Here We Are Again

In GN15 we said that there had been a decline in the amount of correspondence we were receiving from you. This is no longer the case, as your letters are once again coming in fast and furious. Keep them rolling in. We consider the Your Letters column to be a particularly important part of the paper, as it gives you a chance to air your opinions and communicate your ideas to the paper’s readership — the largest of any gay paper or magazine currently publishing in this country.

Safety In Anonymity

Whilst on the subject of letters, we cannot help but notice how only a minority of you are willing to have your names published with your correspondence. It is of course up to you whether or not your name appears in print, but we see the reason why a large majority of you prefer to remain anonymous, apart from just Christian names, or to use a pseudonym as a good example of the pressures homosexuals are still subjected to or subject themselves to. And remember, the 1967 Sexual Offences Act supposedly removed the threat of blackmail and the unjustifiable harrassment of homosexuals.

Many gays claim that there is no discrimination or prejudice against them, but if that is true, why are so many people reluctant to have their names appear at the bottom of their letters. It is not up to us to preach or moralise about whether you should or not, but we do have opinions like anyone else, and the impression we get is that people are still generally wary of the society they are part of, and as a result choose to hide behind a safe but passive cloak of anonymity.

Isn’t one answer to this problem to work hard for a Sexual Discrimination Bill to be introduced into Parliament, similar to the Race Relations Act. We would very much like to hear from you on these last two points, as the former affects you far more than us.

A Voice From The Right

In our last issue a reader suggested in the letters column that we should give Martin Stafford (the notorious reactionary executive committee member of CHE) a chance to express his right wing views.

We welcome this suggestion, as the pages of GN will always be open to all forms of opinion, whether they be right, left, liberal or otherwise. We believe it is the only fair way of allowing everyone to have their say, without one particular viewpoint dominating our pages. It is likely we will often disagree with what contributors are saying, but it is not up to us to suppress ideas and convictions, even unpopular ones. The readers of GN will make up their own minds, from the arguments presented to them.

As Mr Stafford’s action concerning Gay News has been of a rather negative nature in the past, we hope that this may stir him to put pen to paper and communicate on a more positive level, which, incidentally, we feel he is capable of if given the chance. The ball is in your court, Mr Stafford.

Trouble In The South

We apologise to readers in the Portsmouth/ Southampton area who may be experiencing some difficulty in obtaining our recent issues. A number of outlets are no longer willing to handle the paper, and are not prepared to say why, despite the fact that most of them sold all the copies of GN delivered to them.

On information received from usually reliable sources, we have learnt that pressure has been put on these retail outlets by a person well known in that area, who has considerable interests in a gay advertising pamphlet that is circulated around the country. It is depressing to find out that someone whose only concern is the exploitation of the ‘gay market’ feels it necessary to interfere with the distribution of a newspaper whose primary interest is not a commercial one and whose aim is to try and be a valuable contribution to society.

For legal reasons we cannot at this stage name the party involved, but we warn them that GN will not tolerate their recent actions, nor, we believe, will our readership, especially as the only thought of that party is to fatten their bank balance at the expense of the gay community. Wilful exploitation of gays by the worst forms of commercialism, must become a thing of the past, and if it will help to expose shoddy enterprises for what they are, we will do so.

If you are one of the people who now find it a problem to buy gay News, please support us by taking out a subscription or else insisting to the managers/owners of places that used to handle GN that they recommence stocking it.

Bad Debtors

Exploitation of gays has been with us for some time, and the situation we have just mentioned is one example. Another form this takes, which we are personally experiencing, is the way in which certain people are willing to sell Gay News, but are reluctant to pay us for copies they have sold. A one-time prominent London member of the largest gay organisation in Britain, is at this time witholding payment. And he is not alone. If those people cannot meet their responsibilities very soon we shall have no alternative but to publish a list of bad debtors. As many of you know the future of the paper has been on shaky ground during the past few weeks, when the gathering of funds has been of prime importance. Is it right then that a few individuals should make a personal profit by abusing the trust placed in them. A difficult problem but one which must be solved for the good of all of us.

A New Location

If all goes well in the next month, we should be moving to new premises, which are considerably larger than our present ‘home’. It will be sad to leave Paddington, but, as we have said many times before, we have more than outgrown our present location to the extent that it is badly interfering with our efficiency and expansion. At the time of writing we are still unsure of exactly what our new address will be, although it almost certainly will be in West London. So please carry on phoning and mailing to London Street until we inform you otherwise.

Office Equipment

When we do finally move, we will be much in need of office equipment such as desks, chairs, shelving, filing cabinets, etc. If any of you have anything you think may be of use, please get in touch immediately, so we can effectively plan ahead.

A New Voice On The Phone

Our advertisement in GN15, and an ad in Time Out, effectively provided us with a much needed Office Manager. The new voice on the phone is Mike Mason, who is already proving to be an indispensible member of the team that brings you Gay News every fortnight.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the other applicants, and hope that there is no ill feeling. You were all very fine people but as it turned out Mike’s qualifications and organisational ability brought him out on top.

Mail Order

As a response to the many requests from you, we have decided that within the next few editions we will be offering you the chance to take advantage of our Mail Order service. We intend to provide a prompt, efficient and inexpensive way of purchasing gay literature, etc, that you may have difficulty in obtaining elsewhere. The leading publishers in Great Britain, and eventually those in other countries, will be helping us to make this the most comprehensive and reliable way of getting important and much sought after books and magazines quickly to you, without charging the earth for the service. Further announcements about this new venture will appear in the paper soon.


Hope you are finding our ‘egg-less’ front covers acceptable. It gives our designer far more scope to work in, and it also means our covers will become progressively more eye-catching and exciting. Further design changes will be taking place soon, all of which should contribute to a greatly improved and far more readable GN.

Thanks to you we seem to be selling more copies of the paper with each new edition that comes out. We still have not reached the circulation figures which will keep our heads well above water, but if our rate of growth continues it won’t be too long. We just need your continued support.

Hope you are getting along alright with this copy of Gay News. The next edition, No 18, will be published on and available from 7th March. Deadlines for that issue are Friday 23rd February for copy, letters etc, and the morning of Tuesday 27th February for advertisements.

Please And Thanks – A Reprise

In GN 15 and 16 we have carried a list of all the donations (and loans) received by us since we informed you of our financial difficulties.

We are pleased to announce that our immediate problems have been solved by your generous response. But we are still desperately in need of capital to make sure our recent troubles don’t reappear again in a month or two’s time. Also, if Gay News is ever going to be more than just a sixteen page fortnightly, we must expand and improve.

We have many plans for the future besides raising the standard and increasing the size of GN. Some of you have heard us talk about them, whilst many others can easily guess at what some of our aims are by taking a long, hard look at what is called the ‘gay scene’ and drawing their own conclusions about what is missing and sorely needed. When we finally secure larger premises we intend to regularly invite you, the readers, to meet with us to discuss the paper and the directions it should or should not be taking as well as talking about the other projects we have in mind.

To realise any of these aims, there must be funds readily available, especially in the next few months as the paper struggles to become completely self-sufficient. We must appeal to your help to reach the amounts we need. They were £500 immediately, with a further £1500 to put us on a firm financial footing. As you can see from the figures at the end of this piece, the first amount has been reached, but we are still a long way from reaching the second. May we suggest that you can help in more ways than just by sending us cash. Loans and guarantees for a bank overdraft are also a sound and practical way of providing financial stability. We can offer what assets we possess at this time as security. Any people interested in offering assistance in this way are most welcome to inspect our books before coming to any decisions.

Finally we would like to express our sincerest gratitude to those of you who have contributed to our Please and Thanks appeal. Your loyalty and faith is much appreciated.

Donations received up to 1/2/73 355.40
Loans 125.00
Donations for electric typewriter 54.00
Donations received from 2/2/73:
Tony, Weybridge 1.80
Mike, Harpenden 2.70
Waler, Hawick 1.00
David, London 7.00
Bill, Hull 2.00
Tony, London EC3 0.50
Terry, London SW4 5.00
Leeds University Gay Lib Soc 3.83
Raymond, Boston (for electric typewriter fund) 25.00
Edward, House of Commons 23.50
Anon, London 0.50
David, Birmingham 2.00
Brian, Heanor 1.00
Peter, London EC2 2.00
Dieter, Nottingham 2.00
Tony, London N4 1.00
Ronald, Wantage 2.00
Mary, London SW3 1.00
Paul, London SW6 2.00
Graham, Wrexham 1.00
John, Leeds 1.80
Micheal, Bromely 7.70
TOTAL £630.73


Edinburgh, Thursday 8 March 1973.

Speakers include Prof Morris Carstairs, Principal-Designate of York University; Prof John Gagnon, formerly of the Kinsey Institute; Nicholas Fairbairn, QC; Denis Lemon & Glenys Parry of Gay News Collective; and major spokesmen/women from the Church, Psychiatry and Sexual Liberation. One day event culminating in a disco at Heriot-Watt University. Check with Mike 031-225 4395 for crash pads and other details.