Kookery Klub

Here’s a little recipe my great-aunt Cynthia used to use. It’s now called Fong no-fat fruit cake, and so easy to make. So all you big butch things in Wellington boots or pin-stripe suits, drop whoever you’re doing and rush into the kitchen and don your see-through pinny or rubber mac and let’s go.

What’s needed:

1lb Mixed Fruit (sultanas and raisins)
1 cupful soft brown sugar
1 cupful cold tea (strained)
2 cupfuls S.R. flour.
1 egg.

Fling the mixed fruit, brown sugar and cold tea into a bowl and leave to soak over-night/24 hours. Next, add a beaten egg and mix in the flour. Put the mixture into a well-greased … wait for it … baking tin – one for baking bread is ideal.

Now place in the oven at gas mark 3 or 4 — 325°—350°F for about 1½ hours. Then place on an airing tray and leave till you need it! One important thing, always use the same cup.

So my loves, all you dills and dolls, don’t worry about your fragile shapes as it is nonfattening. Yummy yummy.

PS If this recipe is received with wild jubilant shouts, then I will endeavour to blackmail my Aunty Cynthia for more mouth-watering goodies.

Who’s Kidding Who: Ep. 3 – Star Turns

LONDON: The British press is taking great trouble to point out that popular musical entertainers are not gay.

Ray Connolly interviewed David Bowie, Brixton’s answer to Garbo — at least inasmuch as he won’t give interviews, according to his Mainman organisation. So Connolly’s interview with David Bowie appeared in the Evening Standard making the now obligatory statement that David is not a homosexual.

Mr Connolly, known for his accuracy, ascribed to David and his wife Angela a daughter aged 18 months called Zowie – last heard of as a son in Newsweek.

Photograph: Allan Warren, Camera Press London
Next day Tony Palmer, the former pop-writer got it on for the mums and gave us the low-down on Liberace’s life.

Mr Palmer, who just happened to mention that he’s spent the last four months making a documentary about Mr Liberace – a property he obviously has an interest in selling – confided to readers of The Observer “Contrary to gossip, he is not lonely nor oppressed by his mother. His taste is controlled, even demure … He is not a homosexual …”

Above and around Mr Palmer’s effusions about Liberace’s ‘demure’ taste were pictures of Liberace’s chintz and tinsel Hollywood home, with the Star posing just off centre in electric blue lounging clothes.

Young Hustlers Upset School Chiefs

COLUMBUS: Here in Georgia, homosexuality and gay hustling in this city’s 40,000-student public school system, has educators and city bosses “worried” and “concerned”. One local school cites the case of ‘Johnny Smith’, a 13-year-old, as an example of the ‘problem’.

The school’s head calls Johnny a “discipline problem” who has already been held back a year in school and, the head says, Johnny has a juvenile court record.

“They Have Nice Houses”

The school’s head called Johnny into his office. The boy is small and blonde. He was dirty because he’d just finished a game of basketball on the school play-ground.

Johnny said he first “went down to the church” with his older brothers and some other boys.

“You just sit down by the church, and men come by and pick you up and they take you to their houses,” he said. “Some men are old, some young … they have nice houses.”

The school head said he first became aware of the kid-hustlers last year when he was leaving services at the downtown church on a week-night.

I came out of the church and I met one of my students,” he told this reporter. “He was pretty far away from home. I knew that corner. There’s only one reason that people would be down there.”

He said that the church was in the area of Twelfth Street between Sixth Avenue and Second Avenue. This section is also the site of the bus depot where soldiers from nearby Fort Benning arrive for a night on the town.

He said: “I called the boy into my office the next morning, and he admitted to me that he and other students nad been going down there for some time.”

$25 A Night

The school head went on incredulously to say that the boys later told him they could make between five dollars and 25 dollars a night by standing on the corner by the church and waiting to be picked up by gays.

The school head who told the boys’ parents also took two of them down to the police station to see detectives.

He reported “The parents’ reactions ranged from ‘there’s nothing I can do about it’ to ‘I can’t believe my son would do such a thing.”

He said the police were “very cooperative and tried to help. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to make an arrest in a case of this type.”

Money for Mum

Johnny spoke frankly and matter-of-factly.

The boy said he would often earn 25 dollars from a man if he would “do right”.

“I gave some of the money to momma,” he said.

An Open Letter to the Company of Nine – CHE’s poetry Group

The background to this letter (published below) is as follows. CHE’s successful poetry group, called The Company Of Nine, is producing a volume of its members’ poetry. 30 contributors submitted 104 poems from which 33 were selected, including two by Laurence Collinson. Laurence later received a note from the editor of the volume asking whether Laurence wished to publish under a pseudonym. “So far I have assumed that as this is to be an avowedly CHE publication the poets will wish to have their identities concealed,” wrote the editor. Expressing surprise at this, Laurence received a second letter that included this comment: “Although the booklet is to be a CHE publication, there can be no guarantee that it will be seen only by CHE eyes, which means that for some to be published in it under their own names would not be brave but downright stupid. Second, some of our contributors may wish to avoid publicity through doubts about the worth of their work.”

30 Andrewes House,
Barbican,
London EC2Y 8AX

31 January, 1973.

Dear …,

I was more shocked by your second letter than your first. You give ‘two points to remember’ as reasons that contributors to the CHE poetry anthology might wish to publish under a pseudonym.

(1) The booklet might be seen by other than CHE eyes, and consequently, for some to be published in it under their own names ‘would not be brave, but downright stupid’.

(2) Some contributors may not wish publicity because of ‘doubts about the worth of their work’.

Neither of these reasons seem to me to be rational or valid. Firstly, contributors who wish to remain ‘in the closet’ should not have submitted material to a booklet that is ostensibly part of a CAMPAIGN. (Remember: CHE means Campaign for Homosexual Equality?) There are plenty of ‘straight’ poetry journals wherein one may be published without having to suffer the ordeal of guilt by association; let these courageous poets submit their creations there! Really, what respect must these people have for the Campaign, for themselves, and for their own homosexuality that they, must engage in such self-oppression!

Secondly, writers who doubt the ‘worth of their work’ don’t usually submit that work for publication!

I have decided to protest against this typical CHE furtiveness by (a) withdrawing my poems from this anthology – will you please see that this is done; and (b) publishing this as an open letter in an appropriate journal.

Laurence Collinson

Women Demand Human Rights

LONDON: Militancy isn’t a male prerogative. And women took to the streets in London to demand their rights as Tory MPs talked the Womens Rights Bill into the ground. Next day the CHE women were having their national conference in Manchester.

The Women’s Rights demonstrators were meeting at Caxton Hall and marching on the House of Commons bearing flaming torches.

Women hissed and jeered from the packed galleries of the House of Commons as Martin Maddon, the Tory MP from Hove talked the Bill out.

The Bill, a private member’s Bill (and therefore only discussed on Friday afternoons) has been tabled by Mr Will Hamilton, the Labour MP for Fife. It demands an end to lower wages for women and the introduction of equal opportunity for women in industry.

Women marching from the House of Commons to 10 Downing Street after the Anti Discrimination Bill had been “talked out”. Photographs: Serena Wadham

But it doesn’t go far enough. Mrs Ethel Chipchase, vice-chairman of the Trade Union Congress’s women’s advisory committee complains it’s a bill without teeth.

May Hobbs of the Night Cleanersn Union calling for action at Caxton Hall.

The Bill aims at making it illegal to advertise for an exmployee of either sex, just as it’s illegal now to advertise for someone who is or is not a certain colour.

The Caxton Hall rally supporting the Bill featured May Hobbs of the Night Cleaner’s Union and Audrey Wise, the Labour candidate for Coventry.

May Hobbs said once the Bill finally became law – after Martin Maddon has been persuaded to stop his bloody-minded histrionics – women’s equality will have to go on evolving and not become frozen by the law.

Audrey Wise warned: “Don’t be misled into thinking that equality is an abstraction: we don’t want all the disadvantages men already have.”

Many of the keenest supporters of the Bill went to Manchester the next day for CHE’s conference for gay women.

ED: We tried to get a more exciting picture of the Women’s Rights demonstration, but the clerical staff belonging to NATSOPA, one of the print unions, was on strike, and despite our having ordered a photograph, it couldn’t be printed for us. We’d like to thank Time Out and Angela Phillips, the photographer, for letting us use their picture of the rally.

No Recognition At Queen’s

BELFAST: Students lobbying for law reform to make gay sex legal in Northern Ireland have been denied official recognition by Queen’s University Academic Council, because of possible legal repercussions.

The Gay Liberation Society which has been active on the university campus for the last year, exists to fight social prejudice against homosexuals and to lobby for a change in the laws of 1885 and 1861, which still apply in the province, as the 1967 Sexual Offences Act applied only to England and Wales.

Equality With England

The Gay Liberation Society wants equality with English gays. It points out that the law in its present state in Northern Ireland – and Scotland for that matter – exposed homosexuals to blackmail and legal harrassment for actions which were their own affair.

The university’s academic council turned the society’s plea for official recognition down flat and said the society would have to get legal advice before reapplying for recognition.

Meanwhile the society was going ahead with its plans to stage a ‘gay play’ at the university.

The play, Find Your Own Way Home, by television playwright John Hopkins, was to be staged jointly by the Gay Liberation Society and the university’s dramatic society.

Belfast’s Sunday News called it “the most sexually explicit (play) ever to be staged in the Province.”

Deep Blue Air

The play deals with the break-up of a marriage when the husband leaves to live with his gay lover.

The Sunday News confided: “Its language turns the air a very deep blue…

“But director Gwen Williams, a graduate in English, is not worried about possible protests.

“The play is a serious exploration of homosexual relationships,” she said, “and though the language is very strong, I think it’s justified.

“It was obviously written to combat prejudice against homosexuals, hence the cooperation of Gay Lib. Homosexuals are still hampered in Ulster by outdated social attitudes and by legislation, but I think Ulster people are mature enough to take this type of play, If protesters try to stop the production we shall make it into a club performance.”

Enthusiastic About Role

Arts student Andrew Hinds plays the husband’s lover, Julian, and he’s enthusiastic about this role, during which he has his shirt ripped off him by another of the play’s gay characters.

In one scene he describes his casual sex encounters in parks and cottages using what the Sunday News was moved to call ‘X certificate terms’.

Andrew said: “In the play, the husband leaves his wife, Jackie, for me. She thinks he’s left her for another woman when she finds letters to him signed ‘Julie’. It is only when she meets me that she realises that ‘Julie’ is, in fact a man called Julian. When that strikes home she is physically sick on stage.

But Andrew does not object to the ‘bad language’ in the play. “It’s about time this kind of language, which all young people use, got on to the stage; and realism would have suffered if it had been omitted.

Refreshing Radicalism

The first National Women’s Conference on Homosexuality was organised by Glenys Parry and Liz Stanley, CHE Executive Committee members at the end of January in Manchester University. Two hundred women of all sexes came from as far afield as Scotland to Southampton, Wales to Whitby and points in between.

The morning was spent in area reports, all of which repeated the depressing lack of women in CHE, GLF and women’s groups. The causes were brooded upon; possible hostility from men … fear of meetings … lack of personal welcome-warmth … fear of being recognised as gay in a small community … partner hunting which, when successful, deprived the group of the pair who settled into a replica of straight marriage.

In the afternoon, we broke up into small groups and tangled with five broad areas:
(1) Problems of married gay and bisexual women; the children of gay parents.
(2) Coming to terms with one’s own homosexuality; relating to each other and gay men; relationships to heterosexuals.
(3) Where gay women can go for help; specific problems relating to the caring professions.
(4) Women’s Lib, Radical Feminism and their relationship to the gay women’s struggle.
(5) The problems of isolated gay women in provincial towns.

Group 1 said: that gay/bisexual wives were stuck with their husbands for financial reasons. The social security alternative was a hand to mouth existence. Bisexuality isn’t the good thing people think it is. One looks into the future … one asks what is going to happen … Am I going one way or the other? Gays should investigate alternative life-styles, such as communes and pool resources of cash and childcare, but lesbians weren’t enough together as a gay movement to make this effective.

Group 2 said: there wasn’t a precise age at which one came to terms with homosexuality. Some never did. The young, particularly, have suicidal tendencies. Some believed that they were physically or mentally maladjusted. All feared mixing with men, whether gay or straight. Mixing in CHE groups would do plenty to resolve this.

Group 3 said: those in the group who had sought help from doctors/priests/psychiatrists had been lucky. All were sympathetic. The group was aware this wasn’t typical. Citizens Advice Bureaux, Samaritans and social services must be informed about local CHE/GLF groups and Friend.

Group 4 said: gay women live in a counter society … live against the grain of society … outside the nuclear family … so are radical. Essential to educate Women’s Lib out of fear of the stereotype aggressive lesbian. Priority action should be taken from the outside on behalf of gay women teachers who had an appalling oppression of job risk, not from pupils, but from their colleagues and superiors. Demand compulsory homosex-education in schools.

Group 5 said: National CHE should put their publicity weight behind local groups to use local radio, TV, papers and posters. Provincial groups had difficulty in keeping together because of wide spread areas. Convenors must be vigilant about continual contact. Pre-meetings contact with a new member should be in pairs. A one-to-one scene caused a shy lesbian to suspect a pick-up.

Whither women and CHE rounded off the session. Those there, were pro-bono CHE, but acknowledged its male image put lesbians off. Until there was an equal number of women to men in CHE, it would be ineffective in representing homosexuals.

Judging by the state of rapport at the end of the session and during the disco, the more National Women’s Conferences the better. This ’ere cockney was much enriched by exposure to out-of-London lesbians. CHE took on a larger dimension of honest-to-guts discussion about the realities to be faced and the resolve to overcome them brought refreshing radicalism to the usual staid stag socialising that bedevils London CHE groups.

St. Andrews Liberated

EDINBURGH: In January, St Andrews was liberated. Well, they tried hard, liberation week lasted from the 10th to the 17th and got a lot of straight media coverage for its women’s lib street theatre.

Sunday was best. A seminar on sexual liberation! Danny Mullen, Jim Halcrow and Alaister Davidson were there to represent the gay scene, Danny is the new chairman of SMG.

SMG are doing a lot of righteous work up there, but Danny came on saying there wasn’t and never had been a GLF group in Scotland. But who was groovin’ at their Cobweb Dance on the 26th January?

Some of us don’t worry over much about chairmen and committees, but in public, from a major spokesman, let’s see some solidarity. When SMG are pushing a homosexual law reform bill, let’s not see it knocked in public by the chairman of SMG. Danny didn’t mention that bill until a guy in the audience prompted him. He then said that he had a lot of reservations about it.

Solidarity in the gay movement comes before factionalism. No one gives a damn how many legal niceties or official pecking orders there may be – just get on with it.

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.

Egg-less

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
534.40
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