Project notes

Editor’s note: This project aims to digitise the newspapers as they were presented at the time, while allowing for making them accessible to screen readers and other accessibility tools.

This means the content itself has not been edited, except where absolutely necessary to provide sense. Spelling and grammar mistakes have rarely been corrected as they are part of the “hot metal” environment of the time and add to the personality of a newspaper that was being produced by relative amateurs with almost no budget, at least at first.

This also means you will encounter language that we do not use now, including terms we may consider derogatory, especially to allied and other minorities. These have not been edited because to see how far we’ve come it is necessary to see where we came from.

The magazine also deals with questions of the age of consent, which at that time was 21 for gay males, 16 for straight people and non-existent for lesbians. Modern mores tend to see this now as a black-and-white issue, especially after the age of consent was equalised at 16 for everybody at the turn of the century, and treat 16 as something automatic and natural, despite the age varying considerably across Europe. In the 1970s, the ultimate equal consent age was up for debate – and this included whether to have one at all. Again, these debates are presented without modern editing.

Some later issues include naked photographs of children as part of the age of consent debate. These have been edited – modern mores simply do not allow for such pictures to appear any more and the Project is not going to be a test case as to whether the images are obscene or not. The text relating to these images may also be edited – the edits will be obvious – in order to reduce risk to the Project from the type of people who search the internet looking for a homophobic scandal.

Without wishing to totally close down debate, these are my decisions as leader of the Project and I’m very unlikely to be moved from them. – Russ J Graham