What’s In A Name

LONDON: The Miss Hong Kong, who the Sunday People salivated, is accused of being originally male, who’d had a sex-change operation is called Miss Meilin Gay.

Meilin, who wasn’t placed in last month’s Miss World contest, is a model all the way from Kensington. Her business affairs are handled by one Mr K C Kum (if we’re to believe the Sunday People).

LIVERPOOL: A man who posed as a policeman to blackmail a 73-year-old gay was convicted at Liverpool Crown Court of extorting £140 from the old man. The judge’s name was (brace yourselves) Nance. This case is reported more fully elsewhere in this issue.

Boy Blackmails Shopkeeper

MARLOW: The juvenile court in this Berkshire town was told that a 15-year-old boy tried to blackmail a shopkeeper with a ‘poison pen’ letter.

Prosecuting Mr Colin Cleugh read a letter he said the boy had handed to the shopkeeper. It said: “I know what you are and want you to do with me. You are a homosexual. If you don’t want me to tell the police put £10 in an envelope. What’s £10 to five years away?”

The letter, he said, referred to an incident at a shop where the boy had worked, when “the man very foolishly placed his hand on the boy’s trousers – nothing more.”

Mr Ronald Kentisbeer, defending, said the letter was the act of a ;‘young, frightened boy”. An older person would have acted differently.

The case was adjourned for reports.

Angry Silence Hits RGA

READING: Reading’s Gay Alliance is facing a two-way threat to its social functions.

First, the licensee of the Railway Tavern, where RGA has always held its social evenings and discotheques, forgot to re-apply for his late drinking-and-music licence. That ensured that RGA socials became both silent and sober after ‘closing time’.

Now the brewery that controls the Railway Tavern has told RGA that it mustn’t mention the pub’s name in any press ads, or the brewery will stop RGA holding any functions there.

That fairly certainly, ensures that no-one knows where the RGA discos and socials are held, even in their curtailed form.

The brewery, in effect, was happy enough to take the gays’ money, but after a member of the public “complained” it didn’t want the public to know it had gays in its pub.

But, unabashed, RGA went ahead with plans for New Year celebrations at the Railway, after a promise from the landlord that he’d get the after-hours licence back, so the events could be held realistically.

A spokesman for the brewery said this ban on ads had been imposed after “complaints from a member of the public”.

It isn’t clear whether “complaints from a member of the public” made the licensee of the Railway forget to go through the routine procedure to renew his late drinking/music licence.

Touched And Overwhelmed

The Gay News Editorial Collective has been really touched by the scores of Christmas cards that have been pouring into our office over the last four weeks. We’re sure that you’ll all understand that we have neither the time nor the funds to answer them individually, so may we use this space to thank you all very sincerely, and wish you health and happiness in 1973.

Here We Are Again

Thanks for welcoming us to the New Year by purchasing our first edition of 1973. Despite the present financial gloom, we are all optimistic about the future, and like Mr Micawber, feel something is bound to turn up.

As we have said in the Editorial, we do need a large amount of money/capital to come into our coffers to guarantee our continued existence, as well as expansion and improvement. But as well as needing cash, other needs are almost as important. These are larger premises, which hopefully will be available in the not too distant future, and also we must have better and more professional organisation and systems of working together within the structure of Gay News itself. And it is up to us, the joint editors and members of the editorial collective to make sure that these things happen. We most certainly are endeavouring to.

New People

On the first of this month we are being joined full-time by Peter Munday, who is now solely responsible for distribution, apart from street selling which is a must for every member of Gay News.

It is extremely important that we do sell more copies of GN, but to do this we have to find more outlets. This is where Peter comes into his own. As well as ascertaining all is running smoothly with our present distribution network, he will, during the coming months, be attempting to make sure Gay News is on sale in many more newsagents, bookshops and street vendors pitches around the country and in London. Also, and probably more significantly, Peter will be trying to arrange that the paper is available in as many gay pubs and clubs throughout Great Britain as possible. Whilst GN is still in its infancy, it seems logical to us that the best place to sell a gay newspaper is in gay places.

So if you can help Peter, please contact him at the Gay News office.

As well as having someone to handle our distribution, we also have been joined by Mike who is looking into the present running systems of GN. We feel many areas leave a lot to be desired and also that we may be wasting much time and energy by using unrealistic and self-defeating methods. So during the month or so Mike is with us he will be examining the complete structure of Gay News and be offering advice on how we can improve or change the present way we work. In addition, he will be organising new ways of handling the administrative side of the paper.

New Years Resolution

During 1972 we felt that there has been far too little co-operation between Gay News and the other gay publications available. Like us, these other papers and magazines are as hard pressed for money and necessary assets. So it seems to us at GN that if we all try a little harder to understand what the others are doing, and worked and exchanged information with one another it would help put an end to that bad feeling that exists between some of us.

All too often, bitchiness, intolerance and non-communication has taken the place of friendliness, awareness and a general interchange of ideas. Unfortunately, this has happened too between Gay News and some of the gay organisations. None of us are going to get anywhere without each other’s help and support, so in 1973 let’s all take a step down from the various pedestals we have placed ouselves on, and be friends, even if we cannot bridge the gap between our ideological differences. Gay News sees no reason why a little more co-operation and love amongst the various gay publications and organisations will result in any of us having to sacrifice our editorial independence or ideological convictions.

By working together we can show the ‘straight’ world more than just the fact that we are no different to them. For we can also let them see the power of togetherness and toleration by a large and varied cross-section of people who by overcoming their differing opinions and committments, can jointly struggle and work for a common cause.

Togetherness and toleration should be the New Years Resolution we should all make and keep through 1973.

Julian

Apart from a brief phone call the other evening, the last we heard of Julian D. Grinspoon was that he had gone off to his beloved Brighton for a quiet but socially busy Christmas. A member of GN did receive a rather vague call from him though last weekend, when, in a lightly breathless manner he said he was thoroughly bored with turkey and that his New Years article would be ‘gay’ ways of making turkey leftovers interesting and appetising. Since then we haven’t heard a word from him, and as turkeys are a fading memory for most of us, it’s probably just as well. Anyway, Julian, we hope, will be back for the next issue. We all love you, dear.

Next Issue

Gay News No 15 will be available from 24th January. Please keep your letters, articles and suggestions coming in. See you all next issue, and hope you enjoy this one.