- Danny La Rue – What a Drag
- Vassal Inside
- Lonely Homosexuals
- A To Z Of Gay Talk Starts Here
Joint Editors and Members of the Editorial Collective
Richard Adams (Design), Peter Holmes, Denis Lemon, Peter Mundy, David Seligman
Ian Dunn (Scotland), Glenys Parry (Manchester), 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, Bernard Searey, Rebecca John, David Hart, Simon Benson, Christopher Ambury and Richard Watkins.
SPECIAL THANKS TO:
Richard & Norman, Ken & Allan, Angus, John, Stanley, Peter, Anthony, David, Ken, Wolf and all the other Friends & Loved Ones.
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|Page 7||…||Standing in the Shadows||Page 12||…||Stage & Nostalgia|
|Page 8||…||Gay Lexicon||Page 13||…||Films|
|Page 9||…||Who’s Kidding Who?||Page 14||…||Records|
|Page 10||…||Please & Thanks||Page 15||…||Personal Ads|
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Now that John Vassall has been released from prison (after serving an immoderately long portion of his 15-year sentence for spying for the Russians), and as a new book on Sir Roger Casement is about to be published, it’s time to wonder whether these ‘gay traitors’ would be as vulnerable now as they were in 1916 and 1962 respectively.
There can be no doubt that Sir Roger Casement, hanged for his part in the alleged importation of rifles into Ireland for the Irish revolutionaries – was condemned almost as soon as the British Secret Service “discovered” the controversial Black Diaries, which, they said, Casement had written cataloguing his sexual adventures for three years.
Vassall was forced into spying when he was blackmailed by the Russians who set up a man for him to sleep with. With the blackmailer’s usual weapon, film, the Russians turned a clergyman’s son who had risen to a trusted post in the Admiralty into a spy.
It’s easy to say that in 1962 gay love was illegal between men, and that everything’s, changed since 1967 and the Sexual Offences Act.
The sad and sick truth is that nothing has changed. The sexual Offences Act was a typical piece of “permissive legislation” that gives nothing away. Its clauses, exempt males under 21 and merchant seamen and all members of the armed forces and policemen as well as imposing the limitations of sex to groups of two “consenting” adults and “in private”.
The courts see fit to change their minds about what “in private” means with many of the cases of ‘indecency’ that come before them.
Gay sex between two adults may be free, but male homosexuals are still faced by the absurd and discriminatory 21-year-old-and-over rule. Obviously we have not got equality if the male of the species is seen by society as less responsible than his heterosexual counterpart. Whatever the law may tell us, there is still a stigma.
It is while society creates differences and these differences themselves create feelings of job-insecurity, social degradation, that the conditions that hanged Casement and forced John Vassall into spying on his own country survive.
If there is to be more than an empty charade of equality for gays on society’s part, there must be a significant change in the legal standing of homosexuals in Britain.
Acts of Parliament that say that we may do one thing, but not another are not enough. They are not permissive – in the sense of permitting us to do anything – but truly limiting.
By limiting their activity, and by seeing homosexuals as different creatures from heterosexuals, the law is forcing people into situations where blackmail and near-blackmail are still possible and practiced – after all, blackmail includes the fear of losing their jobs that frightens so many gays, possibly the majority, into leading secret lives.
Secret lives aren’t healthy. They’re not whole lives. They’re the sort of situation that gives the blackmailer scope to corner his victim.
It’s quite clear that if Sir Roger Casement were tried today, the court would not take such a grave view of the alleged diaries of his sex life. We remain unconvinced that a court could treat him as they would if the diaries had never been produced. Even today.
We remain unconvinced that no man could be blackmailed into spying because of his gayness.
To create another Vassall, all a spy master would have to do would be to put another male under 21-years old or a member of the armed forces in his way. Perhaps even an imaginitive spy-creator could arrange for his victim to be photographed in bed with two men.
The law is still discriminatory, as we have said. To us it seems that nothing has changed since 1916.
Please note that any letters received by us at Gay News are liable to be published unless you state otherwise.
May I address, through your correspondence columns, an open letter to people who place contact ads in Gay News?
To fail to reply to a personal letter is always churlish; to indulge in this kind of rudeness from the sheltered anonymity of a box-number is also cowardly; but to treat with such craven discourtesy one who has taken the trouble to answer your advertisement and has gone so far as to give you his address or telephone number, in an attempt as sincere as your own to find a friend through the columns of Gay News, is something worse than either rudeness or cowardice — it is callous.
Most of us who read this paper have experienced in one form or another the callous treatment of the gay minority by the straight majority; most of us have suffered from it to some extent and have felt it harsh and unjust. Now if we are to bring about a change in the attitude of the majority, should we not begin by treating one another as gently and thoughtfully as we can?
The Gay News collective takes an obvious risk in running the ‘illegal page’ to fulfill a social need; similar, though slighter risks are taken by those who answer your contact ad. So however little you may fancy some of the people who write to you, it would be kind to remember that they are responding to the same need as your own, and to treat them not as objects to be selected or discarded on a supermarket shelf, but as people who are as human, fallible and vulnerable as yourself.
That being said, I feel our thanks are due to Gay News collective for applying themselves with sustained courage and imagination to the creation of a paper which was badly needed and has certainly become our life-line to many isolated and despairing gays.
Why Take Risks?
May I be allowed space in the correspondence featured in your very excellent periodical on intolerance in the ‘gay’ world?
Surely the majority of gay people have witnessed if not personally experienced, so many examples of intolerance that the very thought of such a ‘closed mind’ attitude is abhorrent to them.
Let us recognise, once and for all, the great differences in personality and outlook that exists in the gay world itself.
On the other hand, males, like myself, and there are a great many, who worship anything truly masculine, whether they are ‘butch’ or ‘fem’, to put it very crudely, themselves, people who find it difficult to understand how a male can be attracted to another male dressed as a female, and who consider the ageing ‘drag queen’ to be the most pitiful and repulsive sight imaginable.
On the other hand, the ‘way out’ Gay Lib type delighting in feminine dress and acting the supreme extrovert, just as sincere and profound in their beliefs, but many, many worlds apart. The great tragedy to me is that, after so much progress has been made in presenting the case of the homosexual, this is being jeopardised by the latter section expecting too much too soon.
Surely it is obvious that apart from officialdom and the ‘powers that be’ the general public, whilst being more tolerant than ever before, is not yet prepared to accept the extrovert ‘gay’.
Let us agree to consolidate our position and by keeping a sense of proportion the hoped for amend ments in the law of the land will I feel sure, take place very soon.
No doubt, in time, the extremist will even be accepted, but this will not be achieved by taking any short cuts.
For this reason only, I regret the decision of Gay News to continue printing contact ads for males in complete contravention of the law of the land at the present time. The paper is a valuable link in the fight for recognition of our little section of the community. Why take the risk of its being suppressed as so many less valuable gay mags have been?
Finally, a personal plea to fellow ‘gays’. Can we not divorce the gay scene entirely from feminine culture? After all the vast majority of true transvestites insist they are completely hetero, and there is so much attractive and varied in male dress these days, that it is not really necessary.
ED: We at Gay News consider that while so many gay men and women are isolated and lonely, it is important to offer them some means of communication with other gays. Thus the personal ads.
No Prizes Yet
Dear Gay News,
1973! A new year so a new symbol! Who won the competition for our new front page logo?
Unfortunately I am not talented enough to think up a new symbol for you, but what about those Gay News readers who did manage to put pen to paper with an idea.
Even if there was not a knock out winner, at least announce one from those that did have a go. They at least deserve that for trying.
A happy gay 1973!
L. C. K
ED: Only two people did “have a go”.
Not Only But Also
I was sorry to see in your Christmas edition (for which, by the way, many congratulations) only one letter regarding your proposed editorial policy of ceasing to report exclusively gay news, does this mean that your readers are indifferent to the contents of the paper?
Or was mine not the only objection you suppressed?
Perhaps my concluding remarks were not to your taste, regarding the actions of certain GLF radicals. If so, I can sympathise with you and realise your difficulty in trying to satisfy all factions within your pages, but nevertheless, I adamantly oppose your decision and can only reiterate my feeling that it is not unreasonable to expect to read gay news in a newspaper called Gay News.
T. R. Blackburn
ED: Gay News will occasionally feature news and features which are not directly concerned with gayness, such as articles on law, cookery, nostalgia, etc.
No Hostility, Only Liberation
Dear Gay News,
Recently I went to a club in Earls Court with a gay friend of mine. Being a somewhat ‘liberated’ woman, I have often questioned my own sexuality and society’s repressive attitudes towards sexuality in general, so I have wanted to go to a gay club for some time. But I was still filled with certain fears and fantasies left by things I’ve read or heard about these clubs. I was wrong. Luckily I didn’t go with an attitude of sociological observation, but on an evening when Peter and I had been gloriously eating and drinking and just wanted to dance. We had a great time and these impressions organised themselves in my head afterwards.
First I had been afraid that I would experience a feeling of rejection and/or hostility. I feared a ‘what the hell are you doing here’ response or a sense of my own awkwardness, in being out of place. No such problem. I felt no hostility whatsoever from the men. In fact, I felt a greater sense of liberation in my dancing. The music was fantastic and I enjoyed moving my body with a new spontaneity, knowing I wasn’t going to be seen just as a sex object and knowing that I wasn’t going to trap myself with any seductive games. I knew the men who did watch me dance were admiring my form of movement and not thinking they could screw me.
Second I had feared that I might feel sexually rejected watching men relate only to each other. Wrong again. I equally enjoyed watching them dance for the beauty of their movement without seeing them only as sex objects. The guys were really physically attractive, but I didn’t have to want to screw them to appreciate their maleness.
Third, I had been afraid of the competitive tense atmosphere I might find. I didn’t find any. Sure, there were people standing around waiting to meet someone, but there seemed to be a give and take of dance partners without the intense isolation you sometimes find in heterosexual clubs. It was difficult to talk to people because of the loud pulse of music, but that is a natural problem. Several guys who knew my friend came up to talk to us, not snubbing because he was with a woman. The feeling was relaxed.
This was just one experience with one club, but it was a very positive one that I’d like to share with the people who are always criticising, and I’d like to thank the gay society for giving me a new perspective of life.
Liaison and Toleration
Dear Gay News,
Thanks a million for GN 12, which I would like to remind my fellow readers, is available at the CHE London Information Centre.
Among the letters in this issue is one headed ‘No GLF at CHE’. I share Teck Ong’s opposition to the removal of GLF literature from the centre, but would like to get a few facts straight.
The London Information Centre costs a lot of money to run. But, like Gay News, it is there, and please God it will stay there. What money is provided comes from members of CHE. Some members of London CHE rightly or wrongly felt that undue space was given to Gay Lib Literature and that this might have an adverse affect on what is the primary function of LIC, to recruit and maintain membership. Before you scream, don’t forget that it’s the members that pay the rent.
GLF literature was never in fact removed from LIC. Taken off display — yes, but it was still available. Remember there are a lot of people that could do much good for (and be done much good by) an organisation like CHE, but who would be frightened away for good if they saw in CHE’s London office a surfeit of Gay Lib Badges, Manifestoes and the like.
Now, though, GLF literature is back on display alongside literature of other gay organisations — and commercial ventures. Certainly it hasn’t got pride of place, but neither has CHE’s in Caledonian Road.
I am glad it’s back. I hope now we shall see a continued liaison and communication between GLF and CHE. Surely we can tolerate each other — there are too many against us already. Finally I would like to ask CHE in future to get things right first time, fight for the right to love, but please, please, please don’t forget to use it.
Racist Despite Rationalisation
Dear Gay News,
By definition and operation, discrimination favouring a disadvantaged minority racially defined, is racist no matter how well Jim Scott (GN12) rationalises it. It’s a commonplace, flabby, liberal concept that originates from a subjective and erroneous view that the values of the host community have a higher intrinsic quality than those of the minority group, and that the minority therefore aspires to them. Such a belief allows the possibility of avoiding the more serious and difficult problem of creating a truly multiracial society. The confusion in the liberal arises from a failure to distinguish between intrinsic qualities and social values. Its most obvious contemporary manifestation in capitalist society is the growth of a black bourgeoisie. Our failure to acknowledge the existence and the necessary of distinctive cultural patterns, which this concept of multiracialism through ‘positive legislation’ encourages, will exacerbate the problem and delay the desired non-discriminatory society we should all look forward to.
Racism has assisted in the process of alienating man from man (and woman from woman), begun by the concept of property in alienating man from his labour. In its evolution the demands of the market have desocialised human beings and transformed them into genital oriented, desexualised caricatures of the original. In white society it gave birth to the still prevalent view that black people — the blacker and the more negroid the better – are supremely endowed and sexually more virile. In this atmosphere, it is possible to identify racism as just another form of sexual desire; it makes feasible use of ethnic characteristics as objects of sexual stimulation. It is the basis of a confused rationalism like Jim Scott’s, that assesses one’s colour black, white, yellow or red, as simply another sexual attribute in common with big cocks, opulent arses, hairy bodies, etc, etc. He extends this insult to equating a cultural origin with leather knickers or whatever makes us horny. By implication our black brothers and sisters are of i no greater value than horse-whips or worn underwear that some of us need to turn on. While I wish Jim and his new friend lots of love, peace, happiness and fucking, I think he should ask himself if his desire for a black body originates from a white guilt complex that needs to purge itself of a traditional racism.
LONDON: Britain’s self-appointed arbiters of morals, the Festival of Light, has won an albeit temporary victory against the fair presentation of gay sex on television when Ross McWhirter, better known for compiling the Guinness Book Of Records and meddling in comprehensive education, managed to con the Court of Appeal into stopping ITV’s planned screening of a documentary by photographer David Bailey on Any Warhol, without bothering to see it.
McWhirter, perhaps in an attempt to win a record for stupidity, could not claim any greater knowledge of the programme’s content. He, too, had not seen the documentary made for the Midlands ITV company, ATV, before spending a day getting the law to rush through its due processes with undue, and almost obscene, haste.
He started with Mr Justice Forbes, sitting in private. Judge Forbes dismissed McWhirter’s objection to the programme. Within hours – not the months any mere mortal would have to wait – McWhirter was in the Court of Appeal conning three judges into passing an opinion on the programme none of them had seen.
Lord Justice Cairns said that he didn’t think the court had any right to stop the screening of the programme. But all the same he didn’t think it was the type of thing people should be allowed to see. The other two judges, Denning and Lawton, thought they could judge the programme and meddle in ITV’s schedules.
The trouble started when Lord Longford, whose self-appointed commission into pornography tried to silence sexual liberty, and other Festival of Light trouble-seekers decided they didn’t like the idea of a programme about the American movie-maker and artist that didn’t put him down.
Longford lashed out with his first broadside safe in the knowledge that he knew enough about porn to be able to criticise Bailey’s work on Warhol without moving his ass and bothering to see the film.
What he didn’t like about the movie he hadn’t seen was that he’d heard that the hadn’t seen was that he’d heard the movie Bailey had made for ATV’s documentary spot on the ITV network contained references to and the sight of “homosexuals, lesbians, transvestites” and such like.
“And on the strength of that it ought not to be shown.”
To make matters worse, David Bailey, who appears seemingly nude in bed with Warhol, who remains fully clothed, included footage from Andy Warhol factory movies. During this characters used the word ‘fuck’ four times, Lord Longford had heard. ‘Fuck’ is a word heard more than four times in the average AA-movie in the commercial cinema.
Just as the Festival of Lighters were sitting down eager to be shocked and disgusted by ATV’s cavorting around the New York movie factory the news came that the judges of the Appeal Court had come to the unprecedented decision of letting the Lighters have their way in getting the Warhol documentary banned.
The Independent Broadcasting Authority, the ITA as was, the authority that has the responsibility of making sure that all ITV output is ‘up to standard’, held out longer against the attacks from the Festival of Light than the BBC has of late in its brushes with the Festival and Mary Whitehouse’s National Viewers’ Association, but in the end it was outmanoeuvred by the self-righteous moral guardians who managed to get the programme banned.
Where Longford and the Festival of Light with their usual under-the-counter tactics – usually so effective on Lord Hill and the BBC – failed, Ross McWhirter succeeded.
McWhirter is new to the business of being a clean-up television campaigner, and could be said to have done much to encourage violence by working for the BBC as a rugby commentator. In the past he has battled to get comprehensive school plans scrapped for Enfield where he lives waiting to be discovered for Parliament.
The position at the time of going to press was that the IBA was appealing against the Appeal Court’s ban. At this hearing the judge may actually see the programme instead of dispensing justice blindfold.
Critics in Fleet Street are unhappy about the ban, which they feel smacks of dictatorial censorship.
They are even unhappier that McWhirter got the injunction stopping the screening of the Warhol movie partly through his claims that television critics who’d seen the movie were shocked by it.
John Howkins of Time Out, Tom Hutchinson of the Evening Standard and Elkan Allan of The Sunday Times issued a statement dissociating themselves from McWhirter’s protest.
Tom Hutchinson wrote, in a remarkable front-page attack on the ban in the Standard: ‘Some of the objected-to words are in fact contained within clips from Warhol’s own films which the cinema-going public has already been granted the privilege of seeing or not.
‘Of course, now my appreciation of the film has accelerated. Bailey’s point has been substantiated beyond my first reaction. For it seems very true now, that as Bailey suggests, Warhol is what you make him and what you think he is – even without seeing him’.
When the programme was cancelled, Thames TV, the London week-day television station, was besieged with telephone calls. All of its 84 ones were blocked for 90 minutes, the IBA reported a bigger-than-ever response to any of the programmes the ITV companies had been allowed to show. All the callers were complaining that the documentary had been shelved. Mr McWhirter may claim to represent the silent majority, but the majority, in this case, were against his under-hand, old-school-tie censorship tactics.
Thames compounded the silliness, which Anglia TV had already added to by individually refusing to show the programme, when London viewers were told that there had been a programme change – just that – with no reference to the court battle that had forced the chanage.
During the safe replacement documentary on a Nottingham craft centre – a programme which had been shown before – the BBC had The Old Gray Whistle Test on BBC2, including David Bowie’s Andy Warhol track, from the Hunky Dory album – played in sympathy?
QUOTES: Andy Warhol (in New York): “How quaint. How old-fashioned. Maybe they should see my movies.”
Jimmy Vaughan, Warhol’s European agent: “This is a terrible blow – it is censorship of the worst kind. Surely people have a right to decide what they watch.”
The National Council for Civil Liberties: “While a minority has a right to persuade, it does not have the right to impose its views with the blunt weapon of censorship. The NCCL urges the IBA to show this film at the earliest opportunity and let the viewing public decide on its merits or deficencies.”
Peter Thompson, secretary of the Festival of Light: “Thank God for men like Mr McWhirter.”
David Bailey: “I am amazed that the judges can make the order stopping the film without having seen it. Hitler used to burn books he hadn’t read.”
LONDON: A 23-year-old welfare worker from Hackney was jailed for two years at the Old Bailey after being tried for having sex with five boys in his care. Justin pleaded guilty to charges of committing eleven sex “offences” against the boys who were aged between 12 and 15 years.
He also pleaded guilty to charges of ‘counselling’, ‘procuring’, ‘aiding’ and ‘abetting’ another man, Sidney, to commit a ‘serious sexual offence’.
Sidney, a hospital porter of Eltham, didn’t appear to stand trial and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Justin, it was said, was employed as a house master at a Twickenham school for difficult boys. He had no training. Later he worked as a senior parent at a special reception centre run by Hackney borough council, then as a deputy warden of a hostel in Hounslow.
When he was arrested last May he was employed by the Inner London County Council as an educational welfare officer, according to the Hackney Gazette’s report of the trial, which failed to mention that there is no such thing as the Inner London County Council.
Mr Stephen Mitchell, prosecuting, claimed that, in 1969, on a caravan holiday in Canvey Island, Justin slipped a boy a tranquiliser in his cup of cocoa and “when he fell asleep sexually assaulted him”.
Then, in 1970, Justin met two brothers aged 13 and 14. He introduced himself to their parents, who “were totally put off their guard because he was working for Hackney borough council. As a result they allowed their sons to meet” Justin.
The prosecution claimed that one of the boys was shown a copy of the ABZ Of Love, into which Justin “had stuck obscene photographs. When the boy complained of a headache” Justine “gave him three sedatives and then, when he became drowsy, indecently assaulted him”.
Justin, it was said, had taken the same boy to see a “friend” – the Hackney Gazette’s quote-marks – in Shepton Malet jail, but the prison authorities refused to allow the boy in. The man they’d gone to see was Sidney, who later jumped bail.
Mr Mitchell said another of Justin’s victims was a young boy who was having difficulties in settling down at school after being indecently assaulted abroad.
When he was arrested on May 25, Justin said: “I do feel terribly ashamed and guilty for all the anxiety I have caused to all those whose trust I have betrayed. I am glad these children have been relieved of the awful burden I have placed upon them.”
Judge Corcoran listened to all this, then he jailed Justin for two years. He said that Justin was someone said to have a bright future in the social service. He went on: “You embarked on these employments with a certain flair which you undoubtedly have for this sort of work. But things went wrong because you had no training in any social studies. There was no period when people could supervise you in training before you actually did the work and when your particular failing may well have been spotted.
“You may have been saved what happened to you and the boys under your care might also have been spared. It is a pity.
“You met five boys in the course of your professional work. There is no doubt that you excited them sexually by showing some of them photographs. Certainly in the case of two of them you gave them tablets which acted as a sedative. You may well have put them in a position of not being able to resist what you intended to do to them.
“The majority of the boys were in your care because they were difficult, maladjusted and disturbed.”
The actual sentence came as something of a surprise after the judge had blamed Justin’s actions on the council for not training him, and his sham at liberal thinking.
LONDON: The Campaign for Homosexual Equality held a promising sounding conference on New Ghettoes for Old, with Lord Arran, Maureen Duffy, Brian McGee and Chad Varah speaking on sexual liberty and the struggle for it.
Lord Arran let on that he was in touch with higher spirits, who, like him, didn’t like the idea of gays kissing in public.
Brian McGee and Maureen Duffy dealt eloquently and informatively on the problems of Gay Liberation for men and women respectively.
Chad Varah said he found it difficult to accept modern ideas of sexual relationships and liberation that belonged, perhaps, he said, to another age.
The possible high-spot was an unplanned speech by a demonstrator in women’s clothes, who used the microphone loudspeaker system in the Conway Hall to tell the audience that sexual liberation could only be achieved after the destruction of capitalist ideals.
For this he got an earful of abuse from Ian Harvey, the meeting’s chairman and enthusiastic applause from the audience. After his speech the radical demonstrator left the stage and kissed a GLF member for four minutes.
First it was John Vassall, interviewed by Francis Wyndham in the Sunday Times. He was a little camp, but essentially honest in the interview in which he remembered prison life – for instance, its concerts.
He said: “The ones we did ourselves were the best. There was one very amusing prisoner who was very good at dressing up. He had a nickname – Stella. Before Mountbatten (the Mountbatten Commission’s prison report) we had a wonderful concert at Thanet. We had to pick the Miss Thanet of 1965 – it was really a scream. Eight people took part: two of them were gay, so they knew what they were doing. People ran up dresses for the show, made wigs — everyone put in a lot of effort. Oh, it really was a hoot! I did a mime with someone else. He was a girl sitting on a bench and I came in as a man reading a newspaper. Somebody shouted out ‘You’re wasting your time there!’ Even I got a kick out of that. It’s much better to hear something than nothing.”
Next week The Observer slammed back with part one of a two-part serialisation of bits of a book by Brian Inglis on Sir Roger Casement, the eminent Edwardian hanged for treason in 1916 for his alleged part in the Irish ‘troubles’.
The Observer introduced the package with a paragraph describing Casement as a ‘diplomat, homosexual, Irish patriot’.
In his book Inglis claims that: “He (Casement) had left some of his possessions in his old London lodgings, among them his so-called Black Diaries for 1903, 1910 and 1911.”
Others have argued that these diaries never existed until the British Secret Service wanted to ensure Casement’s conviction and execution. It is said that they are not even in a passable imitation of Casement’s handwriting.
Indeed the Black Diaries are among the few once-secret papers the authorities keep very close tabs on.
They are still unpublished. They are in the British Museum but only ‘bona fide’ historians can get to see them.
BERLIN: Variety seems to be the present ideal of gay movements in Western Germany, since some 30 different groups existed at the last count – but they may be replaced by one super-organisation, the German Homosexuality Action Association (DAH).
After meetings in Cologne and Bochum, the 30 groups presently formed are discussing their future in Berlin.
‘Membership of some of the smaller groups, described variously as ‘progressive’, ‘lefty’ and ‘communistic’ is said to be small, but IHWO, the oldest of Germany’s gay groups — formed in 1969 – claims a membership of 500 at present and besides owning a club house in Hamburg has affiliated groups in other German cities such as Stuttgart and West Berlin.
Very active among 33 German groups is the HSM of Muenster, a small Northern university city in Westphalia. In fact, HSM’s founder, Rainer Plein, has been trying to get backing of the Roman Catholic bishop, the school authorities and the police president of North Rhine/Westphalia in smashing anti-gay discrimination.
German police actually use the old files in which all German gays were listed before Germany’s homosexual law-reform Act in 1969, but political parties, police heads and newspapers have now announced that these files are to be destroyed.
In Bochum, a few months back, a national co-ordinating organisation for the factional gay groups was founded.
It’s called DAH, but the only part of the organisation that’s running properly now is its information-swapping service. It takes the information published by all 33 German gay groups and circulates the news. Gay news from abroad, however, is spread only by Gay News (Germany), a commercial press and news service edited by Johannes Werres at Kronberg.
Most of Johannes’ news is published by the monthly Him from Hamburg. A projected fortnightly newspaper, Gay Journal, so far hasn’t materialised because of a cash shortage.
There are some three or four other gay monthlies, sold openly on news-stands, including Don, Du und Ich, Pichbube, Boys Exclusiv and Club 70.
The umbrella organisation DAH will not represent the German Homosexual Organisation (DHO) or groups for bisexuals and paederasts which are to be set up soon by the magazines Pichbube and Don.
LONDON: It’s hardly surprising that the majority of libraries in Great Britain refuse to carry gay newspapers or magazines when you consider the sort of bigoted attitude that emerged in a letter to the Librarians’ Association Record in the latter part of last year.
John Noyce, who writes a column on magazines librarians might be interested in, for another paper, the Assistant Librarian, innocently said: “As usual, the British alternative press papers seem to be following their American counterparts. The general papers are in difficulties – Seven Days and Ink gone, Frendz and IT are in financial troubles – but the sectional papers grow ever more numerous.”
Then he listed Spare Rib, and Gay News, along with GIN, Lunch, SMG News, Arena Three and Sappho.
Little did he know there was something pretty vicious waiting in the non-fiction section. A librarian wrote in to say: “In the August issue of Assistant Librarian, a contributor lists for our special benefit or enlightenment (I’m nor sure which) an extraordinary catalogue of recent outlandish periodicals, the very latest from the front line of the sexual revolution, suitable, perhaps, for educated perverts and emancipated Bohemians, as well as Lesbian librarians with doubts about their masculinity, and, of course, any pouffes-in-boots and beyond-the-fringe eccentrics floating around the outer reaches of cosmopolitan professional librarianship, but to the membership at large, of no use, one would have thought, whatsoever, unless, in the present phase of cultural pollution, we are to be credited with the same tastes.” And so he goes on. And on. Quoting George Bernard Shaw and T S Eliot. He’s read them!
With a wonderful old-fashioned hatred like that, a man could get a job with the Festival of Light.