Personal Opinion

From A Reader

Hooray for Sappho! She’s absolutely right when she says that it is the straights and not the gays who are obsessed with sex. (Integrate the Straights GN16). Of course they are – they’re immersed in the subject throughout almost every waking moment, from the subtle allusions of television commercials to the blatant come hither of the naked lovelies at the Motor Show. How could any ordinary man avoid being engrossed in sex, when the advertising industry has connected practically every human activity with some sly half promise of a successful fuck?

I’ve certainly found from my own experience that if I make friends with a straight man – at work, say – and after a while I tell him that I’m gay, his very first question will inevitably be whether I fancy him or not. (Even if I don’t I usually say yes, because people who are friendly enough not to be repelled by the idea often find it highly flattering.)

The repulsion which most heterosexuals feel for most homosexuals, springs from two causes. Firstly, boys and girls are brought up to feel that the sex act itself, even when it involves one standard boy and one stadard girl in the standard missionary position, is somehow disgusting. Secondly, it is contantly drummed into everybody that any diviation from the norm – in any field — is a thing to be feared. Given this basis, it’s quite understandable that the ordinary person’s initial reaction to homosexuality is one of revulsion and terror.

Elsewhere in the same issue, Philip Conn suggests that the way to rid ourselves of the resulting oppression is to build our own culture, to build a sort of image or stereotype of the homosexual which will replace in people’s minds the current highly inaccurate and damaging one. But, to me, this would be simply changing the label on the same old pigeon hole. I don’t want to be “one of those” whether the “those” in question are nice people or nasty ones. This idea of classifying others – deciding how they will think or feel on the sole basis of which stereotype they must resemble, ie, how they dress or whom they love — is the very thing which has led to the current state of affairs, and there’s really very little point in starting the whole process all over again in a different direction. Philip’s new culture would offer no more help than Society does at present to gays who didn’t happen to fit in with it, and so would run a serious risk of dividing gays from each other. The GLF for example, after the heady glory of its early days, seems to be floundering on this very fault.

Being gay, I’ve never fitted very well into any of the comfortable little roles which society prepares for its children. If I could have married normally, and settled down in a semi-detached with a telly, an oppressed wife and an average of 2.4 kids, It would all have been very easy. I would never have had to think. But instead, I’ve had to work out my own way of living and my own moral code, and very little help and often with the active opposition of the rest of the world. Like most things which you make for yourself, my life is now very much more enjoyable that it would have been if everything had been handed to me on a nice straight plate.

In fact, one of the very positive advantages of being gay is that we are forced to decide things for ourselves. Not being hidebound by any of society’s conventional values, we have the potential to grow into real individuals, choosing for ourselves which bits of the world are worth joining in with, and which bits should be ignored. The last thing we need now is a new sub-culture which would make us, outwardly at least, all the same again.

But I think we should realise that the problem of oppression is twofold. Those of us who live and work in certain areas, especially in big cities, find it relatively easy to be openly gay in a straight society. If I kiss my boyfriend on top of a number 52 bus, hardly anyone will even notice, and far from being unable – as Sappho suggests – to discuss my emotional life with straight friends, I find that the problems which beset the love lives of straights and gays are very often similar indeed (it is only the shape of the partner which is different), and we can often help each other by talking about them. However, outside these special areas oppression is still acute, and in a provincial town like Ipswich, where I come from, it’s all too easy for a gay person to believe Society’s lies; to begin to feel that he really is a nauseating criminal fit only to be shot.

So. we have two problems: to cure oppression where it still exists, and to make sure that once we are liberated we know what to do with our freedom. It seems that we are at last winning the battle against blind unreasoning, hatred, mainly by the simple expedient of telling each other – via our newspapers and our gay organisations – that we’re not horrible at all, but in fact are quite lovely. However, once ordinary people no longer hate us, we shall be more free than they will ever be in their arranged pigeon holes into which we will fit. Will we be mature enough to use this freedom to demonstrate to the rest of society that role playing is uneccesarry, that everyone can be nice although everyone is different? Or should we, as Philip seems to think, start now to construct our own pigeon hole, tailor made for us to hide in as soon as we’re free?

Personal Ads

Personal Ads continued from Page 15, nothing like working backwards is there?

Lonely Essex male 59 seeks sincere guy 21-25 to share my home for a long lasting sincere and close relationship. ALA Box 18/117.

Sincere non-effeminate male 37 would like to meet similar. Will travel central Scotland. Interests: cinema, football, discussion. ALA Box 18/118.

50 year old gay, own flat South Bucks, near near London wishes to meet sincere friend any age for weekends etc. ALA Box 18/119.

Guy 22 living in a crazy town, seeks friendship from honest guy. I would be very pleased. Love and Peace, Rob. 91 The Elms West, Sunderland, Co. Durham.

SW5 gay 24 seeks men friends 21-30 for friendship. Interests theatre, cinema, dancing, travel. ALA Box 18/120.

Gay male 25 would like dolly boy over 21 to share life with. Photo please. All letters answered. Box 18/121.

Denim/leather lover, 29, London pad, seeks slim hirsute type with no strings attached. Rapid reply and phone number when photo for exchange is supplied. Box 18/122.

Accommodation

Break out! Young man who must remain discreet, with wide circle of friends, is looking for similar to occupy part of his large attractive house in centre of lively East Kent town., within easy commuting distance of London. Box 18/11.

Own room in well furnished self contained flat very near Queensway Lounge, kitchen and bathroom are only to be shared with me. £12 per week incl. Phone Bekdik 229 5593 or 723 5170.

Writer in mid-forties will share ultramodern convenient city flat with professional or creative man. Own bedroom. £12 per week inclusive. No extras. Phone 638 9919 evenings, weekends.

Student (22) visiting Edinburgh soon would like information on pubs and/or accommodation for a few days. Thanks. Box 18/88.

Young Continental gay, 24, urgently requires an inexpensive room in Central London. Genuine offers only. Replies to Tony Ranz, c/o Gay News, Basement, 34d Redcliffe Square, London SW10.

Young man from Yorkshire wishes to meet other(s) in London with view to sharing furnished flat on a friendship basis. Box 18/30.

Modern newly decorated bedsit to let in gay flat. Edge Epping Forest 30 minutes from city. Ring 504 9392.

Gay flat mate (not effeminate) to share house, own bedroom, all facilities including central heating North Harrow, Pinner area Age 25-35. £10 p.w. Box 18/89.

Guy (21) seeks flat with another. North London. Box 18/90.

Pleasant C.H. room in warm, quiet flat 5 mins Fulham Broadway. £6 per week to reliable compatible tenant under 30. Box 18/91.

Two young executives with complete home of furniture, desperately require unfurnished flat, maisonette or house. Inner London area. All sensible replies followed. Box 18/92.

Gay male, masculine offers relaxed home life to active working lad over 21 willing to help fix up small terraced house Salford docks. George 061-737 8406.

Young gay guy (24) intelligent, responsible, clean and discreet, seeks reasonably comfortable accommodation with no ties. Must have own room. Fairly central. £5-6. Box 18/93.

Emergency pad available for 21 year old or over. Sorry no effeminate/camp. Legitimate financial assistance possible for those in need. Ring 01-691 0733.

Accommodation required by gay educated male (21) near central London £5-6 per week . Willing to share. Box 18/94.

Bachelor lonely 55, wants to share with another active Londoner. Phone evenings 727-5720.

Busy guy would share his comfortable NW3 flat with youngish gay over 21 who would help with some plain cooking. Own room, £3. Box 18/104.

Travel

Antwerp. Young man has 2 seats available in car London (Ealing) to Antwerp, going Sat 17/3/73, returning Fri 30/3/73. Return fare approx £10 each, inclusive of channel crossing. Please phone 01-579 4323 (2-5pm only or weekends.)

Employment

Gay girl (18) needs job as housekeeper, very honest, loves music. Box 18/79.

Designer restoring own house (SE14) by direct labour requires skilled plasterer and electrician. Phone Robert 01-692 8260, after 7 pm.

Youth seeks interesting well-paid position. Anything legal considered. Box 18/80.

Attractive, intelligent, responsible male (23) seeks interesting unusual, enterprising work. Creative, versatile, able to travel, drive etc. Legal and genuine replies only please. Box 18/81.

23 year old bi-sexual London boy, clean, sympathetic, warm, into yoga and writing needs to make money. Will go anywhere, do anything legal. Box 18/82.

Active man (35) seeks general cleaning work, full or part time in London area. Box 18/83.

University graduate (22) desperate for legitimate means of remaining in London. Box 18/84.

I am an honours graduate (22) creative and adaptable, looking for legitimate work. I am experienced in nothing but a university education. For someone with open eyes I could be a real bargain and I have only one string attached. Box 18/85.

Employment required in America by 27 year old, good looking passive ex-airline steward. Anything legal considered. Photo if applicable. Box 18/86.

Attractive gay guy (21) bored with present job, seeks employment from May-July or longer. Good school education, qualified to A-level standard. All legitimate offers considered. Box 18/87.

Attractive flat available for gay young man to manage private snack bar single handed in South London (3 miles Victoria). Must have likeable personality and able to work on own initiative. This is an excellent permanent position for a reliable person. To work in a very pleasant atmosphere. Box 18/106.

Expanding typesetting company in Bayswater W2 requires an experienced IBM Composer Operator of any sex. We are prepared to train a good copy typist with EXCELLENT spelling and grammar. Friendly working atmosphere. Salary and hours by arrangement. Phone 01-229 2149.

General manager required for packing business, Camden Town area. Please write giving full details. Box 17/75.

Driver required with HGV. Mainly London work. Please phone 607 4818.

Wanted partner to open gift shop London area. Write giving phone and address for appointment to Box 17/76

Handsome Sarawakian guy 21 seeks vacation job for Easter and summer vac. Box 18/105

Van Driver Wanted full/part time -370 5172

HAPPY PERSONALITY?
Gentleman required to manage small Kensington Hotel Cage 27-45). Live In — Good Wages – All Found. Also required gentleman for domestic duties (making beds etc). Same age and conditions. Telephone: 01-603 2389.

Classified Ads

Gay photographer offers discreet nude studio portraits, colour or B & W. Write for appointment to Des Cooper, 78 Stanmore Rd, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B16 9TB.

Visiting Massage Service by young qualified masseur. Paul Harris, 46 Hawthorne Rd, N18 1EZ.

“ADAM 73” the new gay magazine seeks attractive models. Send photographs with details, sae: Editor, C H Designs, 243 Regent Street, Oxford Circus, London W1R 8PN.

MYKONOS – where it all happens, and nobody minds; pleasant, cheap, accommodation available with or without flights. Phone Simon Lanyon, 01-629 9010

Wanted — Licensed Halls for Gay Disco’s. Tricky Dicky – Phone 01-551 1987.

Visiting massage service for ladies and gentlemen by young qualified masseur. 01-807 6430.

Your personal B/W 35mm film processed and developed in confidence at very cheap rates – Black Box, 15 Hope Street, Glasgow G26 AB. Tel: 041-221 4750

Gay films-Books-Fotos-Slides-Sex Aids-Etc Free Illustrated Lists SAE. New World Sales, 1581 London Road, Norbury. London SW16.

LIGHT REMOVALS – 18cwt + Working Driver. Phone 01-370 5172.

Experienced qualified masseur, visiting service, home/hotel. Genuine clients please, massage only. 01-370 6506.

Restaurant club for sale, well known in SW1. Price £25,000. For details write Box 18/78.

Friendly weekends in Margate, bed and breakfast or full board. Disco-licenced bar bookings phone Thanet 20682.

Bedfordshire’s Gayest Nightspot
requires 1st class CABARET, GROUPS, BANDS, ETC. If you ‘do a turn’ please let me know where I can see you in action! (I’m a proper saucepot). Contact: Ernie, The Pan Club, 52 Bute Street, Luton, Beds.

The latest cottage industry. Clothier opening own clothes factory will do anything legal for money as well as making personally fitted clothes for men. Phone 340 3291 during working hours and ask for Nicki Phillips.

GAY REMOVALS
Ring 01-560 2865

WANTED. STREET SELLERS to sell, you guessed it, GAY NEWS.  Fun way of making extra cash.

FAG FUND. It would help our petty cash situation if you could send us your ciggy coupons … ta, my dears.