counts for little.

By the way, talking of meat-markets, the only place I have been asked to leave was a pub of this type. I don’t believe the landlord found out for himself, one of our gay ‘brothers’ must have told him! This is something which hasn’t occurred (touch wood) in a straight.

One last point – gays should bear in mind that they are to some degree accepted by society, whereas we are definitely not. A gay, by his very nature, must be seen and recognised as such to attract partners. A TV is the diametrical opposite. A TV must play his chosen role to the full and merge completely into the surroundings if he is not to be found out.

Please do not think from what I have written that I have any dislike of gays. As we are all oppressed to some degree, we need all the friends we can get.

S&M – Two Comments

Comment One

“By ignoring, and even persecuting the S&M people, organised homosexuality … (has) done exactly what straight society has done to the rest of us.” Good. good. But where does the article on S&M (Gay News 6) go from there? Doesn’t it fall into exactly the same traps of liberalism that straight society has with gays? “We have no moral right to pass judgement on those who cannot help themselves.” Isn’t this identical to the patronising, alienating position taken up by drawing-room intellectuals over any group whose activities they find distasteful and therefore compromising to their ‘humane’ sentimentalities? The only use such statements serve is to maintain the writer in a state of smug satisfaciton — secure in the knowledge that the accusation “prude” or “reactionary” can’t be levelled against him.

That fetishism depersonalises was well argued, but is it necessary then to set sado-masochists apart as a bunch of wierdos bent on their own destruction? The writer seemed to be in just that state of confusion (unable to decide between what he believes and what he suspects it might be proper to believe) that produces false arguments and justifications. Now, I thought it was risky to have any sort of sexual contact with someone who has VD. You don’t have to piss on one another. The suggestion that SM is sick and dirty made by linking urination to blindness through sadomasochism has well-worn parallels. Remember the linking of buggery to VD through homosexuality first by the denouncers of, and later by the apologists for, gays? But we mustn’t condemn, we’re told, because “Within each of us there are elements of sadism and masochism.” Familiar?

The article twists and turns, caught between the extremes of radicalism and reaction that typify liberal apology. It advocates liberation for all gay people, which must surely presume the surmountability of repression in our society, but then declares that heterosexuality will always breed inequality “because of the differences between men and women.” Women’s Liberation groups may as well give up the ghost then. Woman’s role at present isn’t a despicable aberration that we have evolved into and can hopefully evolve out of again. No, no – it’s all part of the immutable plan. Or was perhaps this just an unconscious piece of gay chauvinist piggery? I hope so.

Still, the article was, as you suggest, a step forward. SM has been discussed. But let’s hope that as straight society will grow out of limp liberalism to understanding and acceptance, then gay society might do the same.

Mick Wallis


Comment Two

The article on S&M that you ‘lifted’ from Gay Sunshine is fascinating and valuable, but once I had finished drooling over the luscious leather lad in your first photo (but whatever is he wearing underneath? A plain rollneck sweater seems the only appropriate accompaniment for a garment as complex in cut and detail as a rocker jacket.

However, I didn’t set out to write fashion notes. Now where was I?) it struck me that Mr Hanson’s rather congested prose gives the impression, accidentally I hope, that S&M is a peculiarity of homosexuals. I’m not expert, in any sense, in this field, but I very much doubt if this is so. I can recall several court cases involving hetero S&M — the hotel keeper who accidentally suffocated his wife in their love-play; the city gent who required his wife to tie him up and trample on him in high heels, which would, even if there were no other evidence, establish the contrary. You say that ‘although gay liberationists have strongly supported transvestites and pederasts … sado-masochism has been completely ignored.’ It seems to me that sado-masochism is simply a perverted mode of expressing sexuality of any sort, be it hetero, homo, pederasty (or, no doubt, bestiality as well). It thus differs in kind from the other ‘perversions’ with which it is always lumped, as, eg in the Encyclopaedia Britannica which describes it bluntly as the substitution of hate for love in sexual relations. My point is simply that, so far from being something about which we should feel especially ashamed and guilty, S&M, in its nasty way, is something that links us to mankind as a whole. The article you reprinted might add to your readers’ psychological burdens, instead of alleviating them. Society has done enough to make us feel guilty as it is.

J. D. Blount

Gays in High Places

A Response

Your piece on J. Edgar Hoover in GN No 6, was “reprinted with love”. That seems pretty insulting to any readers except top-drawer lovers protected by wealth, penthouses, friends in high places, and Novaesque conformity. Maybe your readers are mostly like that or wishing they were. Maybe they’re concerned only to clamber over one another’s backsides clear of the exploitation by job-managers, home-managers, school-managers and leisure-managers. Maybe they think that with a few more pushes from CHE and Gay News they can emerge hand in hand with Mr Rite into the sunny world of love and dishes, spiced with bitching and cocktails, oppressed by no-one but themselves.

J. Edgar Hoover, like many other people, politicians, writers, as well as pigs, made a career out of the great American nightmare – reds under the bed – that unholy alliance of evil-doers comprising kidnappers of millionaires’ sons, scientists who sold atom-secrets to the wrong customer this year, diplomats who thawed the cold war, factory militants who hampered the dealing of big corporations and big labour-contracting “trade unions”, teachers and writers who muddied the washed brains of the young, anyone who threatened to cut the bonds of fear and shame by which Hoover and corporate America held their victims. Update the list to your own taste.

Of course Hoover didn’t shit on fags. He didn’t need to as long as everyone else was (and still is) doing it for him. As your article says, communists were “vehement in their persecution of homosexuals”. Hoover could sit there pulling the strings of his protection racket, he himself protected by the brainwash that keeps all that energy fighting itself rather than uniting against the real enemy. Keep the commies shitting on the fags, and the fags on the commies, with little handbooks (separate editions) on how to recognise a trouble-maker. (What do you hear about Gay Lib in the Wardour Street Clubs?) Gay Lib, like Women’s Lib, had its origins in political activists who became aware that the oppression they were fighting was also happening right there inside their own movements. That awareness was a big step forward. The “unholy alliance” was beginning to be transformed from a much-plugged myth into something real and creative.

Hoover “never used his files against a gay brother … never did wrong to a fellow homosexual”! This conjures up the absurd image of thousands of lefties feeling the FBI’s hot breath on their necks, hurriedly building up a dossier for faggotry, and just scraping into sanctuary before the agent’s grope closed.

Our police are very liberal – each has his special friends – XX is a nigger-lover, YY’s for shop-stewards and ZZ has a soft spot for women or gays. Whenever the call of duty conflicts with personal feelings they always swap duties.

So J. Edgar never nailed anyone for homosexuality. That makes him top commissar of all those bosses of our homes, schools and jobs who never let themselves get nailed for nailing a gay. After all if they want to get you there’s usually something else to get you for. What do you think rules are for? So toe the line brother, or fuck off to crawl through the arsehole of some other boss brother. The shade of J. Edgar Hoover is waiting for you.