Highbury London N5.
Dear Gay News,
Like ‘Lady’ Rona Gainsborough (Gay News 8) a group of CHE people think that clubs for homosexuals (owned and run by the members) are required in London and other centres – and we are doing something about it.
The first club will, we envisage, be in London. It will have a bar, dancing area, meeting room, etc. We hope it will not only ‘break even’ but will produce some surplus money which can be put towards the cost of setting up other clubs elsewhere, and also fighting for the rights of gay people.
As a member of the CHE Club group, I shall be happy to provide further details of the project. Please write to me c/o CHE Information Centre, 22 Great Windmill Street, London W1.
Last, but not least, congratulations to the Gay News Collective on the punchy, pulsating newspaper you are getting out each fortnight.
Don’t Get Way Out Yet
Fantastic! How come I live in London and only get to see Gay News on its eighth issue.
Pity your mag wasn’t around when I was eighteen — the article on CRABS alone would have saved me six months of scratching misery — frightened to go to the family doctor in case he told my parents.
Took 6 months of daily scratching and 2 baths a day before I could go to bed again with the boy I lived with.
Unfortunately I don’t get where most gays get to. I live what you might call a suburban life with my friend and have done for 10 years. So I doubt I shall be able to sell any newspapers. Still —
I am looking around for possible distributors and will write to you again if I have any luck.
Dare I suggest something? I beg you not to get too way out — remember that some of us gays are knocking on a bit and know from experience that one has to operate from a position of strength. You need subscribers – cash — circulation — then you can put your foot down on the gas and bugger (‘scuse the pun) the establishment.
Remember we need Gay News, please don’t come on too strong and get the pigs out to hammer you.
Stay A Royalist
How refreshing it is to read Gay News with its balanced attitude and pleasant humour: it is to be hoped that these will not change. Here is at least one reader who sympathises with people like Philip (letter GN8) who feel put out by the antics of some members of GLF. At this stage in the process of getting homosexuality accepted it is fatal to present a one-sided and somewhat warped view of gay life. All the more reason to expand the sales of Gay News.
I now go on to the topic of circumcision. Whilst the advice given by your correspondent in the last issue would certainly prove helpful to anyone compelled to have the operation, it would be doing your readers a grave disservice if they were given the impression that it is a harmless one. The condition for which it is normally advised is extremely rare and the operation is not without risk; so unless there are specific medical indications for a circumcision, my advice as a practitioner is ‘keep that bit of foreskin and stay a royalist’.
Joint Club Membership?
Dear Gay News,
Why don’t some of the larger gay clubs get together and produce one major membership card to enable the user to use it to go into a set amount of clubs instead of writing off for membership to each and every one? Surely this would save time and trouble in the long run. Comments please. Many thanks for producing such a good paper. This has been needed for a long time.
Need for Non-Conformists
c/o Sussex GLF Stanford Arms,
Preston Circus, Brighton.
Dear Gay News,
Re: latest protests against GLF public behaviour.
I was recently in one of those nationwide cafes where quite adventurous decor is pierced with coloured slide visions of impossibly attractive dishes of food. I was accompanying a dishy but wierd-looking (non-gay) hippie who commented that he “didn’t like the vibes” of the place. Doing a quick translation into more precise (if less colourful) middle class English, I assumed that either he was offended by the Commercialism of Art, or by the hostile glances of other customers towards his hairstyle (which could be loosely described as Gone-With-The-Wind-Bouffant) or both.
Attempting to translate back, I ventured to suggest that he possibly could be merely receiving back in a Radar manner, some of his own projected vibes. When I talk to hippies I pretentiously like to think that I aid what little communication is possible between human beings by using words they use.
When talking to foreigners I drastically reduce my vocabulary and speed, and even talk with a pseudo-German accent. I have never found this to cause offence, although some confusion is sometimes caused when an Englishman with equal helpfulness tries to reply in German! When I teach maths I make a big effort to appear one foot away from the class instead of five miles away. It may still appear as Greek, but I deliberately compromise myself according to who I’m with.
But some people don’t, and I believe there is a need for such people. If it hadn’t been for some daring non-conformists I would still be strangling myself and my classes in some awful authoritarian, uncomfortable, dark-blue suit and stiff collar. The race needs the way-out people — to go to the moon even if half the world is still starving. We need the uncompromised mysteries of Einstein’s equations even if many of my students still find it difficult to add up. We need people to point out the pretentiousness of Wimpy Bars. We need people in dresses and beards to show us how ridiculous our conventions have become.
I think, however, (compromising again) that maybe the time and place is important. It would be no use Einstein talking undilutedly to most of my students unless they were ready. He might even put them off maths for life, God forbid! It’s no use talking about the Adventurous Frontiers of Space to someone who can only think of the frontiers of his stomach. And it could be that our well-intentioned GLF friends in London, with their extremely witty juxtaposition of images, only produce bad vibes in public. WE NEED THESE EINSTEINS, BUT PERHAPS MOST OF US (GAYS AND NON-GAYS) CAN’T QUITE MANAGE ADDING UP YET. Only a few are inspired to do the hard slog when dazzled by advanced theory. (But some are).
To conclude therefore, may I suggest (with gratefulness even though it may sound patronising) that the Great Philosophers pay more attention to who is listening in their classes, and that those who are not yet ready for the ‘five-mile-out’ parade lessons, may possibly like to attend their local CHE Arithmetic Sessions? (In their suits of course). Or maybe an O-level Provincial GLF course? (Jeans allowed).
If you don’t wish to go to the moon how about sanding a foodparcel to India? Or a donation to Gay News? Or are you only prepared to write negative letters? They occur very early in maths.