LONDON: Several months ago a few people got together and decided to form a gay film unit. And this week, on a G-string budget, the unit showed it meant business.
A little professional help is turning the amateur enthusiasm into a dream realised.
But before the movie-buffs rush off to the Biograph to see a blue movie, a word or two of warning: this is just the first of a series of commercials for gay liberation politics, the initial project being called Party Piece.
Needless to say, there’s a nude scene, played by Leonard Whiting, a fantasy leather sequence and so on. The message the movie gets across is quite explicit, so, of course, there won’t be a generous screening of it when it’s finished (the unit hopes it won’t take more than about a month in postproduction) and it may turn up at the Electric Cinema Club, or the Kings Cross Cinema, the unit hopes. But so far no definite arrangements have been negotiated for its screening.
The movie has the obvious weaknesses you expect if one uses an entirely amateur cast, but producer Ray Fowler and director Bruce Wisehart have very definite ideas of where they think the gay visual art scene should be headed.
The two-minute colour movie took nine hours to shoot in a borrowed Hampstead flat and although enthusiasm began to wane under the hot lights and the intense concentration required, I think Bruce and Roy have a small winner in the can.
The film unit intends to go ahead making more gay movies, but future plans are not yet definite.
NEW YORK: America’s latest super media-wheeze, the televising of the agonies of real family life – as opposed to the homogenised cleanliness of David Cassidy et al – has caused something of a storm, possibly because young Lance Louds is a silver-haired gay.
The idea of the programme was to show the real life-style of the real American family. But during the filming of the family going about its everyday business, the main protagonists, Mr and Mrs Bill Loud discovered they couldn’t stand each other any longer. Their 20 year old marriage collapsed and they discovered that their son Lance was gay.
Apparently the idea had never crossed their minds, even when Lance dyed his hair silver when he was 14.
The film showed Mrs Loud going to the gay commune in a hotel in one of New York’s seedier districts and not even then grasping the full significance of what had happened.
Scenes like this has made the Loud family’s public agony bigger in television ratings than the Partridge family and that sort of thing, as people start wondering whether the malaise that’s affecting the Loud marriage might not apply to just that family.
Creator of the series, Craig Gilbert, finds himself sitting on top of a hit. He claims that when they started the nine-month shooting programme last year, the television company didn’t realise that the Loud marriage was in such imminent danger of collapse or that Lance was gay.
What chance is there of seeing the programme here? It’d really get them going in Enfield.
Project note: the making of this series, An American Family, was turned into a fictionalised film in 2011 starring James Gandolfini and Tim Robbins calledCinema Verite.
LEICESTER: Two men were given suspended prison sentences by the Crown Court here be cause they had sex with a 15-year-old boy who was, according to their counsel, “experienced in these matters”.
Terence (40) and David (59), both of Leicester, pleaded guilty to buggery, attempted buggery and charges of ‘indecency’ with the boy.
Mr Michael Astill, appearing for both of them, said of the boy: “His corruption took place long before he met these men. He was experienced in these matters. Both men are adamant that it was the boy who was the instigator. The boy came back, and back again.”
Terence was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment and David was jailed for 18 months. Both sentences were suspended for two years.
Judge W A Sime told them: “The law in its wisdom some time ago made it legal for persons to indulge in these kind of practices in private and with adults. But one of the points of that relaxation was that young boys should be protected.”
READING: Reading Gay Alliance’s discos and socials hit by the end of the late drinking-and-music licence at the Railway Tavern are now getting back to normal.
The landlord of the Railway Tavern has got his licence back and the silent-and-dry social evenings have become fun again.
The new licence runs out in April, but before that the brewers Ind Coope, are replacing the present licencee with their own manager. Then anything could happen. Ind Coope has already told RGA not to mention the Railway Tavern by name in any of its advertisements.
The present landlord consistently let the room to RGA, at the expense of other groups already using it.
Meanwhile RGA has held its annual meeting, and, in the light of the recent licencing problems, the members agreed to make the social functions into members-only club functions.
Members of RGA from Reading town have been pressing for a club set-up for some time, but this has been opposed by members from Reading University, who wanted RGA to go on without bothering about membership cards.
DUBLIN: Gays who want to talk about ‘their problem’ in an informal, understanding and ‘constructive’ atmosphere are invited to contact the Legion of Mary in Dublin.
The legion which has been running its gay-help group for about five years, says the majority of those it’s helped have found it useful.
It stresses that the group is non-denominational and that all problems are treated in confidence.
The contact number for the Legion is (01) 776083, any evening between 8pm and 10pm.
◉ Poison Ivy
MORECAMBE: The Morecambe Visitor, the weekly paper that’s biting its editorial fingernails and waiting for the CHE conference, ran an amazing letter from the Rev Frank Ockenden.
The Rev Frank quoth: “Homosexuality, like prostitution, is a moral disease, which society may at best only contain, but for its good must endeavour to prevent or cure.
“To condemn the practice does not necessarily imply the condemnation of its victims. Being Holy, God condemns all sin, and has said so, but being also Love, He has provided salvation from it in his Son Jesus Christ. This includes all homosexuals, and makes irrelevant any campaign for equality.”
Then in slammed the Corrs of Lancaster, lambasting the Rev Frank, who (incidentally) lives at Ivy Cottage, Arkhole, for would-be correspondents.
The Corrs – Bill and his wife Anna – blasted away in fine style: “Since the majority of people in this country are no longer practicing Christians the advice of the Rev Ockenden and his fellow minsters of religion would be heeded only by those who share their respective faiths.
“Homosexuality ought to rank equal in the eyes of the law with heterosexuality so far as age of consent, marriage and so on are concerned.
“At the moment homosexual men (the law does not recognise that female homosexuality exists, oddly enough) exist in a legal minefield.
“Naturally all that this would mean is that the gap between the law of the land and Mr Ockenden’s theology would be at liberty to denounce homosexuality as a sin to anyone prepared to pay any attention.”
The Rev Frank is a loner in the realms of backwoods revivalism. His Arkholme Evangelical Church broke away from the Lancaster Methodist Circuit about two years ago, because the Lancaster Methodists were having dealings with members of other churches.
Since then the Rev Frank has been wearing the top dog-collar at Arkholme and master-minding Munich style rallies of revivalist religion. Even the Rev Ian Paisley chickened out of one invite the Martin Luther of Poison Ivy Cottage sent him.
◉ John Pointless Ross
LONDON: The Evening News’ man-for-all-occasions, John Pointer Ross, managed to get a swipe at gays into his January 19 column for the more boring of London’s evening papers.
Along with Ross’ ‘thoughts’ on crime and punishment, drug-addiction, a farm-worker from Brighton who has sired 17 children and the price of beef – Ross was never the first with an idea – we got this gem: “CHE, in case you didn’t know, stands for the Campaign for Homosexual Equality.
“They wanted to hold a conference for their members. The usual resorts where conferences are normally held have turned them down.
“The homosexuals seem surprised. Are you?”
But the Fleet Street hacks don’t all think the same way. Readers may remember Des Wilson as the man who cared about the homeless. Now he’s returned to his first love, journalism.
From his perch on top of his regular column in The Observer, Des Wilson observed: “Weymouth and other seaside towns (including, I gather, Morecambe) have certainly shown why a Campaign for Homosexual Equality is needed. The ignorance and prejudice reflected in some towns’ responses have been incredible.”
◉ Normal Homosexuals
From the tons of newsprint produced every day we present this excerpt from the Evening Post (Luton):
Question: Can you be a homosexual and still be normal in other ways?
Answer: Most certainly. But that’s not to say that all homosexuals are otherwise normal.
The same applies, of course, to those who favour the opposite sex.
◉ Chaplain Charged
LEEDS: The Church of England chaplain at Wakefield prison was released on bail by Leeds magistrates after he had appeared before them charged with ‘indecently assaulting’ a policeman in a public lavatory.
The Rev George who is said to have assaulted PC Gordon in a cottage in Marsh Lane, Leeds, was remanded on £25 bail. The police did not object.
He will appear before the magistrates again on March 6.
It’s Wednesday about 5pm. The Gay News office is a tip. We’ve been mailing subscription copies most of the day. The phone rings.
It’s Variety. Not the show-biz trade paper, but the girl who answers the phone at Vaughan Films, with the collected movie works of Trevelyan (not the ex-censor), Anger and Warhol in cans piled up round her desk and her electric typewriter.
“Joe’s in town. Would you like to see him?” she asks.
“Would I? You must be joking. What time and where?”
“I’ll have to tell you the time tomorrow and it’ll be at the office.”
Next morning up and ready ridiculously early. We have to waste some time listening to Jimmy Young and sitting at home – if home is where my toothbursh is – waiting for Variety to call.
She does. At midday.
“I’m afraid you’ll have to get up, Peter, you can see Joe at one.”
London Transport Executive does its best to delay all 149 buses to Liverpool Street, and to keep all Central Line trains to Oxford Circus from running.
Despite LTE we get there on time. Just.
Variety looks after the Gay News carrier bag while we’re off to see the ‘superstar’ of the movies that puts fear into the hearts of the sensitive and politically ambitious of Enfield.
Next door is almost as crowded, but this time it’s people not film cans that are piling up round the walls. There are Christine, the lady who fixes almost anything, and the rest of the small distribution company’s directors and staff, all buzzing with excitement at the thought of The Big Opening, (Trash, February 8, London Pavilion). And leaning against the doorpost there’s a young man who looks as though he’s trying to merge with the furniture and the posters with his face on.
He’s got the face of Joe Dalessandro, but it’s difficult to recognise him in a tidy blue suit with creases in the trousers any banker would be proud of, let alone with his clothes on.
Christine says: “This is Peter Holmes of Gay News and he’d like to have a few words with you.”
We shake hands and say hello/hullo/hallo and retire to the inner sanctum — the office of Andy Warhol’s European agent, Jimmy Vaughan.
Joe seems frankly surprised that Europe’s leading gay fortnightly wants to talk to him. He takes out a Marlboro and lights it. He says he’s hungry, loud enough for the massed company directors and their right-hand men and women to hear.
On every surface of the room there’s a picture of Joe, some in colour, some in plain old black-and-white.
Gay News: How much do you identify with the characters you play in the movies? After all, you’re always called Joe on the screen.
Joe: Well, I’ve got Joe tatooed on my arm, and I didn’t find out how to blank it out with make-up until just recently.
GN: You’ve been a screen stud, a gay and you’ve even fixed heroin on screen. How much of it is the real you?
Joe: None of it. They’re just characters in movies. At home I’m just a quiet family sort of man. I’ve got my mother living in the city, and I visit her regularly. And I’ve got a wife at home and a child. And my wife cooks me delicious meals and I stay at home and watch television a lot. I don’t know any junkies. I don’t know any gays. I’m just a very straight sort of person.
GN: Despite that you’ve become something of a gay hero.
Joe: I don’t know why.
GN: Well, Joe was pansexual in Flesh and Lonesome Cowboys was overtly gay.
Joe: Well, I’m glad I’ve become a hero for somebody.
GN: Back at reality in the Warhol movies, there’s a scene in Trash where you fix heroin…
Joe: ‘Fix’? Is that what you call it?
GN: You fix heroin, you shoot it up into your arm in full view of the screen. That scene made the boyfriend I saw it with faint.
Joe: Did you see it here in London?
GN: Yes, at a screening for the trade, to coin a phrase. Anyway, what did you shoot up, or fix, or whatever? Was it water or something?
Joe: I didn’t shoot anything into my arm.
GN: You mean it’s all done with the tricks of the cinema business?
Joe: Yes, I never put a needle into me.
GN: You say you lead a very straight life. Does that mean you’re anti-drug and anti-gay?
Joe: What do you mean by ‘anti’?
GN: Do you personally, discriminate against drug-users or gays you meet?
Joe: I can’t really because I don’t come into any contact with anyone who falls into these categories, because I spend most of my life at home when I’m not working. I believe that people should be able to do whatever they like, in ones or twos or threes or whatever outside my home. But once they’re inside they have to do what I say.
I wouldn’t discriminate against gays — if I knew any – but then, I wouldn’t sleep with a gay guy either.
Actually, I’m very anti-drug. I don’t use any and I don’t allow any to be used in my home.
GN: I think Trash is probably the most convincing condemnation of drug-use I’ve ever seen. It’s ridiculous their banning it for two years in this country. If it was given a U-certificate, that’s the unrestricted viewing certificate, and shown in schools, it would kill the smack trade stone dead in just ten years, probably.
(Jimmy Vaughan, Andy Warhol’s European agent walks into his office to the refrigerator that holds the hospitality wine.)
Joe: Do you have some kind of hamburger joint in England?
JV: We’ll be giving you some meat in half-an-hour. We’ll go out for a steak.
Joe: 15 minutes.
JV: 15 minutes.
Joe: I’m sorry but I really am hungry.
JV: And when Joe gets hungry he gets annoyed. Isn’t that right Joe?
JV: Don’t mind me, I’m just popping through.
GN: You’ve been with the Warhold factory for five years now …
GN: Ever since The Loves of Ondine. Can you see a time when you’ll quit the factory to join the more conventional movie-making industry?
Joe: Not really. After all, the movies we make have changed a lot. Paul Morrisey has changed things and the movies are very different now.
GN: Yes, but Savages has just opened in London with Ultra Violet in it. She was one of the factory’s first superstars, and Play It Again Sam had Viva in a very small and rather bad part.
Joe: Viva was great in Cisco Pike. Did you ever get to see that?
GN: No. What I meant was that these two have broken away from the factory, seemingly to get into the straight movies, if you can call Savages straight. Would you do that, now that you’ve become a ‘superstar’?
Joe: I wouldn’t say I was a superstar.
GN: It’s the Warhol name for the stars of the factory’s movies. Would you make movies for other directors and other set-ups?
Joe: Sure I would, but that doesn’t mean I’d stop working for Warhol. I enjoy working there too much to leave it.
GN: Why did you start working for the Warhol factory?
Joe: You see I like money and I wanted to be an actor in the movies and no studio would give someone of my age a part unless he’d already done a couple of features.
GN: How old were you when you started, then?
GN: At that age, I suppose you can’t get a part unless your father is a big-name star.
Joe: Who are you thinking of?
GN: Peter Fonda, for one.
Joe: Do you know how old Peter Fonda is?
GN: He’s starting to look about 40 or 50. But he was in a lot of features before he made the big-time, albeit low-budget jobs.
Joe: Yes, but he was 28 or 29 when he started those.
GN: Are you only loyal to the Warhol movie factory because it keeps you in regular employment?
Joe: I suppose so, yes. I don’t live and breathe it, and I’m not politically committed to it. To me they’re just movies with parts in them to be played.
GN: Which is your favourite of the movies you’ve been in?
Joe: I don’t know that I have a favourite. I liked them all. They’re all movies.
Joe: I never say what people should do and what they shouldn’t do, and I don’t think anybody else should. Britain’s no worse than other countries.
GN: It’s more repressive than most, and not just in censorship. The laws against gays make male gay sex legal only between consenting adults over 21 in private, as long as neither is a member of the armed forces or the merchant navy.
Joe: What you’ve got is a law that gives gays the freedom they haven’t got in the States, and then takes it away again at the same time.
GN: Sure, that’s why we run a contact ad section. You see gay contact ads got International Times busted a few years back. The law hasn’t changed since.
Joe: But contact ads aren’t important enough to get busted on.
GN: The contact ad thing is just an example of the discriminatory laws against gays in this country. You know the reason the Bailey documentary got banned was because of the movie clips in it, most of them with you in them? People complained because the clips showed gays and you said fuck four or five times.
GN: Well there are about four copies coming in here every fortnight. You know Kenneth Anger is working here? Have you seen Anger’s movies?
GN: Oh. You should. He more or less invented the quote underground unquote movie years ago with some of the earliest gay movies made that were really good movies. Now he’s getting more involved in the work of Aleister Crowley.
(By this time it’s lunchtime and Joe heads off for the steakery. One of the directors is asked to follow with cash for the meal, as he’s tied up talking to the art man about the deadline for posters for Trash’s opening.
Then other members of the staff talk about the people they forgot to invite and talk to Joe on his 24-hour trip to London.)
Staff: Did we invite that guy who does the arts on Friday for the Standard? What’s his name? And how about Ray Connolly? Did we invite him? Damn.
Conversation with Joe. Starring Joe Dallasandro. With Peter Holmes, Jimmy Vaughan and staff, the Evening News. Introducing Variety. Cert ‘U’.
During its short existence, Gay News has come across many barriers — barriers of intolerance, ignorance and blind prejudice. It’s likely that many of you reading this have too. Hardly surprising, when one considers the amount of real information about homosexuals available to the average member of the public.
We cannot expect all to be well though until gayness is openly and freely discussed by the media (ie newspapers, television, etc), in schools and colleges, and anywhere else where knowledge and factual information should be available. All too often, the media, the medical profession, the church and all the rest, rely on age-old myths and suspect conclusions for their facts.
Subsequently it’s no wonder that the general public continues to be so much in the dark about the subject of homosexuality. Those of you who have come out to any degree will probably remember the shock and amazement of friends and relatives, when they discovered that someone they actually knew and/or loved, was one. Adding to the impact of your revelation was no doubt the confusion in their minds when they realised that the queer in their midst was completely unlike the stereo-typed caricature of a human being they had always expected a homosexual to be.
One of the reasons Gay News came into existence was so there would be an impartial mouth piece for the gay community, that would not only be accepted by the people it was named after, but hopefully to be also read by those who might decide it was time to enlighten themselves a little about one of the largest minorities in this country.
But even the best of ideals and intentions did not help us to easily overcome the social barriers of intolerance and the type of aggressive, unthinking prejudice known only too well by Oscar Wilde, or the man who recently went to prison for six months because of a furtive feel in a park with another consenting adult.
We at GN had to struggle and fight back, for we had a newspaper to regularly produce and after an initial period of suspicion etc, we found that people began to think a little more about their preconceived attitudes. Within a short time the many non-gay people we had to deal with started treating us exactly the same as anybody else.
That, unfortunately, was only part of the battle. W H Smith’s provided a means of ensuring that our early readership would be small, by imposing their hypocritical and old-fashioned moral standards on a newspaper that came into being in an age when men walked on the moon, doctors performed complex transplant operations and the whole world could possibly be destroyed by the pushing of a single button. They effectively blocked our chances of reaching a wide audience by refusing the handle any part of our distribution. This form of censorship is something that dear old Private Eye has been waffling about, in exaggerated accents, for some time.
We had no alternative but to set up our own distribution network, and while it is still somewhat limited, it is at least allowing us to reach five times as many people as we did with the first issue of Gay News.
The police have attempted to interfere with the news reporting of GN. Their action over one of our reporters taking photographs demonstrated the general maliciousness shown towards homosexuals. Our photographer was arrested and charged with obstruction, whilst he was trying to gather evidence about alleged police harrassment. This minor example of their hostile attitudes proved to be the first of many such incidents. Luckily for us, we now have the support of a number of people in the legal profession, as well as that of friendly Members of Parliament, who will come to our aid whenever we need them.
Another barrier set up to limit the potential and usefulness of Gay News was the almost total press silence about the paper. We didn’t kid ourselves that The Daily Telegraph, for instance, would run a two-page feature on us, but we did expect the supposedly free and impartial press to realise the significance of our publication. But hardly a word has appeared. Also, paid advertisements of ours have been refused by other newspapers and even ads quoting the opinions of Gay News have been declined, as we have reported in an earlier edition.
What the last few hundred words have been leading up to is that whilst the press and the majority of those working for it (and its supposed freedom) have frequently, if not totally, refused to report or comment on our existence, there have been a few brave and aware journalists who have not been afraid to do so. Many of them going beyond just that and advocating an end to the discrimination and intolerance usually displayed towards gay men and women.
One enlightened journalist is Alan Brien, who writes the Alan Brien’s Diary in the Sunday Times. Alan is not gay, or wasn’t the last time we met him, but he is aware of the present position of homosexuals in society and the many injustices they have to suffer. (To any reader thinking that he or she has never suffered as a result of being gay, we believe that it wouldn’t be difficult for you to find someone who has.)
From Alan’s column on Sunday 21 January, we reprint the following. We do this for a number of reasons. Firstly, to demonstrate that we are not alone in our struggle for social and legal equality.
Secondly, to show any heterosexual reader that it isn’t just gays who shout about discrimination etc. Thirdly, because we believe that it will give hope and encouragement to many gays who think that those demanding equality are fighting a losing battle. Fourthly, to prick the consciences of the many homosexuals who are journalists. And lastly, to express our thanks to Alan Brien, who has shown that he has the guts to express his convictions and opinions despite the social taboos and stigmas attached to the sexuality known to us as gay ness.
‘Wednesday: I thought Andy Warhol’s Trash was one of the best films I saw last year. But I thought most of his paintings and imitations of paintings were trashy, though they received glowing reviews from the posh critics. It is partly because of ambiguity in his achievement, the poppy-Cocteau effect of the charlatan genius, that I looked forward to seeing David Bailey’s portrait of him last night.
‘What disturbed me even more than the ban (I am certain we will see David Bailey’s programme eventually, probably mid-afternoon next Boxing Day, without a single protest being lodged) was the use of language describing it. I am accustomed to Lord Longford’s pottiness on pornography, But for the prisoner’s friend, the outlaw’s inlaw, who asks for Christian charity for murderers and torturers to object that here was a film which he understood, contained “reference to or sight of homosexuals and such like” is really shocking. And on the BBC Night Extra, the interviewer of Ross McWhirter lumped in “lesbians” with “obscenities” as if both would be equally likely to “offend against good taste or decency.”
‘Can people who use such terms of automatic abuse have ever knowingly seen a lesbian? Do they imagine she has hair on her chest, a brand on her forehead, and her knickers in her hand? Some of the best lesbians are my friends, and as pretty and feminine a lot of girls you wouldn’t expect to see in the Miss World contest. How can these objectors be sure they are not married to lesbians, or parents to them?
‘Once it was Communists whose appearance on our screen was banned because the sight would be so horrible that nice people would not want to invite them, even electronically, into their homes. But when Jimmy Reid actually appeared, without horns and a tail, he became a telly star overnight. If this is an example of Christian concern for the dignity of all God’s children, then I think I’ll apply for an injunction against Stars on Sunday.
‘Thursday: Access (the principle not the card) is one of the rights Mr Heath promised the public. TV has gone some ways so far to pussyfoot across this dangerous ground by permitting pre-selected outsiders to voice their opinions via the phone-in, or to appear in equally hand-picked groups and shout each other down in front of the cameras.
‘But a much more important restriction on the expression of unpopular views can be found in the newspaper business. Many papers refuse, even when paid for each line, to mention underground or dissenting publications. Gay News, the homosexual fortnightly, and Lunch, the Campaign For Homosexual Equality monthly, both find their ads refused. Are editors who pride themselves on the freedom of the Press aware of this?’
Tiptoe Through The Filing Cabinets
To change the subject completely, we have yet another appeal to make. Recently we acquired our first filing cabinet, but within a week possessing it, we find that it is inadequate to cope with our immediate requirements. And as the buying of office equipment is an event that rarely happens, owing to our limited budget, we appeal to anyone with one that is in good working order and is serving no useful purpose, to transfer it to the GN office. Incidentally, at the time of writing, we still have been unable to discover suitable premises to replace our present tiny office. So if you know of anything that is just waiting to be occupied by us, that has at least two rooms and is in Central London, please contact us immediately.
Gay News No 17 will be published and available from February 21. Till then, we hope this issue proves to be interesting, informative, entertaining and, dare we hope, controversial.
Gay News Editorial Collective
Late News From The Here We Are Again Dept.
Just in case it has escaped your notice, the egg on the front cover has now finally been scrambled. The logo that saw Gay News from issue one to issue 15 has gone to make room for more picture space on the front of the paper. Egg-lovers will be delighted to know that Gay News can supply back-dates of the paper, complete with the old logo. Just write and send us the cash.
And, whilst we’ll go on without egg on our face, the familiar Gay News lettering logo will stay the same. We hope you think it’s an improvement.
Following the Editorial comments about our financial difficulties in GN14, there has been a growing response to our appeal for positive help. In the last issue we printed, under the headline Please And Thanks, a list of those who have contributed to making sure that Gay News carries on being regularly published and that the paper keeps to the standards we have set ourselves.
In this edition we reprint that list, adding to it the many other donations, large and small, that we have received since. We apologise to any people whose names do not appear but have all the same sent us something. Please get in touch and remind us.
The amount of money required was an immediate £500, plus a further £1500 to guarantee our continued existence. If we can gather in this capital, it will mean in a matter of months, that we will be able to stand on our own feet, and as we said in the last issue, make appeals such as this a thing of the past.
Your donations and the interest you have shown in our financial problems give us at Gay News a vigorous determination to make sure that the paper carries on happening in the future. So please accept our most sincere thanks and love for helping to give us the chance to keep on publishing this country’s first independent national newspaper for all gay men and women.
Once again we leave you to calculate how much we have received so far, and how short it is of the amount we need. Of course, we have totalled the list. Why don’t you?
D and G, London
David, South London
Antique Dealer, London
Milic of Le Faune
A F B
Henry, West Worthing
Customers of Le Faune
National Federation of Homophile Organisations
Robert of Pluckley
Tony & Eric, London NW6
CHE (London) 6 month loan
Friend, 3 month loan
Scottish Minorities Group
Peter, London SW7
G & J, Rochester
Arthur & Henry
Anonymous, (given at Coleherne)
Richard, London SW11
And thanks to George for paying for the hire of our first electric typewriter for six months.
About this integration bit — homosexuals and straight society scene. The idea needs turning inside out. Heterosexuals should integrate into homosexual society — not the other way round. I am not saying the whole of straight society should integrate for obvious reasons of dispersing the minority society – just little bundles of het individuals.
Homosexuals are already integrated into society within the personal limitations we all know about.
When declared straights and declared gays get together in discussion groups or larger forums, everyone expounds on the similarities. The more reasoned the discussion the wider the separation. No matter whether the topic is garden committees, ornithology or the price of wheat, – the ONE AND ONLY THING that heterosexuals want to know – balk at – think about is HOMOSEX.
Don’t let’s mess about – this is and always will be the great divider. I can sense the straights’ suspended anticipation until sex is mentioned. When it arises their conditioning scatters in chaotic internal confusion. Their prejudices boil up to the surface and retreat in humourless disorder without leaving the room. Those who wish genuinely to understand gays, in reality wish to understand how and WHY physical love with someone of the same sex.
It is their obsession, not ours. It can never be said enough. There won’t be any integration ever, until this hangup is realised and acknowledged and said by both gays and straights. When Jews or blacks – to use the tired old minority bit – declare themselves in society the argument is usually on religious, ethnic and social discrimination – BUT when a Jewish or black homosexual declare themselves, it’s their sex they are forced to defend. Have any of us heard a gay person ask of a straight “What exactly do you do?” Why don’t we ask? Because we already know and aren’t interested. If we don’t know in detail, we can find out from any movie, play or book. Obviously one of the ways for heterosexual integration is that homosexual films, plays and books are as commonplace as heterosexual ones.
Does any heterosexual have to define or defend their sexuality in public? Does any heterosexual have to make a demonstration about kissing in public, thereby being unnaturally aggressive? Or suppress all need to, in order to pass as a pseud-gay? Can there ever be easy male chat about sex between gay and straight men? To a great many gay men cunt is repellant and the female body distasteful. The straight male rarely appreciates enthusiastic descriptions of blowing and rimming and fellation with a fella. Can you see a straight father discussing children’s upbringing with male-pairbond-parents in the natural way of things? Few gay women will take a straight woman’s description, for any length of time, of being screwed by her old man, without nightmarish, incomprehension as to why the het she puts up with it; or be deeply disturbed it could happen to their partners.
Unbothered by the Balls and Breasts Brigade, gay minds and energy can and do apply themselves to just about anything in society.
What is homosexual society? First of all it is not a child-based society, although there are homosexual parents with children within it.
Secondly there is a far greater dependence and need for social contact with adults which makes for the pubs and bars scene being so essentially gay. Thirdly the conversation content and language is different and distinctive, and the humour is full of visual images and send-up. Fourthly the gender roles between male and female, female and female, male and male gays, bear no relation to the stereotyped images straight society believes to be true. Nor is there any similarity in role-playing to the male and female straight stereotypes.
Unable to be gay by day, the social scene is heaviest in the evenings and at weekends, outside work and the family if it is straight. Holidays are spent in predominantly gay places and the behaviour patterns remain the same, no matter the country or nationality.
Were heterosexuals to stand out as freaks in a gay community, they would do one of two things: find a straight society in which they could be themselves, or become pseud-gays. Until a heterosexual experiences the lack of signals being recognised and/or being acknowledged by the opposite sex because they are gay, they can never begin to understand the isolation within society which is experienced every day as a part of a gay’s life in straight society.
Until the sexual divide disappears, we are living in fairy tales about integration. Social, intellectual and moral grounds are no substitute. In the present male-structured society the lesbian does have the edge over queens. She and the straight fellas have a big thing in common – they both go for girls!