- Drag Artist Reveals All
- Julian’s New Column
- Forced to Resign – Teacher
- Full Personal Ad Service
- Psychiatry – Shock Report
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, Martin Slavin and Christopher Ambury.
SPECIAL THANKS TO:
Richard & Norman, Ken & Allan, Angus, John, Stanley, Peter, Anthony, David, Ken, Wolf and all the other Friends & Loved Ones.
|Look||…||Page 2||Stage||…||Page 11|
|News||…||Page 3–6||Books||…||Page 12|
|Jones The Het||…||Page 7||Films||…||Page 13|
|Mrs Shufflewick||…||Page 8||Records||…||Page 14|
|Julian’s Column||…||Page 10||Naughty Page||…||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
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Gay News is the registered Trade Mark of Gay News Ltd.
One of the main criticisms we receive of our editorials is that they are usually about the same subject from issue to issue. Whilst we try to avoid being boring, we cannot help but be repetitious. This is because so many of the points continually mentioned are concerned with the livelihood and the expansion of the paper. If we keep on appealing, it’s because we really have to. So next time you realise you are reading something which is more or less the same as words which appeared in a previous issue, please remember that the help we are asking for is really needed and situation mentioned hasn’t improved overnight.
Just for a change though, we would like to include a few other things in this issue’s editorial, that are not directly associated with the internal running or survival or Gay News.
Age Of Consent
Firstly, you may have read that people of eighteen (who can also vote, marry without parental consent, drink alcohol, die for their country, etc) will soon be called to do jury duty. Not all of you may agree with this, but it’s going to happen. We think at GN that it is an important advancement. But what this new social development brings to our minds is the fact that people on reaching the magic age of eighteen can do everything an ‘adult’ can, except in one area. Male homosexuals still cannot choose who they make love to until they are twenty one. And that’s ridiculous. If someone is considered adult enough to condemn or release a defendant accused of a crime – which can range from murder to traffic offences – then surely they must be capable of exploring their own sexuality in whatever direction it takes them.
Surely it is time that this primitive situation was changed once and for all. And we don’t mean just settling for the age of consent being lowered to eighteen. The age should and must be sixteen, as it is with girls – for to settle for anything else would be an admission on our part that homosexuality is something different and strange. No aware homosexual can possibly think that. As we have said before in GN, not to be oneself, whether through self-denial or legal pressures, is what’s queer.
Who’s Doing Anything
Last week we tried to find out who, whether individuals or organisations, was trying to start the moves to alter the existing legislation with regard to the present age of consent. Apart from a few vague answers, we drew a blank. A very discouraging and saddening discovery. We believe that the longer this area of gay oppression remains, then the harder it will become to gain any reform. So if anyone, anywhere, is doing something about gaining the necessary changes, let us know. We will give you all the support and encouragement we can, and you are welcome to use the pages of GN to attract support and interest for your campaign. We realise that such a task is not easy. One has to get the support of many influential and sympathetic people, both in and out of Parliament. A bill has to be prepared, publicity obtained throughout the various mass medias and so on. But this is such an important matter that the amount of work involved will eventually be justified by the success of changing blind, oppressive, ignorant laws. Of course, it will be the generations that follow us who will feel the benefits of any changes, but does this mean that we should not be responsible for contributing to the advancement of society?
In most papers recently, the word ‘mugging’ has been appearing more and more frequently. Mugging is a particularly disturbing crime and its apparent rise in notoriety is cause for concern. Even the Duke of Edinburgh has described it as a ‘disease’. But the national press seems to be under the impression that this is a new phenomenon in the world of violent crime. It most certainly isn’t. Gays have been subject to mugging – or queer bashing as it is called when directed against homosexuals (both male and female) – for quite some time. As we all know, gays have been favourite victims for those wishing to use fear and brutality as their means of gaining material rewards. At times this has resulted in death or the sustaining of lifelong injuries. Also, as is more often the case, gays – because of the treatment, lack of sympathy, and half-hearted inquiries they expect from the police – have not reported robberies and violence committed against them, and subsequently we are unaware of exactly how many of these frightening crimes have gone unnoticed and unrecorded.
The exploitation of people through fear is a disgusting, obscene occurrence, and those responsible should feel the full weight of the law for such acts. Human scum such as the Kray brothers and the South London ‘Richardson Gang’ have fortunately been removed from society for some time to come. These other merchants of fear also deserve the same treatment and sentences.
So we see it as a pity when other papers pick up on mugging as if it were something new and tend to turn it into a trendy crime. They ignore or forget that some citizens for many years have been experiencing similar barbaric acts – but called by a different name – and because of social attitudes, the victims have not sought the protection or help of the law.
Gay News will be approaching Scotland Yard on their present attitudes towards homosexual victims of mugging. We hope we will receive the answers that those who live in a supposedly enlightened society will want to hear. We will also examine the attitudes of individual members of the police force and those of local police stations. In due course the results of our enquiries will appear in GN’s pages.
We hopefully expect to hear from you on these subjects. They are important to all of us and your opinions and suggestions are invaluable to both us and the people who read them, whether they are gay or heterosexual, male or female.
Please don’t forget that we need your help in getting a really good Christmas issue together. If it is to be a success, we must have your ideas, articles, suggestions, etc. Let’s make it an edition that will be well worth having around over the Christmas holidays. We can do it together.
Your personal ads keep on flowing in. We seem to print a few more with each new issue. And that’s fine with us. We’re sorry that we sometimes have to slightly amend a few of your ads, but we don’t want to invite legal proceedings against us more than we have to. The Gay News collective isn’t comprised of martyrs, just people who think contact ads are a service that is wanted by some of you. And if you take advantage of this service, good for you and the best of luck and love.
Loneliness and isolation are terrible things to endure, and if we can help remove them from people’s lives, we will. Remember too, your morality is your affair, not ours, not the Director of Public Prosecution’s, nor even The House of Lords’.
Christmas can be a very lonely period, so if you think an appropriate ad in GN may be of use in making sure that you or other gays are not alone in the season of ‘peace and goodwill’ why not send one in. We. suggest our late November issue is the most suitable to use for this purpose, as it gives people time to reply before the Christmas postal rush is on. For that issue please make sure you have your ads to us no later than 21st November. And we on our part will send off replies to your box numbers as speedily as possible.
By the way, Gay News is bought by more people than any other gay publication in this country. As a result your ads are read more than those appearing elsewhere. Don’t forget that we are the only gay publication to come out fortnightly, and a conservative estimate of our readership, as opposed to those who actually buy it, is at least thirty thousand. (This assessment is based on accepted advertising circulation figures.) No wonder some of you receive so many replies to the ads you place.
Please note that any letters received by us at Gay News are liable to be published unless you state otherwise.
Just to let you know, as calmly and sweetly as the situation permits, that the beautiful back photo on p7 of GN 10 is by me, repeat me. It is nothing to do with the journal called GAY TIMES, to which it is acknowledged, except insofar as they have printed it once, without bothering to acknowledge it at all.
The model, being well over 21, when this picture was taken, will no doubt be having the last laugh when he sees it used as an illustration on this particular subject!
Feminism is a Drag
Please find enclosed my renewed subscription to Gay News.
I think it is a super production, but I sometimes get very depressed when I read all about the persecutions, prosecutions and the drag scene. The latter is stupidly too feminine for my liking and spoils the true concept of a homosexual.
In GN8 you had a short article on pederasts. Well, I’m afraid I’m one and as someone said in your paper, I must have a very sick mind. Maybe I have, but I have never approached or molested a child in my life, nor do I intend to. It’s far too dangerous to do and would spoil that child’s future. I reckon my mind isn’t as sick as those that dress up as women and those that act and address each other in female terms. They just cannot appreciate the male form.
For some years now I have adored, from a distance. boys of the ages 12 to 16 years. I think their faces, in most cases, are the prettiest of any human, their build just perfect. To me the body of a man is revolting and I would rather die than share a bed with one and likewise the thought of buggery is nauseating. My dream would be in the position of being able to kiss a boy from head to toe and no more.
I have never met a homosexual person in my life. Maybe because I don’t look for one. I have read many books and magazines which I often find revolting, but sometimes get satisfaction in seeing magazines of nude boys. I have never seen a real live body of a nude boy since I was a kid myself. I would really give anything, and I mean this, to see one and be with one. I have often felt like advertising, but realised it would be stupid because of the law.
It is terribly frustrating to look at a boy and not be able to touch him even though you don’t intend him any harm…
It is the first time I have ever written to a paper or a magazine. Gay News is the most advanced paper I have come across and I sincerely wish you continued success and safety.
Beware Of Longford
Dear Gay News,
I was so enraged to see that letter in GN9 by HRA (whoever the hell he is) condemning the picture of Longford and Cliff Richard that I felt compelled to write. I reject any notion that it was in “appalling bad taste”. I found it was very funny, and it made my day. Thank God someone has got a sense of humour.
I must admit that Lord Longford has always been a source of amusement to me, but that hit the bull. If it was mocking, then it was justified. If HRA is offended by the sight of a prick, then I feel sorry for him, he’s missing out on a hell of a lot!
Going back to Lord Longford as a person, it must be admitted that he indeed has a social conscience, but his idea of ‘helping’ is ludicrous, and even frightening. All that he believes in centres around sex, pornography etc; he seems to have it on the brain (which sounds bloody uncomfortable to me). People associate him with pornography, because every time we hear about him he rattles on about it. True, he might ‘help’ drop-outs, but then I could give you a list as long as your… no, longer, of people who devote their whole life to helping in the true sense of the word.
In case anybody did not realise, Lord Longford is officially a nothing. Despite the title and the fact that he can gas away in the House of Lords, he is only one person, and represents nobody – as an MP does. He is a member of a chamber that is not elected, therefore undemocratic, and unrepresentative. He is one of the many one-time officials that are put out to grass in the Lords. He has the advantage of assuming importance so that the Government could well take notice of his monstrous report.
For anyone who knows what freedom of expression is, beware, because if Longford gets his way, you’ll lose what you’re just getting.
Although it is only one little aspect of the subject, if Oz offends someone, don’t read it. If Oh! Calcutta! depraves, don’t look at it. And if the children are going to be corrupted, the goddamn parents can make sure that they only see what’s OK till they’re old enough to judge. After all, nothing will survive unless there is the demand.
Sorry this letter is so long and rambling, but let me end on a serious note. Well done to all the collective, you’re doing a great job. I’d send some money, but I’m out of a job and I’m broke; never mind, it’s the thought that counts.
How To Sell More GN
Dear Gay News,
One way to encourage more people to read GN (re: editorial in GN9) is for regular readers never to throw away a copy. Every copy can be left in a public place, trains and buses being the most convenient, rather than the dustbin.
Now that the paper is well-established, borough librarians could be expected to consider requests for the paper in public libraries; or is that asking too much?
ED: The best way to get Gay News into public libraries is for GN readers to demand that their librarians order it and put it on display.
CHE And Tight Foreskins
Dear Gay News,
I have recently been reading your paper which I find very interesting. There are two points from recent issues about which I would like to comment:
Firstly, someone seems to think that membership of CHE is limited to those over 21. This is not the case, though a particular local group may, if it so wishes, restrict its membership in this way. (Leeds does NOT).
Secondly, the tight foreskin problem. As an (ex) fellow sufferer, I read about this with real feeling. I suggest that unless the problem is quite exceptional the easiest and most natural method is best (I detest surgery). The method is to use a dropper with olive oil on it, drop into the problem area and very gently ease it to and fro. If this is done two or three times a week, for a month or so, you will soon find it can be pushed right back, washed, and the hood slid back with just a touch of oil for lubrication. The worst is then over, an occasional working to and fro and all will be fine (it was with me anyhow). This method was recommended by a doctor.
All good wishes.
Henry Giles Leeds Chairman, CHE
David Lutyens’s review of my book One In Twenty in GN8 is incompetent and absurd; he cannot have actually read the book at all. He says I deplore the fact that there are no serious homosexuals. But I do no such thing – on the contrary in Chapter Four I devote a whole page to listing homosexuals of genius, including nearly all those Mr Lutyens mentions himself, plus a great many more. In fact all that he fulminates against me for not mentioning, I do, and discuss at length: that every woman has a masculine side and every man a feminine side; that homosexuality is found in primitive as well as advanced cultures and so on.
He does not tell your readers who publishes the book (Seeker and Warburg), nor how much it costs (£1.50). He discusses it as if it were a new book, when in fact it was published six years ago, when homosexual acts between adult males were still crimes and the whole social atmosphere surrounding the subject was quite different from today. He misspells my name throughout the review. In fact, he gets everything wrong. What a shoddy performance!
ED: If any other reader would care to review One In Twenty, we will gladly print it.
Your Letters continued on page 6.
J. Martin Stafford B.A. — the Enoch Powell of CHE — has struck again, though whether his efforts will produce a resounding silence or a mighty reverberation remains to be seen. For J. Martin Stafford B.A., a member of the present Executive Committee of CHE has, we understand, sent a personal letter to Lord Longford and the Director of Public Prosecutions suggesting they initiate action against Gay News.
This information was received in the Gay News office with wonder and amazement. For a start everyone immediately put their clothes on again. The lusty Julian decided to cut the Biograph for the afternoon and to take his knitting into St James Park instead. Our David Bowie LPs were flown at half mast and we ensured that all Warhol movies being shown that evening were halted for two minutes of silence. “With friends like that who needs enemies?” simmered Timeless Maureen the resident rad fem and “Who is J. Martin Stafford B.A. anyway?” cried Denis, rapidly covering his tattoos with Max Factor foundation (peach).
J. Martin Stafford B.A., who has been 23, is one of the best-known leaders of the homophile community. He lives in a modest bachelor flat on Manchester’s less than smart periphery and his low standard of living is fully compensated for by his High Moral Tone. Mr Stafford’s greatest friend is the Scottish historian and philosopher David Hume (1711-1776) who has had a seminal effect on Mr Stafford, notably in his lavish use of commas, colons and semi-colons. Hume has also trained Mr Stafford to perfect a prose style of some grandeur and resonance and this 18th century pastiche quite often obscures the extreme poverty of thought and stunted imagination in the words themselves. Mr Hume was unavailable for comment when we rang him at his remote Scottish manse, but the housekeeper confirmed that Mr Stafford’s favourite meal consists of undercooked tea and overcooked omelettes.
It is J. Martin Stafford’s personal mission to impose his own moral views on every homosexual in the entire world. “I entertain a very marked preference for personal relationships of a relatively stable nature, in which the parties are activated by more than a desire to satisfy their sexual appetites”, he pontificates. “Some would have us believe that all moral values have been imposed on us by the artifice of unscrupulous priests and ruthless politicians”, adds the 2’6″ guru.
J. Martin Stafford has had an interesting career in CHE. He joined the organisation five years ago after being counselled by the Albany Trust, and overnight became Hon. Treasurer of the Committee. At first he was a ruthless opponent of any sort or democratisation of the organisation. People would travel miles to witness the little fellow stamping his feet and spitting at Committee meetings when the concept of a constitution came up. However, he changed his mind when he discovered that the growing organisation was not attracting the radical, political element he so fears.
He discovered that his reactionary views and High Moral Tone were finding favour with many members and he was promptly and properly elected onto the re-formed Executive Committee by a substantial majority.
“Philosophical training has rendered my position more reflective”, is the way in which he expresses his opportunism.
Nevertheless, mough now democratically elected to the EC, J. Martin Stafford B.A. made it his business to oppose every decision and, when out-voted, to try devious methods of bringing his colleagues into disrepute. On one celebrated occasion, furious that the EC had unanimously (apart from him) agreed to ask Kenneth Tynan to be a vice-president of CHE, J. Martin Stafford B.A. called a meeting of the existing vice-president himself in an attempt to persuade them to override this decision. He declined an invitation from the rest of the EC for his resignation, but ceased to be treasurer.
“My own experience,” he says, “leads me to conclude that most people are quite happy to accept homosexuals who subscribe to the same basic standards of public decency and personal responsibility as everyone else at least professes.”
One of his hobbies is writing letters to people in which he slanders his colleagues.
“Homosexuals whose public behaviour is offensive or whose private behaviour is irresponsible will always be regarded with aversion and disgust,” he writes. And the man who is trying to get Gay News prosecuted says: “It is not their homosexuality which renders them objectionable, but the grossness of their conduct and the inhumanity of their disposition.”
Bona News Service
NOTE: all the quotes in this article are taken from a paper called ‘Can CHE be morally neutral?’ by J. Martin Stafford B.A., with additional material by David Hume.
Teachers and social workers are especially vulnerable to harassment by society. On the pretext that “we don’t want that type near our kids”, gays get sacked from working with children. If they don’t get sacked, they have to resign under pressure.
John is a teacher. He worked until a few weeks ago at a public school in Somerset. Then he appeared on a television programme on being gay. Within days he “was resigned”.
He told Gay News: ‘The situation was this, I was resigning at Christmas anyway, so all they did was to suspend me for the rest of term because I appeared on television and said I was gay. Everyone at the school was terribly decent about it.
“I was asked to go on this programme and I felt that the principles were important enough for me to take the risks involved.
“So I appeared on this programme called Now It’s Your Say on Harlech Television and I was recognised by people from the school and I knew that I was going to be recognised. I couldn’t have come out more openly.
“I had never made any pretence and all the staff at the school knew I was gay. Most of the boys there knew too. I didn’t exactly tell them it’s just that they must have realised.
“The television programme caused a great deal of embarrassment at the school, as most of the staff at the school had seen me on the programme. But the headmaster did not know about it, so I went to tell him.
“In that sense you could say I’d brought it on myself. He asked me to resign and I refused because in my mind I had done nothing wrong and I couldn’t see why I should be asked to resign.
“So now he has given me leave of absence until the end of term, so he hasn’t sacked me. My resignation has been brought forward a month or so, that’s all.
“In their view thev are being very generous and kind, but it is the principle of the thing that gets me. The very fact that if you speak the truth it is enough to get you the sack from a job.
“On the programme, which went out on October 20, there were about 25 of us gays including people from London, Bath, Reading and other places.
“It was really a question of my being associated with anything gay that would affect the parents or the old boys which frightened the headmaster into making me take leave ot absence.
“I got on well with the people at the school where I worked for four years, but standing up for a principle just seemed more important than anything else. The only way is to come out.”
John had belonged to his local gay alliance group before appearing on the HTV programme. He used to teach English and music at the school, which he asks Gay News not to name because he feels that although his being forced to resign earlier than planned was stupid and bad, it was bred out of ignorance rather than malice.
LONDON: Any vicar’s wife who wandered into London’s Conway Hall the other Saturday wouldn’t have batted an eyelid at what she saw as hundreds of homosexuals did their thing — and in public. It was CHE’s autumn fair, and to all intents and purposes it looked like a village fete that had been rained off the cricket square and into the WI Hall.
CHE held the fair to raise money for its London social club — just as any village has a fete to pay for the work on the dry rot in the choirstalls. This autumn fair was a community event, like a village fete. Except for the fact that this was specifically for London’s gay community.
It would have warmed any vicar’s wife to see preserves and cakes on sale, lucky dips, seemly games of chance, though the rummage stall labelled “Drag” might have raised an eyebrow or both.
There may have been a vicar’s wife there, but mainly the people were those one usually gets to see in the gay ghetto. But for the fair they’d all come out, and as a social event it had that to commend it.
But all that, and speculation about vicar’s wives is irrelevant to the fact that CHE’s Autumn Fair raised £1,000 towards the Campaign’s projected gay social centre.
It’s also important to mention that the campaign, often regarded as the most staid and least go-ahead of the gay groups, actually put on the event, raised the money and gave a lot of people a good time, which didn’t just end with the fair but went on into the evening with such treats as No-No-Nanette in one act, conceived by Roger Baker and performed by Roger and the CHE Players, an amorphous bunch, who gave a lot of people an evening of entertainment, which this reporter had to miss so he could retire home with his cold. Pity.
BRIGHTON: The town’s Gay Liberation Front went on the march recently when it held the first Brighton Gay Day — which campaigned specifically for the lowering of the age of gay consent to 16 and equality for homosexuals in society.
It was a start, even if only about 30 gays did come out with their banners for the rerouted march along the seafront and into a shopping precinct.
The marchers handed out leaflets to the public, but the official change-of-mind about letting the gays march through the crowded shopping centre of Brighton and leaving them only the mainly deserted sea shore to parade along, made certain that not too many people would be there to get the message Brighton GLF was trying to hand out.
The official reason for re-routing the march was that the gays’ banners might cause a breach of the peace. Brighton GLF was told of this change-of-heart just a day before the Gay Day was due to take place.
The only incident around the march was abuse thrown at the gays by members of the public. The police moved them on quietly.
LONDON: The London Medical Group, a medico-Christian group, held a symposium on Thursday November 2. The subject was aversion therapy as part of a two-part course on Punishment and Treatment. The LMG’s meetings are usually open to the public, but this one was unprecedented in being closed to all but doctors and medical students. One gay, Peter Tatchell, went along to the meeting held behind closed doors. This is his account of what happened:
Psychologists Professors Hans Eysenck and Dr Isaac Marks were the speakers at the symposium on Aversion Therapy and the Patient’s Freedom.
Professor Evsenck is of world renown (much favoured in establishment and psychiatric circles) as a leading exponent of aversion therapy. In the numerous books he has written, homosexuals are variously described as perverse, abnormal, unnatural, etc, and associated with criminality. He has consistently advocated the use of aversion therapy for homosexuals and transvestites.
Dr Marks is Senior Lecturer and Consultant Psychiatrist at the Maudsley Hospital and is known for his research and application of aversion therapy.
Interesting, because of the subject’s controversial nature and perhaps because the organisers feared disruptions the LMG took the unprecedented step of closing this particular lecture to members of the public.
The whole structure and conduct of the symposium was geared to converting the assembled members of the medical profession to the unquestioning acceptance and advocacy of its use.
Applying the psychological principles of group dynamics to achieve this aim, there were no speakers against aversion therapy – those that spoke in favour of its use being famous psychologists of high repute in the medical profession. Furthermore, these principles were used by the chairman to cultivate a psychological atmosphere that the speakers for aversion therapy were so knowledgable, academically honoured and famous that their opinions could not be questioned. He spent considerable time praising “these great men” and “their outstanding contributions to psychology.”
The successful use of these principles to pacify a potentially hostile audience was evidenced by the medical masses’ hushed awe and humility at “the privilege to be addressed by a psychologist of Professor Eysenck’s renown” – to quote the chairman.
It was from this one-sided structure of the lecture and the mental sterilisation of the audience that the chairman opened with a request for a “provocative evening on this controversial issue.” Little did he know how imminent the literal fulfilment of his request was.
Professor Eysenck began by emphasising that there was “no relationship between aversion therapy and punishment… It does not involve sadistic motivations… Neither does aversion therapy seek to act as a deterrent. The fact is that aversion therapy is used for the patients own good”.
It was at this point that the chairman’s request for a provocative evening was fulfilled when the lone GLF supporter there (me) began a running battle with Prof Eysenck.
Challenging his statement that aversion therapy was used “for the patient’s own good”, I cited cases of people I have met who, since having undergone aversion therapy, have become chronic depressives.
Somewhat taken aback by this dialogue – as opposed to the intended monologue – Prof Eysenck continued: “Aversion therapy is only undertaken where it is of the patient’s own choice.”
Interjecting again, I mentioned the cases of gays who are virtually blackmailed into undergoing aversion therapy when it is offered by the courts as an alternative to prison, and that those who “voluntarily” undergo treatment are “forced” to do so by what they find to be the intolerable oppression of homosexuals by society. Remove the oppression and no gays would ever volunteer.
I also raised the question of homosexuals being induced to “volunteer” by an exaggeration of the success rate and playing down of the pain and discomfort involved.
Nervously continuing. Prof Eysenck outlined the principles of aversion therapy, which he explained, were based on Pavolv’s experiments on conditioned reflexes. He said it was “used to change the emotions, where the person himself cannot change them of his own free will… By associating emotions with pain or fear, the emotional response can be de-conditioned.”
Then he went on to explain how, in the case of homosexuals, nausea was induced by drugs, while the patient viewed film of homosexual acts. Thus, the patient learns to associate homosexuality with pain and fear. He mentioned that “whilst photographs are used, the actual performance of the sex act would be preferable.
He stated that: “There is a success rate of about 50 percent, which justifies its use as much as any other method.”
I challenged him to substantiate his claim of 50 percent success, describing how most homosexuals who have undergone treatment have remained totally uncured and become asexual “vegetables”. I offered these failures as an explanation of the decrease in use of aversion therapy over the past two years.
Prof Eysenck suggested that “50 percent success was better than no success at all.”
I questioned his ends justify the means mentality, and his use of the success rate to justify the continuing of aversion therapy.
He then used the spurious argument that aversion therapy hardly merited people’s concern as it was used so little.
To quieten any fears he reassured his audience that the pain and discomfort is greatly exaggerated and, in fact, “it is just like a visit to the dentist… It is no different from any other form of therapy.” He went on to describe psychoanalysis as far worse than aversion therapy and entailing greater distress to the patient.
Prof Eysenck finished by enthusiastically declaring that “there is no ethical principle involved in aversion therapy that is not involved in any psychological treatment.” (Applause, applause).
The second speaker, Dr Isaac Marks tried to dispel any doubts my interjections may have raised by using a Clockwork Orange-versus-reality approach. He asked how many people had seen ‘A Clockwork Orange’ – most of the audience indicated they had – and then he asked how many had actually seen aversion therapy – three people had. Satisfied that everyone – except those three – was not in a position to question authority, he said that ‘A Clockwork Orange’ was a totally inaccurate portrayal of aversion therapy.
Outlining the circumstances under which the medical profession was entitled to use aversion therapy, he suggested that this should be when the “patient asks for help” or “when society asks to be relieved of the burden of an individual”. This second set of circumstances has the most horrifying implications in that they could be used against any minority incurring social disapproval – not just gays, but also black people and political activists.
To justify this situation he drew a very questionable analogy. He said: “For instance, no-one objects when people with smallpox are quarantined… or that sadists and murderers are removed from society.’ Thus, on the basis of these analogies, he justifies the use of aversion therapy on the individual where it was ‘in society’s interest.’
Unable to allow such a statement to pass unquestioned, I challenged not only his analogies but also the premise which they justify. My demanding to know how homosexuals, transexuals and transvestites could in any way be compared to smallpox, sadists or murderers, plunged the symposium into momentary chaos.
Amidst the uproar I attempted to point out that the use of aversion therapy “in society’s interest” could so easily be abused.
Receiving broadsides from the podium and the audience alike, I was asked to leave by Dr Marks – which I promptly refused to do. Stepping back and returning to his seat he said he would not go on while I was in the room, thus, once again, using his manipulative psychological techniques of group dynamics, he shifted the onus of responsibility for my presence and actions onto the audience. Responding to this manipulative device, ten heavies surrounded me and I was dragged out and carried from the symposium.
The parting comment from the chairman was that I had spoiled the whole symposium. Needless to say, he had never thought of the many homosexuals who have had their lives spoiled by aversion therapy.
ED: The LMG says that it held this meeting behind closed doors because “the last time they were talking about using aversion therapy on homosexuals, homosexuals actually said things that spoiled the meeting.” Our thanks to Peter.
HOLLYWOOD: ABC Television is to slot into its schedules between the sponsorship commercials a made-for-television special movie about gay love, which its co-writer/producer says would have been unthinkable a year ago.
Short, bearded, William Link was talking about ‘That Certain Summer’, a TV special about a man, his former wife, their son and the husband’s gay lover.
His partner, the taller and slightly less hirsute Richard Levinson said: “We thought there would be no market for this in television, and, to our surprise, there was. Everyone accused television of being bland, but this is an adult theme.”
Levinson and Link have not tried to give their opinions about gay love, or to make a propaganda vehicle. They say they have just tried to explore the relationships of the people involved as people.
The idea for the script came when the partners were visiting a divorced man who told them his son was coming to visit. It dawned on our intrepid pen-pushers that this man was gay, living with another man. It also dawned on them that they were looking at the raw material of a television script.
The TV-special concentrates on the husband’s attempts to hide his being gay from his friends and the son’s discovery of it.
Levinson says: “No-one is the villain. The man has to live his life the way he has to. But if he does he hurts his son. If he doesn’t, he hurts himself. Each has his moments when he is not nice, they all have their fallibilities.
When they were writing the script Levinson and Link talked to psychiatrists and gays about gay love. “I think the homosexuals were more concerned with the image portrayed than in good drama.”
One of the criticisms levelled at Levinson and Link while they were canvassing opinions was that they offered no solution. Levinson defends the TV movie: “How can we offer a solution? The population can’t even agree on what homosexuality is.”
The actors, both unknown, chosen to play the parts of the father and son had no fears about playing gays.
Link says: “I asked one if he would take the part. He said he would be terrified of playing a homosexual. I asked him if he would play Hitler. He said ‘sure’.”
Levinson adds: “The odd thing was, once we got started we forgot about the homosexual implication and got involved in the production.”