- Gay House Rock
- The World of John Montgomery
- Vassall Comes Out
- Hollywood Revisited
Joint Editors and Members of the Editorial Collective
Richard Adams (Design), Martin Corbett, Ian Dunn (Scotland), Charlotte Corday, Bob Fletcher, Julian D. Grinspoon, Peter Holmes, David Hart, Denis Lemon, Alastair MacDougall, Glenys Parry (Manchester), Suki J. Pitcher, Clive Kennard, David Seligman, Julie Frost, and Graham Chapman, David Sherlock.
GAY NEWS SPECIAL FRIENDS
Roger Baker, Denis Cohn, Barry Conley, Lawrence Collinson, Brian Dax, Martin Grant, Antony Grey, Peter MacMillan, Manus Sasonkin.
SPECIAL THANKS TO:
Richard & Norman, Ken & Allan, Angus, John, Stanley, Peter, Anthony, David, Ken, Wolf and all the other Friends & Loved Ones.
|Obvious||…||Page 2||Cruising||…||Page 10|
|News||…||Page 3-6||Nostalgia||…||Page 11|
|Letters||…||Page 6||Books||…||Page 12|
|Feedback||…||Page 7||Films||…||Page 13|
|Biograph||…||Page 8||Records||…||Page 14|
|Gay House Rock||…||Page 9||Personal Ads||…||Page 15|
Gay News is published fortnightly by Gay News Ltd., 19 London Street, London W2 1HL. Tel 01-402 7805.
Distribution: Us, You and a prayer book. Typesetting by Sandi Rutenberg
Printed by F.I.Litho Limited, 182 Pentonville Road, London N1.
Gay News is the registered Trade Mark of Gay News Ltd.
The last few months seem to have passed extremely quickly, for here we are at our 10th issue. We’re as surprised as we are sure some of you must be. Nevertheless we’re rather pleased and hope that we will be around for some time to come. And we would never have come this far if it hadn’t been for you — our readers. You persevered with us through our amateurish first few issues, providing the encouragement and criticism we so badly needed. You were undaunted by the fact that issue 3 was a week late arriving. And were apparently impressed enough with our first 16 page edition (GN6) to help almost sell out our following issue. Now your articles and comments help fill and improve each 16 page edition we regularly bring out.
To tell the truth, we are beginning to find that 16 pages is a little restricting. If all goes well in the next couple of months we expect to go up to 20 pages. But we don’t want to rush into anything we may not yet be able to fully cope with, so we’ll change when we feel competent enough to keep to a consistent standard.
Reviews and The Arts
We hope that you find the review section of the paper comprehensive. We have tried to establish pages for most forms of commercial entertainments and will attempt to enlarge the areas already covered as the paper grows in size. But we would consider it too wasteful to expand this area of the paper any further at this stage. As news and articles become more forthcoming we will be able to grow with the amount of material available. Also we’ll want to keep you informed and up to date with all that is happening in the arts, whether commercial or otherwise. If you have any comments to make on the coverage we give at the moment, please let us know. And we welcome reviews from the areas we don’t yet include. Gay people seem to have a greater awareness of these things, perhaps some of you would like to tell us, in your opinion, why? Or maybe you disagree entirely. Let’s hear from you either way.
Not All Gayness
Because Gay News is primarily for homosexual people it has been only natural that the pages of our first editions have been usually filled with gayness of one sort or another. But gay people, like heterosexual people, are interested in everything that goes on around them in this world. So now that we have estab lished ourselves to a certain extent we feel that it would only be right to feature articles on matters that are not just significantly gay in content. In the future we will feature items of general interest and their inclusion will be judged solely on their literary and interest merits. No doubt you will be in touch with us if you think we are altering the paper too much or too quickly. Remember, we are no different or better in reality to ‘straight people, so it would be wrong to be continuously concerned with our own sexual preferences to the exclusion of everything else.
Open To All
Gay News is certainly not averse to criticism, we would never have made it this far without it. But some of you, when criticising or objecting to a particular article, tend to think that just one item is determining the general policy of GN. This is not so. In our pages you will find many differing opinions on equally diverse subjects. Many of them written by contributors not closely associated with the editorial collective, if at all. As the paper is open to all of you, it is bound to happen that you will strongly object to some points of view. But we like to think our pages are open to more than just a few types of people or opinions. This is a position that few other papers enjoy, that of being a completely unbiased newspaper, that is attempting to make itself interesting and informative to well over 6 million gay men and women, and to all the heterosexuals who want to gain a true understanding of us. Perhaps ‘straight’ society could do with such a medium, they don’t appear to have one at the moment. Most national newspapers for instance seem, if not openly, to be the organ of communication for one definite viewpoint or political stand. Gay News isn’t, it’s for all people, no matter what their own personal convictions are. Or rather, it is if you want it to be.
Same Old Story
In the columns of this editorial you will see a letter we received from Selfridges, after approaching them to stock Gay News in their periodical department. We were rather taken aback with the reply, so we rang them up. The gentleman who signed the letter was a lot calmer on the telephone and told us that the store was not continuing to stock magazines and papers that didn’t sell above a certain percentage. We mentioned that we hadn’t yet been stocked by them, and we were informed that they were not taking on any new publications and also had no room for them anyhow. We at GN have heard that before and have come to realise that there are reasonable refusals and that there are excuses, ranging from clever through to paranoid. Read their letter and judge for yourselves. If you come to the same conclusion that we have, perhaps you would always make a point of asking the periodicals department of Selfridges for a copy of GN whenever you are visiting the store.(One wonders what would happen it all the gay customers and staff of this long-established emporium stayed away for a while.) Please keep on asking for us at W.H. Smiths too, it provokes some wonderful reactions, some of them unprintable.
In conclusion, thanks from all of us to each and every one of you for making this 10th issue possible. We’ll try our utmost not to let you down.
Please note that any letters received by us at Gay News
unless you state otherwise.
Not All Cock-Happy
Dear Gay News,
Philip’s letter (GN8) on those bloody mincing unwashed queens greatly cheered me.
These people seem to delight in offending people generally and do nothing but harm to the homosexual cause.
It has been largely due to these gyrating freaks that we have so long been regarded as peculiar in every way.
I, like Philip, am gay and proud of it, but for the greater part of every day, live what I regard as a normal existence.
My main objection to the so-called liberation groups is that they seem to be obsessed with the sexual side of life and create the public image that we are all sexual perverts.
Their time would be better spent, and our cause better served, if they’d stop flaunting their ‘differences’ and merge with society generally like other minorities such as redheads, lefthanders and the Lord Longfords of this world.
I would be glad to hear from other like-thinking ‘friends’ to see if there is anything we can do to redress the balance and bring reasoned pressure to bear on the powers that be to let us live the lives we have a right to.
Let’s set up a force that will show people we are not all exhibitionists or cock-happy.
J. B. Marr
6 Stanhope Avenue
Finchley N3 3LX
Lurking in Public
Dear Gay News,
It may interest your readers to know that the following is happening in this borough.
In a certain public convenience a ‘member of the general public’ is to be found, apparently waiting his turn to go into the cubicle. At the first sign of anything even remotely sexual, he becomes abusive and nips upstairs to fetch a waiting constable.
At this point the culprit (or victim, depending on one’s point of view) is ‘invited’ into the nearest police station. Depending on whether the culprit is a big fish or a little fish he is now subjected to ‘heavy patronage’ before being allowed to go free, or hauled before the magistrates court and charged with insulting behaviour to a member of the general public.
The prosecuting officer makes no attempt to put this ‘member of the general public’ on view in the court.
So my friends, beware of that lurking ‘member of the general public’ is the moral of this letter.
It appears we are still the most persecuted minority in this country.
Dear Gay News,
This is just to tell Phillip (GN8) how much I sympathise with him about the screaming queens giving a totally false picture of gays in general. There is, in fact, all the difference in the world between them and us, since they want men because they fantasise themselves as women, and are thus pseudo-heterosexuals, while a true homosexual wants his or her own sex because that’s the way he/she is, and a good way it is to be, too.
Surely CHE is the organisation he is looking for: if he finds it a bit too sedate, he could liven it up. It is dedicated to the acceptance of homos into society, and he sounds just the sort of person it needs.
Personal Ads Discrimination
Dear Gay News,
Replying to your invitation to comment on letters about the small ads (Gay News No 7) of course there is something wrong with stating a preference for a “hairy homo Hindu”. It would be racialist and discriminatory.
But it would be inconsistent to refuse to print it, because, as your correspondent points out, most of the ads are equally discriminatory. On the other hand it is certainly expedient to refuse ads that are clearly a front for prostitution and expediency justifies the refusal.
Almost all the discrimination expressed by advertisers is irrational, especially when relating to physical qualities. It is a platitude that race and colour are irrelevant to a person’s character, and they are equally neutral in regard to beauty.
Preference for an oriental, for instance, would only make sense if the person concerned was indoctrinated with the Thoughts of Mao tse-Tung, thus affecting his or her outlook on life. People cannot be judged by whether their credentials match up to advertised criteria which merely limit the field. But the small ads are as entertaining as the editorial pages, and at least one, from John Hiscock, is puzzlingly obscure. Is it just a vague (and costly) expression of goodwill to all readers7
Gay Ads Vanish
Dear Gay News.
As a regular reader of the musical weekly ‘Melody Maker’ I noticed over the past year an increasing amount of gay ads appearing in the personal column. One could find at least a dozen ads in each edition then suddenly — no gay ads at all!
Obviously pressure has been brought to bear — but from where? Was it internal or external and why?
As the Melody Maker has a circulation of several hundred thousand, mostly young people, I think it vital that the matter is investigated.
Success Makes Enemies??
Campaign for Homosexual Equality,
Manchester Student Group,
c/o The Treasurer,
81 Egerton Rd.,
Dear Gay News,
I suppose CHE has been too successful not to have made some enemies. It seems from the misleading propaganda in issue 8 that Gay News wants to be one of them.
Peter Kelsey states that CHE members must be over 21. This is untrue. I joined at 20, and am treasurer of one of CHE’s groups for students and young people which play a big part in the organisation. Why did your editorial comment not correct this?
In Doug Pollard’s snide review of CHE’s Radio London programme he declares that marriage can’t work for anyone. This is dictatorial. People, gay or het, should be free to try stable relationships if they want to.
Denis Lemon states that CHE ‘is very much against cottaging’. Yet on the same page is an article by Bernard Greaves, member of CHE’s Executive Committee, about his Campaign against police harassment of cottagers. CHE has also issued a card advising people on their rights if arrested while cottaging.
Lemon also complains that the CHE national office did not supply information about gay rendezvous in Norwich to a telephone enquirer. If he had bothered to find out CHE’s version of the incident he would have found that such information is just not kept in the office. The enquirer could easily have joined CHE’s local group there if he had really wanted to.
Despite its length, I hope you will print this letter to set the record straight and to show that you are not hopelessly biased.
R. J Elbert
ED: As Gay News does not pretend to be the organ of any movement or party, its columns are open to anyone who wants to write for it (including you,R. J. Elbert).
So the opinions expressed in articles, which we do our best to check out, are those of the people whose name appears in the by-line on that article. If you think there is any anti-CHE bias in Gay News we’d like to point out that the Campaign for Homosexual Equality cannot even be bothered to send us a copy of its regular bulletin. Also, you seem to be under the illusion that we are biased against your organisation, in the same way that some members of the Gay Liberation Front tell us that we are towards their movement.
We remain the only unaligned gay information paper in Britain. And CHE, like everyone else, is welcome to use our columns.
…I think Gay News is the best paper on the market at the moment, it’s straight to the point. Only one complaint though – there isn’t enough in it about Lesbians, or if you would prefer female gays.
Love, peace, freedom,
and happiness to all gays.
ED: We know that this is our outstanding failure so far, but sisters, we need your help if this situation is to change.
The Other Ads
Dear Gay News,
I am very glad to see we at last have a newspaper of our own, not just another pin-up mag. I appeal to all gays and liberal minded people to support it in any way they can, by advertising, not just personal ads. By using it to Buy / Sell. Houses / Flats / cars / any new or secondhand goods, and by using the employment section. Also by recommending it, and by giving it to all your gay friends.
Roger E Hawkins
MAIDSTONE: William Vassall, the self-confessed spy, who was blackmailed by the Russians into spying for them because he was gay and homosexuality was illegal in Britain, has been released from prison, on parole — after waiting nearly four years.
William, who has changed his name by deed poll while in prison, was rushed out of prison by his lawyer after serving ten years of the 18 year sentence passed on him for handing over Government secrets to the Russians.
He said at his trial that he was a homosexual and that the Russians had blackmailed him by getting him involved in gay sex while he was working in Moscow. This they filmed through a mirror. Because gayness was illegal when William Vassall was tried for treason, this “blue” footage was excellent blackmailer’s stock.
While he was working as a spy, William received ridiculously little for the work he was doing. His danger-man work added a mere £700 a year to his income as a junior clerk at the Admiralty.
It was this trial that caused the further erosion of public trust in the Admiralty, which controls Britain’s own secret service. Evidence at the trial also named a senior official at the Admiralty who, it was said, was planning to escape with Vassall to Russia, Mr Thomas Galbraith.
Mr Galbraith was a much more important man in the navy department than William Vassall and the Macmillan Government had to set up the Radcliffe tribunal to investigate Britain’s security measures.
The weaknesses in Government bureaucracy shown up by the Radcliffe tribunal which jailed two pressmen who refused to disclose their sources of information, helped to destroy popular trust in the Macmillan administration, which fell in 1963.
Happy days may be here again for William Vassall, but there are several questions worth asking:
Why was a ‘model prisoner’ (E. Standard) kept waiting four years for parole?
Why were the papers given so much detail about the day-to-day life of the man they used to call Aunty at the Admiralty?
How long will papers such as the Evening Standard brand him a traitor and keep him in its viewfinders? He may have been a spy, but he’s done ten years in prison and he’s now on parole.
What will the police check on when he makes his regular parole calls on the local constabulary? His sex-life?
NEW YORK/LONDON: Gays are coming in for some strange slaggings from the press. A rash of gay gunmen seems to be spreading almost as fast as Arab terrorists. In the first place, fresh evidence suggests that John Wojtowicz, the “gay” gunman in the Flatbush, New York, raid that started it all, who was not shot by the police, was a Mafia gunman anyway.
Originally John and Salvatore Naturale were said to have raided the Chase Manhattan Bank in Flatbush, Brooklyn, after being tipped off by someone they met in a gay bar that there was going to be $200,000 there.
In fact the $200,000 was taken from the bank almost four hours before John and Naturale raided the place, leaving about $29,000 in the vaults.
So the “gay” gunmen grabbed what cash there was and the staff when police cars screeched up, summoned by secret signals.
That was when the ordinary, everyday Brooklyn bank-raid became a curio for the world’s press. For, despite Salvatore Naturale’s denial that he was gay, the raid was dubbed “Gay Gunmen” by the world’s press because John demanded that his gay spouse Ernest Aron was released from mental hospital, as one condition of the raiders’ setting free the bank employees.
Ernest was brought along by the cops, looking a lot the worse from having just recovered from an overdose of sleeping tablets, and the hormones he’d been taking in preparation for the sex-change operation he’s promised himself.
The question remains: what was a gay Vietnam war veteran doing holding up a bank in Flatbush N.Y.?
Captain Nemo of I.T. suggests that the Mafia, who have had a running battle with the Chase Manhattan Bank used John to carry out its latest raid on the bank.
In fact, Nemo alleges that it was when Ernest found that the Mafia had sent John one of the guns used in the raid that he took the sleepers.
The Mafia boss said to be behind it all was Mike Umbers, the mob’s head of exploitation of gays. The senior Mafia men behind the raid should have got $75,000 to $100,000. The rest should have gone to the five bank-robbers, three of whom chickened out.
The “gay gunmen” raid leaves gays in New York wondering just how the whole caper relates to gay liberation and what they can do about the fact that virtually every New York gay bar is controlled by the Mafia.
Meanwhile London gays are angry at the Evening Stadard’s follow-up gay raid headline.
The Standard reported that four men snatched several thousand pounds from Barclays Bank, Knightsbridge Green.
The paper’s story mentioned that one of the bank-raiders wore pink gloves.
The headline was “Gay bandits raid bank” There was no mention made in the story of the raiders’ sexual preferences, only of their taste in gloves.
Much love and thanks to International Times – whoops, I.T., for allowing us to pinch their scoop.
LONDON: Two gays were each fined £5 for “using threatening behaviour” at Marylebone Magistrates’ Court on October 24 after an incident when the manager of Notting Hill’s Champion pub refused to serve a number of gays in drag. Andrew Lumsden and Peter Reed were both charged with using threatening words likely to cause a breach of the peace, and of using threatening behaviour likely to cause a breach of the peace.
Magistrate K. Harrington was surprised when Lumsden asked for the court to admit their “MacKenzie adviser”. Mr Harrington had the law of MacKenzie v. MacKenzie (1967) briefly outlined to him by his clerk and then agreed.
Lumsden and Reed’s MacKenzie adviser came in wearing a white robe and sat with the accused in the dock to give them advice on points of law.
Magistrate Harrington listened closely to the evidence of PC Andrew McGregor of Notting Hill police who said that after some effort in capturing Reed and arresting him. he and another policeman had set off in pursuit of Lumsden.
Reed had shouted things like “You fucking great brutes, let me in, you can’t stop me” and “Fascists, bastards, pigs, you can’t stop me. Gay Lib will support me.” when the police ejected him from the pub and had fought to get back in, PC McGregor said.
When it came to arresting Lumsden PC McGregor had been unable to do it on his own. PC B 405 North had come to his assistance, they held Lumsden by the arms, the policeman alleged, while Lumsden had lashed out with his legs as they were trying to throw him out of the pub.
When North and McGregor had got Lumsden to the police-van he had shouted: “You bloody fascist bastards.”
Questioned by Lumsden, PC McGregor admitted he’d never made a verbal arrest until Lumsden was being held down on the police van’s floor. He denied that either he or PC North had punched Lumsden in the face during the struggle inside the pub, during which Lumsden was pinioned to the floor and which had smashed several glasses, as the policemen fighting with Lumsden had hit the pub’s tables.
Once they arrived at Notting Hill police station the policeman involved in making the arrests had gone off into another room for a private conversation, Lumsden said.
Later Lumsden was seen by a police doctor who found a “surface abrasion” on Lumsden’s cheek and that Lumsden was “under the influence of alcohol”. He was challenged on this by Lumsden who produced a letter from his own doctor which said that one of his nostrils was blocked and there was a haemmorhage in his left eye. The police doctor admitted he had not carried out any tests that showed that Lumsden was under the influence of alcohol. He merely said “Your pupils were dilated.’
This evidence came after a lunch recess and a lengthy adjournment immediately following lunch. Magistrate Harrington had obviously had enough of the 20 to 30 gays in the public gallery and their bubble blowing, laughter and existence.
Throughout the morning he had shouted that he would have the gallery cleared if anyone else laughed. But the noise after lunch proved too much and he ordered the police to clear the public gallery. The gays left peacefully. It was then that Lumsden and Reed’s MacKenzie adviser shouted that there were a number of queens in court, that the magistrate was a queen and was in no position to sit in judgement on Lumsden and Reed.
He was then dragged out of the dock by PC D9, sustaining light injuries to his arm. PC D9 did not stop there. He grabbed a boy with a camera round his neck, opened the camera and exposed the film.
It is the magistrate’s choice whether he allows a MacKenzie adviser at all, but Mr Harrington finally relented and allowed the adviser back into the dock and the court started again. But this time the public gallery was largely empty.
The gays who had been sitting there stood outside the court shouting and jostling with police for some time before being allowed back into the court, two at a time.
Lumsden and Reed defended themselves by saying that there was no violence on their side, but only on the side of the landlord and police.
It was noticeable that magistrate Harrington took little interest in the defence case, becoming more nervous with each witness who appeared in drag, and consoling himself by reading Stone’s Justices Manual.
He finally decided that the language Lumsden and Reed had used was not threatening but “abusive” but he decided they did use threatening behaviour, fining each £5 and binding them over to keep the peace for a year in the sum of £20.
During the case Reed and Lumsden called several witnesses, all of whom corroborated their testimonies. But because the defendant Reed took it into his head to snatch the GN reporter’s notebook, steal the relevant pages and destroy them within the precincts of the court making him liable to three fresh criminal charges – we cannot give details of defence case and this report must remain unfortunately one-sided.
Shortly after this one of Reed’s friends told the reporter to “piss off, or I’ll thump you” – laying himself open to two criminal charges.
The other three gays arrested at the Champion on the same night, Douglas McDougal, Richard Chappie and Peter Bourne, did not appear in court for long.
The cases against them were adjourned until December, because the prosecution said, the policeman who arrested them was in hospital “although it’s nothing to do with this case.”
Note: No proceedings have been started against Reed el al for assault against the person, or property, for theft, contempt of court, using threatening words, or using threatening behaviour.
LONDON: Even the sub-dean of Guy’s Hospital Medical School learned a little about the gay world at the London Medical Group symposium on Society’s Responsibility to the Homosexual, which was addressed by a Cambridge criminologist; Antony Grey — “Britain’s number one homosexual” — of the Albany Trust; and a Roman Catholic priest who has written a book on advising gays.
Professor J. R. Trounce was the symposium’s chairman and he told the meeting: “This is something that I, for one, know very little about.”
He then heard the cold medical facts from Dr D. J. West, of the University of Cambridge Institute of Criminology, who said: “It is not identical to have sexual relations with a member of the same sex and to have a preference to have sex with the same sex.
“In recent years it has become possible to measure the response that homosexuals have for other men. Most recently the penis measurement machine has made it possible to be accurate in this form of response measurement.
“It is fairly sure now that the only people who can be ‘cured’ of homosexuality are those who would like to have sex with the other sex. In fact, the rate of success of clinicians turning homosexuals into heterosexuals is very small.
“I think this is because of the widespread nature with which this condition occurs – that is what causes it. The fact that it is so common leads one to doubt how it can be purely pathological.
“By and large, no survey of both male and female homosexuals has been carried out in this country.
“Until recently we were told that male and female hormones were present in the male homosexual. The general feeling now is that homosexuality is decided by endocryne levels. The level of andronogens will alter the strength of the sexual drive of the individual.
“Most homosexuals see themselves as males or females. In many cases there is a very strong attachment to mother and a disturbed relationship with father.
“In the case of transexuals, the feelings for mother and against father could almost be called psychotic.”
Mr Antony Grey, managing trustee of the Albany Trust said he had once been introduced as Britain’s number one homosexual. He said: “The problem about homosexuality is really ignorance.
“It is a disgrace that sex education and even professional training for doctors ignores sexual deviation.
“The law is very discriminatory against homosexuals. The police have more interest in harassing homosexuals rather than investigating heterosexual offences.
“The stigma applied to someone who declares himself to be a homosexual is immense. Society’s responsibility to the homosexual is the same as society’s responsibility to anyone: that is to let them exist in society as people without any restraint being put upon them.
The Rev Michael Holings, author of the book ‘Counselling the Homosexual’ gave a Christian view of homosexuality. He pointed out that: “When I wrote my booklet, I knew that to the majority of the Roman Catholic Church homosexuality meant just one phrase ‘mortal sin’. But if you are a human being you have to recognise that human beings are different.”
After the speeches the audience, mainly medical students, was allowed to ask the speakers questions. All of them came from gays. The medical students stayed silent – perhaps they did not want to learn.
Laurence Collinson, author of the banned book ‘Cupid’s Crescent’ said: “Dr West raised the subject of transexuality, which is very different from homosexuality, but that is not the impression he gave.”
Gays have entered the National Political arena this American election year of ’72. Five explicit homosexuals successfully captured delegate and/or alternate delegate seats to the Democratic National Convention. They were chosen by their electorates in New York City and Buffalo, New York; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and San Fransisco, California. Our gay delegates addressed the United States Government, the people of America and the World in twenty minutes of International TV network time. In stirring rhetoric they told of the denial of civil liberties exercised at all levels of government and business against twenty million homosexuals here and urged the passage of their Gay Rights Plank. The proposed plank fell to the voice “No” vote, but Gay History had been made and Homosexuals had now become a visible minority.
They became so visible that when a Gay Activist came to the Republican Platform Committee some months later, with a small group of gay lobbyists, they were greeted with the sight of a vicious caricature of a homosexual, a black welfare woman and a woman for abortion, an American Indian and others depicted on the cover of the Republican Party’s official magazine, First Monday. It was the Party’s blatant message to all its members and especially to their platform committee, which was meeting that week, to ‘hands off’ sensitive issues.
Gays burned some fifty copies of First Monday gleefully and furiously, in turns, in front of the Fountainbleau Hotel, used as Republican Headquarters. The demonstrators were a small but extremely vocal group of gay non-delegates from all over the US. They were subjected to covert police brutality but continued cheering and jeering. ‘Gay is angry! Gay is proud! …’ brandishing flaming magazines in the air before adding them to the sidewalk bonfire. It was a very hot day. Over twenty police cars carrying tour pigs each arrived. Added to the fifty already present, gays were outnumbered six to one, but kept right on burning, chanting and making speeches.
As the Republican Convention Week progressed it became apparent that the Nixon Administration, unlike the McGovern group, exercised media blackout of gay activities and just about the only ‘gays’ to get coverage were the known CIA agents in our midst.
Riot Wednesday came and about two hundred gays cast their lot with radical groups to demonstrate against the war and to smear the Nixon image. They were maced, gassed and roughed up along with SDS, VVAW, etc, and tourists and old-people bystanders. Demonstrators were finally beaten back to Flamingo Park after some four hours of street battle, only to have their Medic Hospital thoroughly gassed and their camp guards maced under the glare and rumble of the State helicopters.
The Nixon overkill, so evident in Vietnam, was activated against America. Over 1000 nondelegates were arrested, about fifty of them explicit homosexuals certified by their gay buttons. (They were treated beautifully by their straight cellmates those two days in jail.) Most of the non-delegates elected to stay in jail and were released to get rid of them without posting their assigned bond.
It is noteworthy that a national gay effort by various groups has taken place in this immense and diverse country. Our Convention Summer of ’72 portends an additional directioning in America which is viable and national and which can effectively augment the mighty efforts of regional and/or factional groups.
Edda Cimino Female co-ordinator of National Coalition of Gay Organisations for the Republican National Convention
It is in no way a rival to GLF or CHE which we believe have a place in the political spectrum, CHE certainly has its uses; it gives sympathetic help, but is ineffectual politically. GLF can be an effective political organisation but at present seems to be primarily concerned with such vague terms as ‘Sexism’, while seemingly ignoring the vast majority of unliberated gays.
The aims and ideas of the Gay Civil Rights Movement can be summarised as follows:
- General Legal Reform
- With particular reference to police harassment;
- All operations designed to alter the patient’s sexuality, such as lobotomy, to be undertaken only with the full written consent of the patient, regardless of their age;
- The age of consent to be lowered to 14;
- A new and effective law to halt any form of discrimination in Housing, Jobs and Education.
- A General Emphasis on Youth and Education Sex Education – the subject of homosexuality/bi-sexuality should be included in the sex education programme at all schools and medical schools.
- Restriction and Protection viz advertising, which promotes heterosexuality as a materialistic gain, etc.
A special counselling service for gay people, just coming out.
- Integration with the Population En Masse
To create a situation whereby the majority of the population, which is bisexual, can express its homosexuality openly and naturally, without necessarily losing its heterosexuality.
David Seligman and Frank Honore
ED: Though a member of the editorial collective is associated with the Gay Civil Rights Movement, it is in no way affiliated with Gay News.