- Censorship & Gay Papers
- Gay DJ Speaks Out
- Andy ‘Flesh’ Warhol
- Rising Sauna Land
- Unknown Gay Dead
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.
|Serious Editorial||…||Page 2||Feedback||…||Page 10|
|News||…||Page 3–5||Stage & Nostalgia||…||Page 11|
|Gay News Speaks||…||Page 6||Books||…||Page 12|
|Common Failings?||…||Page 7||Films||…||Page 13|
|Tricky Dicky||…||Page 8||Records||…||Page 14|
|Land of the Rising Sauna||…||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.
We live in a democracy. It means we’re free to do and say what we like – and that’s official. But the way society is run might tempt cynics to say that British democracy means we have the right to do and say what the state and certain self-appointed arbiters of behaviour ordain.
The 1967 Sexual Offences Act – which made gay love “legal” – specifically excludes members of the armed forces from equality with other gays, already a minority unequal with “straight” society.
At least the law spells out the ground rules even if they are, undoubtedly, wrong. For instance laws that limit gay sex to those not in the armed forces, over 21 and in two’s, in private are clearly indefensible because they make us unequal with the rest of society.
The main failing of the law, as it stands at present, is that it does not give gays the legal equality, however grudging, that black people must receive.
But far more oppressive than open harassment and legal inequality for blacks and gays alike is the sinister form of silent censorship that Gay News and all the gay organisations experience.
The Campaign for Homosexual Equality came up against the Angry Silence twice earlier this year when it was trying to fix the place for its first annual conference. Both Weymouth and Morecambe fought shy of having fairies al the end of the pier.
Recently CHE won a victory by managing to lay a wreath to the Unknown Gay Soldier at the Cenotaph in Whitehall on Remembrance Sunday. When almost any old ex-Servicemen’s Club and association representing those who allow themselves to be ruled by traitors — that is, Rhodesia – are allowed to lay wreaths, the inequality of not allowing the Gay Liberation Front to lay just such a wreath last year shrieks of a society where the homosexual is not equal even with traitors in the view of the elite law-forming body, Parliament.
Gay News has troubles with the Angry Silence in many directions and they have taken a new turn of late.
We’re used to news wholesalers and retailers such as Smiths, Menzies and Selfridges, joining in the elitist freezing out of gays. And you’re used to reading about our distribution problems by now.
The latest bizarre turn in this “free-speech” state is the Evening Standard’s refusal of an advertisement for a sex-education movie quoting Gay News.
The man at the Standard told Cobra Films’ representative that the paper wouldn’t mind running the ad if only they would quote a “respectable film critic, tor instance Alexander Walker”.
Once again the Standard has shown that whilst it will use the word ‘gay’ in headlines to sell the paper, it will not countenance the fact that gays live, are organised and have their own newspaper.
The ad-man at the Standard said that the GN crit of Cobra-1 was “near-pornography”
He is entitled to his views, but the Standard should print views it does not agree with, as the press should leave its columns open to all sectors of society as Charles Wintour, the Standard’s editor says in his recent book on the press.
Indeed, many of us feel that the views put forward as the paper’s official policy – in its leaders — and other right-wing pontifications carried in its pages are pornographic.
Mr Wintour is responsible for all the opinions expressed in the Evening Standard, including the writings of the “respectable” Alexander Walker, who was brought to the Standard by Godfrey Winn who discovered him in Brighton.
Many of the views put forward by the Standard work towards an elitist society and towards eroding free speech so that a schoolteacher may not be gay – and honest – and keep his job (GN11).
They are promoting a society where a lie is preferable to the truth. And that really is pornographic. In strictly legal terms it’s liable to deprave and corrupt the ‘Bristows’ of this world. If that’s democracy at work, no wonder so many of the more radical gays see the fight for gay equality as part of a much bigger and economic change in society.
But we at GN are used to being excluded from the press. Time Out – to whom we are grateful for many things — would not publish our ad which mentioned the personal ads in the back of GN on the advice of their legal eagle.
The silent censorship of the Cobra Films ad by the Evening Standard shows that society is not willing to accept a gay newspaper as a genuine newspaper – and it follows that if Gay News isn’t accepted as a paper by our fellow journalists, no gay can expect to be treated as anything but a curio by Charles Wintour and others like him who affect the way the power-holding elite think – no individual gay or gay organisation.
Please note that any letters received by us at Gay News are liable to be published unless you state otherwise.
Dear Gay News,
I have been going to write to you for some time but have kept putting it off through laziness. What has at last impelled me to shake off my torpor is the appalling and scandalous action of Mr Martin Stafford as reported in Gay News no 11.
As a fellow member of CHE’s Executive Committee, I am well aware of the petulant and selfish attitude that he adopts. But I am horrified that even he could go to the lengths that you have reported. To disagree with your policy of publishing contact ads is one thing; but to go over to the enemy in this way is something that ought not even be considered by someone holding any official position in an organisation such as CHE. I am absolutely sure that the overwhelming majority of CHE members will join with me in condemning such action in the strongest possible terms. I must congratulate Gay News for its objective (even kindly) reporting of the episode. It is time that CHE took some firm action to put Mr Stafford in his place as the squalid little nuisance that he is.
On the same subject, more or less, I find it very sad that so many of our brother and sister homosexuals, while looking for and expecting sympathy and understanding for their own problems find it so difficult to be sympathetic and understanding of those of others. Typical is the letter of VJM of Dublin in GN 11. What is so awful about camping it up in female clothes that a repressed pederast finds so hard to accept?
In the meantime, it’s an ill wind … etc. I have at last got round to telling you what a good job you are doing and sending you the small donation and the cigarette coupons that I have been meaning to do for some time.
With congratulations and all good wisnes tor continued success.
H. E. (Ike) Cowan
Good News, Bad News
Dear Friends and Lovers,
Congratulations on what must be the very best issue of Gay News yet (No. 11). What with one of my very favourite people on the cover and that splendid interview with Shuff, I sat transfixed in the laundromat long after my knickers had finished tumbling dry. Mrs Shufflewick is certainly the best drag artist working today, a comedian of genius. The interview proved that the success of such articles (which only come off now and then) lies in asking the right question at the right stage in the conversation. So congratulations to Shuff’s interrogators.
Now the bad news. I felt that Peter Homes’ report of the German gay movie at the NFT was inadequate and rather silly. The event was not, I agree, as important as all that. But it was interesting and both the film and the audience’s reaction had messages for us that deserved a rather more serious discussion than that offered.
Finally, your reporter with a cold who couldn’t stay on for CHE’s evening show after the fair has embarrassed me considerably. I certainly did not conceive the one-act musical that was put on, nor did I take part in it. In fact my only contribution to the evening was to appear in a five-minute sketch. Credit where credit’s due, etc — so thank Rex, Michael, Marie and Gavin for the show.
Lots of love,
Forced to be Free
National Federation of Homophile Organisations,
65 Shoot-up Hill, London, NW2 3PS
I don’t consider myself to be “Britain’s number one homosexual”; I simply told the London Medical Group audience that I had publicly been referred to in that way at another recent meeting, so I had no objection whatever to telling them that I was gay. This was in response to a “come out” challenge to the panel by a gay visitor in the audience. I added that the Chairman had set us an impossible task by asking for a “dispassionate and objective” account of homosexuality, because everybody in the world speaks from his or her own personal subjective sexual viewpoint, and I was no exception. But I hoped that having told them I was gay myself would not preclude my hearers from accepting that what I had to say was the result of knowledge gained through ten years’ professional work and responsible experience of running the Albany Trust. We have to scotch the absurd notion that only the “straight” can speak authoritatively about the “gay” (or vice versa).
This little episode did, however, cause me to reflect about “coming out”. It is good to be able to: but not everyone yet can without running considerable social and professional risks. Isn’t it somewhat unfair for those who are in a more fortunate situation not to recognise this? To taunt a panel of three professional people, only one of whom (myself) was able to publicly lay homosexuality on the line without almost inevitable and immediately damaging repercussions in their own sphere of work, strikes me as oppressive. It’s utterly wrong, of course, that such repercussions should still happen, but until we have all done much more to put society right in this respect, each one of us must surely be left to decide how far, and in what ways, we can come out. I have fought as hard as anyone for gay liberation and other civil rights causes; but I would resent being “forced to be free” a la Rousseau.
What those who still feel bound to remain “in the closet” can do, however, is to make the work of those of us in the various homophile groups and publications more effective by seeing to it that we aren’t starved out of existence. The entire homophile movement is in a state of chronic financial crisis that threatens its continued life. I hope all your readers will carefully consider the urgent needs of the Albany Trust, the NFHO and its member organisations, GLF, Gay News, and the various other homophile publications and see to it that if they can’t yet come out of their closets, they do dig deeper into their pockets so that we can all do more to make 1973 a year that is safer for gay people to come out in.
Love and Peace,
Dearest Darling Gay News.
Much though I love your newspaper, I have just one teensy-weensy complaint. I refer of course dears, to our little friend Julian Denys Grinspoon. Really, I don’t know why he bothers! He doesn’t give anything worth having; and what a pseud name!
Well really, loves, who wants to know what films are on at our dear old Bio? No one ever goes there for the films, do they? One gets enough carnal knowledge from just sitting there; and as for active participation, well I don’t think I need tell you old queens anything about that! Jules makes such a fuss just because some silly duchess at the cinema wouldn’t give him what he wants. Then he makes a big thing about telling us about all the people he eventually got it from (the programme of course). As if we want to know about his private life anyway.
The double-entendres are just too much personally I don’t like that sort of thing. He’s always doing things behind people’s backs just to get his own way. That sort of thing was illegal you know! So, why do all you lovelies at Gay News waste your space (and time) on him? Anyway, loves, he’s so camp and that’s one thing I cannot stand!
Thanks for your mag.
Lots of love,
A straight reader and friend,
Call to All Gay Sisters
Dear Gay News,
This is really a call to all lady gays. I fervently agree with the letter from Sappho (GN10) and I sing in chorus “where have all the ladies gone?”
I’m sure I am not the only female reading this wonderful newspaper. But the guys rule the waves once again, don’t let them hog all the paper. I know lots about them and have seen plenty of their arses. How about giving me a little of what I want. Let’s have a few of our lady friends saying something about themselves. I don’t see why we couldn’t have a sexy little ladie’s page if we tried hard enough. But there is only you who can bring that about, so write in and say something – anything! Like, where a few of you lovely ladies hang out! I’m a fresher to London and am still looking for lots of friends and a tour around the gay places. So don’t keep your info to yourselves, let’s all know about it. I’m looking for an opening – don’t keep me waiting! Write and tell me, and lots like me I’m sure, where we can meet some of you lovely ladies.
Love to you all,
ED: Please get in touch with us Lynne, you forgot to put your name and address on your letter. Without your address we cannot forward any letters to you.
No GLF At CHE
May I bring this information to the attention of your readers. Going down to the CHE London Information Centre to do my lunchtime stint on the rota on Monday, November 6, I was told by the office manager that on the previous Sunday a decision was taken by the London Management Committee of CHE to remove all GLF literature in LIC.
The reason given was that LIC had too much of a left-wing flavour, and that GLF literature was too much in evidence. I observed that other gay literature including one of full frontal nudes was untouched by this censorship.
LIC exists surely to provide first information, on CHE, then information on all other gay organisations regardless of any political, religious or any other basis. I certainly was not aware that GLF dominated the diplay, nor was I conscious of the left-wing flavour of LIC — whatever sinister spectre that term conjures in certain narrow minds. It is sad to see this rage over gay-red-under-the-bed getting the better of some of our brothers and sisters, or is there some deeper motive behind this first move? Whatever the reason I am sure this decision is a bad one and must be resolutely opposed. Group Chairmen, please note.
Dear Gay News,
The article in a recent Gay News about so-called pederasty prompted me to get my thoughts on the subject in order and write this.
Basically I’m bisexual. At the moment I’m more heterosexually than homosexually inclined, but this is more because of ‘supply’ than ‘demand’. As far as the homosexual side of my sexual make-up goes I could be defined as a pederast, because I’m chiefly attracted to guys in an age-range of about 15—22. I doubt whether I could get it on with anyone older than this. I’ve thought about the reasons for my choice, and they’re something like this.
Physically and mentally, I’m a pretty fair balance between masculine and feminine. I’m also 19 (so that makes half my sexual make-up illegal but I don’t care, it’s the law that’s wrong), and I’m attracted to similar people. Maybe this is truer homosexuality than that seen in many couples where the butch/bitch syndrome is their basis. Anyway, there’s an elusive blend of masculine hardness and slimness with feminine softness which really turns me on. Quite a lot of guys in this age-group have it, and so do some women; the only trouble is, all the guys are straight! So I do the next best thing and go with women…
I’ve written mainly about physical characteristics; but before anyone writes a nasty reply, I do take mental characteristics into account, indeed very much so. however I can’t get it on with a guy or chick unless I fancy them. What a hangup!
Letterette Of The Month
… Thanks a lot … great reading … love the ads … love it all … Happiness is egg shaped … and so am I.
46, Cavan Drive, St Albans, Herts.
Dear Gay News,
I am in the process of finishing a gay film ‘Love Of My Own’ and I would like to hear from interested parties, in getting it on celluloid. Script-writers, film-directors with experience, actors, non-actors, and people with finance. This film calls for actresses (not in drag). I would like any gay director of a company to give permission to use the board room, and also anyone with a large house with swimming pool, so come on, let’s really make this film for 1973.
The renter of all Warhol’s movies in this country, Jimmy Vaughan, announced that the censor had approved of Trash having an X-certificate rating rather fittingly just before a Film Festival screening of Heat, which will be the next Warhol movie to run the gauntlet of the censor’s office, following Flesh and Trash.
Mr Vaughan also announced that Trash would open its London screening early next year in the West End, and not in Chelsea as had been planned.
The announcement on stage just before another movie was fitting because it matched the Hollywood world of stars that Heat is about. And for the same reason, it was rather fitting that Mr Vaughan decided to throw a party to celebrate his success at the end of the campaign to get Trash a certificate.
Joe Dallesandro who was the rent-boy in Flesh plays a trash-picking junkie in Trash and goes on to become a former child-star in Heat. All the movies are directed by Paul Morrisey.
Trash tells of the degradation through heroin of Joe who ultimately can’t make it with anyone, not even the drag queen he lives with.
Heat is a bizarre parody of the American dream of Tinsel Town. Joe is pestered by a strange group of women; there are a partly gay unmarried mother and her ex-movie queen mother pursuing him. They all live in a motel run by an immense madam, who also tries to get a bit of the action with Joe. Just to finish things off the motel is also populated by a pair of boys who work in a stage sex show.
The Warhol movie factory moved from its native New York to Hollywood to shoot Heat.
Presumably censor Stephen Murphy will take another two years before deciding to allow Heat to be shown to the public.
WHITEHALL: Sunday 11am, 12th November, 1972: A large crowd falls silent by the command of a cannon from Horse Guards Parade and the tolling of Big Ben. The hypocrisy of the church mourning the dead of wars and still allowing them to continue…
Where are the big guns, daddy?
The Last Post. The ritual begins. For Queen and country, she’s there with the old man and the kids. The politicians with plastic flowers,
the army with rifles and a brass band, the Air Force (royal) with a brass band, the navy with swords and a brass band, and the police with their personal radios, and, you guessed it, a brass band.
Daddy lift me up.
Music and marching and they’re all gone. They did a good job this year, at least three times as many people as last, or maybe they were just tourists.
Will people wishing to file past the Cenotaph please join the queue now forming at the entrance to Downing Street.
A long queue, it took nearly an hour to pass, in the middle a few members of CHE, not carrying the usual red, but pink, in the form of a triangle. The pink triangle used by the Nazis to identify homosexuals in the concentration camps of the Third Reich. The lowest of the low, the most dispensable. Very few survived. The wreath laid, the group moved off. An attendant, tidying them, went to move the triangle, and as if he had burnt his hands, visibly jumped, then read the attached card more closely. ‘In memory of our brothers and sisters who died in two world wars, especially the victims of the Third Reich. From The Campaign for Homosexual Equality.’
The pink triangle is still there (Wednesday) but the card’s gone.
ED: In the Theory and Practice of Hell by Eugen Kogan the reality of being gay in a Nazi concentration camp is shown to be truly a nightmare: “Homosexual practices were actually very widespread in the camps. The prisoners, however, ostracised only those whom the SS marked with the pink triangle. The fate of the homosexuals in the concentration camps can only be described as ghastly. They were often segregated in special barracks and work details. Such segregation offered ample opportunity to unscrupulous elements in positions of power to engage in extortion and maltreatment.
This consigned them to the lowest caste in camp during the most difficult years. In shipments to extermination camps, such as Nordhausen, Natzweiler and Gross Rosen, they furnished the highest proportionate share.”
There were five types of triangles branded onto people in the camps. They designated those who were: political, exponents of the Bible, antisocial, professional criminals and homosexuals.
Love to Lesbian’s Come Together for the above.
The teach-in was held at the London Collegiate Centre by the Campaign for Homosexual Equality and the London Homophile Society. The subject was introducing homosexual education into schools.
It lasted all day and was split into three sections.
In the first session, called Identifying The Problem, the speaker was Malcolm Johnson. The second session was Methods of Education with David Bell as speaker. David said that if a teacher had a healthy loving relationship with his pupils they would accept his sexual orientation as an incidental and healthy part of his total personality. Too often, gay teachers simply comply with acceptable heterosexual standards and to that extent have a hollow negative relationship with their pupils.
The third part of the teach-in was on practical action with Glenys Parry of CHE speaking.
In question time one teacher said he felt that a teachers’ information service should be set up to advise teachers on the best way to teach pupils about gayness.
Others criticised Michael Douane, of Risinghill School and N. S. Neil – who are seen as progressive in education – were reactionary in their approach to homosexuality. Apparently, they said, the heads saw freedom making happy healthy heterosexual children and adults, and that homosexuality is the result of negative environmental pressures.
One teacher said that real live homosexuals should be allowed to be guest speakers at schools to avoid a discussion on homosexuality becoming too abstract. But this idea the teach-in thought, would be a challenge to school authority structures and the establishment’s thinking, and would be difficult to implement.
Glenys’s session on practical action was on the ways teachers could come out and influence their pupils’ minds by discussing the real nature of figures in history and introducing the subjects into religious instruction lessons.
Whilst the teach-in admitted that it would be difficult to introduce homosexuality into some subjects, such as metalwork, Wallace Grevatt, who did much of the organising that got the teach-in to happen, said he hoped a teachers’ action group to provide an information service and to create pressure upon educationalists to consider the possibility of introducing homosexual education into school curricula.
LONDON: A sex-education movie that may be bought by the Inner London Education Authority may not be advertised in the Evening Standard, because Cobra Films who made the movie want to quote the criticism of Cobra-1 that appeared in Gay News.
Cobra-1, also called etcetcetc, approaches the subject of sex from a standpoint that values relationships higher than “the perfect position” for a couple.
When Cobra Films booked the space in the Standard the advertisement department could see no objection to running the ad.
But when Geoff Richards, formerly of the Electric Cinema Club in Portobello Road, which gave Cobra-1 its premiere, took the copy for the ad along to the Standard, he was told by the assistant advertisement manager that the Gay News criticism was “near-pornography”. The man at the Standard suggested that Cobra should find a “respectable film critic to quote — like Alexander Walker” if it wanted to run the advertisement.
But Cobra Films, who maintain that the Gay News criticism (in GN10) was the only crit that approached the movie on its own terms refused to change the wording and would not cut off the by-line tag: “Peter Holmes, Gay News.”
The result is that no advertisement for Cobra Films’ first movie appeared in the Standard. The shareholders of Beaverbrook Newspapers are the losers.
I’ll take peoples’ prejudices – up to a point, because of my own. A healthy prejudice is as integral to character as kindness. What I WON’T take is the furred mind of the holy heterosexual pontificating virtuously without being aware of his own pernicious immorality of the double standard society. THE OBSERVER – that great platform of Liberal philosophy will not ‘accommodate’ a classified ad for Sappho Magazine. THE SUNDAY TIMES – that trendy sparkling weekly won’t print the word ‘gay’ in the classified ad column to describe Sappho magazine. So single shot men write for a copy imagining it to be a pix magazine. The women we wish to subscribe ignore the ad for the same reason
THE STAGE AND TELEVISION TODAY refused our ad as the managing director Frank Comerford explains: ‘We receive quite a number of requests to include advertisements for publications with a pornographic content or inviting indiscriminate social introductions. It is true that many respectable papers do have a more permissive policy but we take the view that these advertisements do not enhance our paper. We cannot be involved in too much detailed argument as to the content of individual publications that come within a broad description of homosexual magazines. I know that you have a more serious purpose and that it is not your policy to include pornographic material, but I am afraid that insertion of any copy which might be useful to you would make it much more difficult for us to sustain our policy and involve us in arguments out of all proportion to the value of the advertising…’
LET’S LOOK AT THE ADS THE STAGE WILL PRINT:
WANTED Topless Go-Go dancers, striptease artists. Top rates.
Actress/Dancer required for Broadway and Road show in America. Very good figure to appear semi-nude.
ASTOR CLUB, Berkeley Square. All types of acts required. Striptease, Belly dancers.
Topless Go-Gos if you want extra work with hotel and travel paid
Respectable young ladies as dancing partners. No previous experience necessary … and so on and so on …
A well-sustained policy of indiscriminate social introductions would you say?
Fully clothed lesbians advertising a non-prurient magazine are filthy. Nude boobs, belly buttons and bottoms servicing jaded late-night society in the crudest manner imaginable is clean living. The most vicious in their self-righteousness is a particular type of female het. One example is in an Adoption Society. She used the most unchristian language at the mere IDEA of female homosexuals adopting children.
Another owns Bensons Newsagent in Crawford Street, London. In front of her mother, her husband and several customers she flew into a foaming fit about Sappho magazine without even opening it. “Filthy … it’s dirt … disgusting people get out of my shop …” which was stuffed with distorted boobs, belly buttons and bottoms . . Come again, Comerford:
‘On the more general point you asked for a responsible attitude and I feel that there is more than one way to demonstrate this. The problem of homosexuals are reflected in much theatrical material with which we are concerned and I think you would be hard put to detect any bias or unwillingness to deal with these matters in so far as they are relevant.’
I fail to see the relevance of straight actors playing gays for public entertainment compared with the REALITY OF LIVING LESBIANS which is not reflected in any responsible way by society.
Responsible attitudes are demonstrated every which way in the prevailing double standard morality by the peddling of pornography (including homosexuality) for a heterosexual market to the exclusion of non-prurient homosexual publications.
Porno comes from the Greek meaning harlot. Pornocracy means dominant influence of harlots, especially in government in Rome in the tenth century. Today the pornocracy of the presstocracy is only too evident.
On June 10th last I left the Picador Club in Manchester and en route to my bus-stop, called into the cottage on High St. The place was not empty, neither was it interesting, so after a slash I left by the back exit. Once outside I was approached by a dirty looking dosser who asked if I could suggest anywhere for him to spend the night.
As I am in Manchester GLF and was wearing my badge openly, I could hardly refuse to help him crash somewhere. So off we went, me making sure he wasn’t a mugger or some odious being and him making the odd grunt.
Having decided to try the trusty and lovely Steve as a possible solution, I changed direction to go towards his place. After about half-an hour I wanted to piss again, so I nipped under a bridge near the Union Hotel. In midstream I was grabbed and told that two pigs (the speaker being one of them) had followed me for thirty minutes from High St cottage.
They trumped up a charge of gross indecency even though the dosser was some 70ft away from me (can you imagine the kind of cock he must have had?)
At Bootle St the usual insults were hurled – I had annoyed them by refusing to go to the police station until one of them threatened to “throw me in the fuckin’ canal”. I was called a poof, a pervert and homo etc, all of which I am – I do them exceedingly well.
One of the pigs was so resentful of my obvious talent and ability that he said he’d like “to cut the bollocks off all queers”. The dosser was found guilty, in the station, of having the same surname as one of the arresting pigs – so he was duly smashed about the head.
I was told that my GLF badge, manifesto and some leaflets would be sufficient to convict me. The dosser was told that he didn’t have a chance because of previous convictions (all 19 of them for het sexual offences). All a load of crap, obviously, as was the statement that if this nasty pig (a mere constable) opposed my application for bail I wouldn’t get it.
“Plead guilty” they said, “get it over with cheaply and discreetly and with no chance of remand in custody” – so the dosser did and was remanded at Risley for two weeks for probation reports.
I pleaded not guilty and after several appearances before magistrates eventually reached the Crown Court. The jury couldn’t reach a majority verdict – in my opinion because the judge’s summing-up was slightly biased against me.
Re-trial four weeks later in two sessions: prosecution on Friday, me (starring) the following Monday. I said I was gay and had a previous conviction for soliciting and that I was in and supported actively GLF.
The prosecution asked me if I knew High St cottage was a homosexual lavatory. I explained that a lavatory has no sexuality, het or homo, and the judge told the prosecution how to say what he had intended “was it frequented by homosexuals”.
I told him that all gays use lavatories. After stressing that the facts as stated by me were contradictory to those alleged by the pigs, the prosecution said “so in fact these policemen have told the court a pack of lies?” I said that I agreed entirely.
In summing up the Judge (Steele) said “Let’s get down to brass tacks – the policemen allege that the defendant was tossing off another man and the defendant says how could he when he and the other man were some considerable distance apart.”
The Judge also gave a brief resume of the history of the law regarding gays, with particular reference to the barbarity of some aspects and sent the jury out. Fifteen minutes later the jury returned a unanimous verdict of not guilty and I was discharged.
One gay voice has destroyed the grunting of two pigs – so we are getting somewhere. So all gays, “Fight hard enough and you will win”:
Many thanks and much love to the lovely gays who gave me moral support, brandies and rigs throughout, and to the two navvies from the public gallery for the congratulatory slap on the back.
ED: While the term ‘pigs’ used in this news item is not necessarily the terminology which would be used by the GN collective, it is the policy of the paper to reproduce worthy articles as we receive them. We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate John Probert on the outcome of his court experiences and to further commend him for taking the course of action he took, as all too often gays take the easy and faint-hearted way out.