Here We Are Again

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.

Discrimination?

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.

Departures

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.

Dates

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.

Watch Your Image

A smart businessman we know has taken to dangling a small handbag on his wrist, and he says it’s much better than having his pockets stuffed with diaries and cheque books and things. The only thing is that his cigar consumption has gone up: “With a camp thing like this you need a cigar on all the time to show you’re straight”.

ED: What about non-smokers who dangle chintzy handbags from their ever so “straight” wrists? Answers on a postcard to Atticus on The Sunday Times, who provided us with this little piece of nonsense.

Shortage Of Space

We’re finding that the personal ads are taking up too much space, and as we are still only 16 pages, this is becoming a problem, if you can’t restrict your ads to 30 words, we will be obliged to take one of two alternatives.

Either to cut ads exceeding 30 words, or to charge a higher rate per word if you go past this limit. We’re sorry to have to be so strict about this, but we are a newspaper, and not solely a contact magazine. When Gay News is able to expand to 20 pages, we will review the situation. Thank you, in anticipation of your co-operation.

The David Holbrook Story Ad Nauseum

Mr Holbrook is at it again. He has written to The Telegraph from his lovely home in Lustleight, on school sex education.

He is concerned about Gay Liberation taking part in sex education lessons in schools on ‘problems of sexual perversions.’

He suggests that these vile and ‘dangerous’ lectures will be illustrated, and allow the kids to watch ‘others in perverted sexual acts’ (by film presumably). He states that it is ‘very sick to sit and watch others in sexual acts or perverted sexual acts.’ It very probably is. Do the present sex education classes have this as part of the syllabus? Why then should information on homosexuality. His implication that it is designed to corrupt is not exactly proven.

The purpose of these classes is not for proselytising. They are to reassure and to present the subject not as abhorrent and something to be repressed, causing hang-ups, breakdowns and endless needless suffering, but as something to be accepted by both homo- and heterosexuals as one of the facts of life.

Perhaps it is too much to hope that Mr Holbrook will ever overcome his own hangups and stop the endless steam of bigotted letters to newspapers who should know better than to publish them.

Please & Thanks – A Reminder

Our appeal for donations and loans, first printed in GN14 and repeated in subsequent issues, has brought a most encouraging and optimistic response. As regular readers of this paper know, we needed to raise £500 immediately at the beginning of January to ensure GN’s publication during the first two months of this year. This we have received, and we are extremely grateful for the positive action on the part of those who sent in donations etc.

We also stated that we needed a further £1500 in addition to the £500 already mentioned, to enable Gay News to be financially sound during the next few months, until we are finally able to stand on our own feet completely.

From the list of figures printed at the end of this piece, you will see that to date we have only managed to obtain a portion of the amount we were hoping to raise. In this issue you will read that we have secured larger, more adequate premises, but at present we are without the funds to furnish the offices with the equipment we desperately need to operate efficiently If you still feel that GN is a venture worth supporting, your donations will be most welcome. May we remind you that loans or guarantees for bank loans are also of much value to us, as is any office furniture etc you may not be putting to good use.

In conclusion, we sincerely thank those of you who have so far contributed to our Please & Thanks appeal. We hope that your support has been repaid by the continued publication of Europe’s only independent, fortnightly newspaper for gays of all sexes.

Donations & loans received up to 14/2/73 630.73
Donations received from 2/2/73:
Mike, London SW18 1.00
David, Hexham 1.00
G W, Teddington 1.00
Colin, Hornsey 1.00
Eric, London 2.00
Dave, Cockermouth 1.00
David, Newcastle 1.00
Mike & John, Dalston 2.00
Anon, Paris (10Fr) 0.80
Barry, Birmingham 3.30
Eric, Leeds 2.00
Brian, London SW10 1.00
Brian, Heanor 1.00
TOTAL £647.83