Gay Trial Delayed

STAFFORD: The Crown Court here has not yet heard the case of four men charged under the 1956 Sexual Offences Act.

The men were due to appear at Stafford Crown Court in the week beginning September 18, but the court delayed the case until this month or next.

On September 10 – slightly more than a month after the men were first arrested — the one facing most charges was re-arrested at his home. He was said to have been found in the company of a 19-year-old boy, but they were not having sex – the police admit.

The next day his co-defendant – also facing charges of buggery and attempted buggery – was allegedly found with a 14-year-old boy.

He, too, was arrested.

Both defendants were remanded in custody again.

Altogether the four men face 14 charges under the Act.

Spike Folds

GLASGOW: Oppression of gays in Scotland tightened last week when the country’s radical paper was closed by the Post Office.

The Black Box News Agency, which published Spike, faced a £400 telephone bill, which it still can’t pay.

Black Box had acted as a selling agency for Gay News in Scotland, as well as publishing its own newpaper.

Spike’s folding means that, subscription copies apart, less than 100 copies of Gay News are now sold in Scotland.

Spike was an alternative newspaper that covered most areas of political and sexual liberation.

Getting Together

BRIGHTON: Sussex could prove to be an object to gay liberationists nation-wide, with CHE and the Sussex Gay Liberation Front working together.

Approaches for meetings for joint cooperation came first from the Brighton branch of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality. When new committee members were elected for the Sussex GLF they wrote to Brighton CHE saying: “We have been guilty of a certain lack of etiquette by ignoring your proposals of a meeting between our groups. We are eager to redress this fault at the earliest opportunity by meeting with your committee or the whole group.

“Since our groups have very similar aims it is our sincere hope that a close link can be established between CHE and Sussex GLF”.

Paper Turns Down Ad

LONDON: The Jewish Homosexual Liaison Group, the new organisation for Jewish homosexuals in Britain, is being stifled by the Jewish community’s own newspaper.

The Jewish Chronicle, which is the newspaper for Britain’s 450,000 Jewish people refuse to accept any advertisements for the group’s first national think-in which contain the words “gay” or “homosexual”.

Simon Benson, who’s getting the group going told Gay News: “The editor’s secretary said it was a family newspaper and the words would offend certain people.”

The think-in is on Sunday, November 19 between 2pm and 10pm at the West Central Jewish Club, Hand Court, High Holborn.

Speakers will be Dr Alan Unterman, student chaplain to Manchester University, Francis Treuherz, social worker with the Jewish Welfare Board and Antony Grey, managing trustee of the Albany Trust.

Edging Out

EDINBURGH: Scotland’s gays have taken two more steps out of the shadows of illegality. And both centre on this city’s university.

The first was a renewed campaign for gay rights launched at new students at the university when the Scottish Minorities Group handed out leaflets at the university’s Fresher’s Fair. There were two leaflets given away, one aimed at gays, the other at non-gays.

At the fresher’s fair the student societies were asked to sign a petition calling upon the Government to “enact legislation abolishing the present legal sanctions against homosexuals in Scotland.”

Among those who refused to sign were the Trampoline Society, the Socialist Action Group and the editor of Student, the student’s newspaper.

The chairman of the city’s SMG branch, Michael Coulson, told Gay News that he was pleased with the reception the leafleting had met. At Edinburgh University GaySoc may be formed.

Michael Coulson, who works in the university’s Department of Sanskrit is one of the two gays running a teach-in on homosexuality at Edinburgh University in March.

Dr Coulson and the student, who to the horror of the Glasgow Herald “both profess to be practising homosexuals”, told the paper that he hoped that a large proportion of the audience at the officially-sponsored teach-in will be heterosexuals.

He said that of the estimated 500 gay students at Edinburgh only a smallish number are in contact with SMG.

SMG has already been informing the students here of what it’s like to be gay, It held an open students meeting, where the university’s consultant psychiatrist talked about his work with particular reference to homosexuality.

New Gay Bar

Shepherds Bush is the location for London’s new gay bar. Situated in THE WHEAT-SHEAF, Goldhawk Road, the bar is called THE GREEN ROOM, and it promises to be a pleasant addition to gay social life in London.

In the past The Wheatsheaf was known locally as being a gay pub, but previous management had discouraged its continued existence as such. But now the pub has new management and The Green Room itself is run by Ronnie, who is well known to many from his days at The Coleheme in Earls Court.

To enter the bar, one has to go through a longish, mirrored, ‘modern thirties’ hallway, complete with palm trees. And the Green Room is not surprisingly dominated by the colour it gets its name from. It is fairly large, but not enormous, and so evades being uncomfortable. The decor is similar to the entrance way and all things considered, it makes for a relaxing environment. The night GN was there background music was provided by a record player, the sounds ranging from ‘Cabaret’ to The Supremes.

The bar has been open, at the time of writing, for just over a week, and is still fairly quiet, but the signs are that it will increase in popularity as more people hear of it and venture to spend an evening there. It is particularly handy for gay residents in the surrounding area, and as time passes should attract customers from further afield.

There are plans to install an electric organ but drag will not be featured. The drinks are standard saloon bar price, 20p for Keg, 18p for bitter, 11p for light ale and 18p for gin, whisky, etc. If you are going there by public transport, the nearest tube is Goldhawk Road on the Metropolitan Line (5 minutes walk) and buses that go past the entrance are No’s 88, 117 and 12.

It’s some time since London had a new gay bar, and The Green Room may possibly prove to be an entertaining, relaxing asset to gay social life. The management (a married couple) and Ronnie certainly seem to be trying their best to make it so.

Non-Coincidences

‘David Holbrook wrote in the Guardian:

“It is not a coincidence for example, that one of the most obscene sketches in ‘Oh! Calcutta!’ was written by Joe Orton, who was brutally murdered by his boyfriend…” That set me thinking about non-coincidences.

‘It is not a coincidence, for example, that President Nixon likes cottage cheese with ketchup or that Aeschylus was killed by an eagle dropping a tortoise which landed on his head.

‘Once you start thinking that way, it’s hard to think of anything which is a coincidence.’

Reprinted from an article written by Adrian Mitchell, which appeared in The Guardian. Thanks and love to both Adrian and the paper.

Your Letters Cont.

CHE Club

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.

Michael Moor


Don’t Get Way Out Yet

Dear Editor,

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.

Edward


Stay A Royalist

Sutton, Surrey.

Dear Friends,

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’.

Michael


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.

Rod Owen


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.

Malcolm