You probably have read in your papers of the dancing in the streets and the happy merry-making in the vicinity of London Street, Paddington, once the editorial collective of Gay News finally managed to secure larger premises. If you somehow missed hearing about this major event, here are the up-to-date details.
Earls Court Here We Come
After months of searching, inquiring and appealing, we found suitable accommodation in London’s fashionable Earls Court district. The new offices consist of two large rooms, each at least three times the size of our present location at Paddington. There is also a garden, which will no doubt be put to such good use as growing green carnations. One of the offices also incorporates a small kitchen unit. The new address and telephone number of GN will appear in bold type at the end of this piece.
From now on, please send all correspondence, information, articles, box number replies and enquiries to our new address. Our old telephone number will still be operating for a while but we suggest that you ring the new number. We intend to keep the original office, even if we haven’t yet decided to what use we are going to put it. Any of you intending to visit GN should come along to our new address, where you will always be most welcome, although we can’t guarantee how much attention we can give you.
Incidentally, the new premises and the retaining of the Paddington office, are just inside the budget we have allowed ourselves.
The acquiring of our new offices has been a somewhat exhausting and depressing experience. Admittedly our bank were helpful within certain limits. Also, the offer from a friendly individual to provide a guarantee for a bank loan we needed to obtain premises we were at one time considering taking, was most generous and greatly encouraging. But that particular place eventually proved to be way beyond the amount budgeted for accommodation.
More often than not we have come up against hostility and discrimination when we have approached estate agents and landlords of vacant property. In the few days preceeding the acquisition of the Earls Court offices, we had lost the opportunity of two ideal locations, purely and simply because we happened to be producing a newspaper that aimed at gay men and women. A comment from one of the people we saw concerning a certain property, delivered in a most agitated manner, was: “Gay News! You mean it’s for QUEERS?”
The other possible landlord, after what we supposed to be a re-thinking of the meaning of the words “gay news” took only a minute or two to come to the no-argument decision of “NO”, after demanding to see a copy of GN.
We have tried to be objective in interpreting the negative responses we have come across. Possible paranoia and over-reacting on our part to likely discriminatory situations have been taken into account, but the only general conclusions we can honestly come to, are that through being unwilling to conceal the true nature of GN and our own gayness, we have, in the majority of instances, come up against the same ignorant, insufferable prejudices and unfounded fears that gays of both sexes have had the misfortune to endure throughout recorded history.
Gay News intends to seriously investigate the problems gays may encounter in finding accommodation, including local council flats and houses, or in obtaining mortgages. More on this subject in future issues. For now, you could write to us, informing us of any discrimination you have encountered in relation to housing.
Number one David Bowie fan and GN news editor Peter Holmes has now left the paper. Peter has parted company with us for personal reasons.
In the past he has not only contributed to the growth of GN, but has also submitted news and features to Time Out and the new pop/movie magazine Screen ’n’ Heard.
We wish Peter much success in the future. GN won’t be quite the same without him.
In another part of this issue you will see an advertisement for someone to replace the large gap left in our news department by Peter’s departure.
Orange or Lemon
The last issue, for reasons yet to be explained by our printer, came out in two different colours, lemon and orange. The one that we wanted was the latter, but these things happen. Unfortunately we considered the lemon covers (no offence Denis) to be rather dull. It looks as if the occurence will be filed away in our insoluble problems department.
Issue no 19 of GN will be published and available from 21st March. Deadlines for that edition are Friday 9th March for copy, letters, etc and the morning of Tuesday 13th March for advertisements.
FOOTNOTE: Please note that our new address is Gay News, Basement, 34d Redcliffe Square, London SW10. The telephone number is 01-01-373 0586.