Touched And Overwhelmed

The Gay News Editorial Collective has been really touched by the scores of Christmas cards that have been pouring into our office over the last four weeks. We’re sure that you’ll all understand that we have neither the time nor the funds to answer them individually, so may we use this space to thank you all very sincerely, and wish you health and happiness in 1973.

Editorial

It’s an undisputable fact that the loneliest people are those who belong to minority groups — blacks in a predominantly white area, old people in a predominantly young community or gays in a predominantly “straight” society.

It’s equally true that the isolation that makes members of minority groups feel lonely – often to the point of suicide, in the extremest of cases – is made even more telling at times of general festivities and group happiness happenings, from which they feel excluded.

Christmas is just such a time. It’s a time when the conventional image of Christmas means that families close their doors and, with few exceptions, friends are forgotten temporarily. It’s a time when all of us in minority groups are going to feel left out. Possibly because we haven’t got a wife and two kids to rush back to, possibly because we haven’t got the skin colour that’s part of the commercial image of Christmas.

White Christmas

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Christmas, and this isn’t yet another piece attacking the increasing commercialism of the festival – or its increasing religious importance – because it was, after all, a pagan festival before Christianity was ever thought about.

The image the festival enjoys as purveyed by the media in both editorial and advertising space has become a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant Christmas for the family unit with income big enough to buy the trappings.

It leaves out gays, blacks, the old and the unemployed. The over-cheerful, satiated Christmas projected by all the media is one that, by definition, cuts out minorities. It makes the minorities feel their minority-ness even more sharply than ever. It makes some desperately lonely.

We hope that you won’t feel lonely and we’d ask you to do one thing. Christmas could be a time for gays to show what a minority can do. What gays should do this Christmas is to try and spread a little happiness to our brothers and sisters not just in the gay world, but in all minority groups.

Don’t be self-conscious. Spread a little love.

The Ersatz Image

At the risk of sounding like a sermon, it’s worth looking at what the family fireside Christmas in the semi-detached that’s still heavily mortgaged is really about. This media image of Christmas is a mistaken ersatz impression of love.

Love is what the office parties are aping. There are four cardinal virtues: Faith, Hope, Charity and Love. And the greatest of these is Love.

It’s love that all the minorities will be feeling the lack of at Christmas. So in practical terms you can spread a little love by taking that old lady who lives in your block to the cinema, or perhaps the pub. You can invite people in for a meal or even to watch television.

New Weapon For Gays

Gays are used to being a minority. This Christmas is an excellent opportunity for us to spread a little love, a little happiness to reach out and make someone else’s Christmas special.

We are the best-equipped, through our experience as a minority group, to take practical action without self-interest and really communicate with others. Not just gays, but anyone who isn’t finding Christmas too happy a time.

This form of individual action without self-interest could prove to be a new and extremely powerful weapon for gays to fight prejudice.

Christmas All The Year Round

Christmas is a lonely time for many gays. Yes. But let’s not get too self-indulgent yet awhile. Christmas is a lonely time for lots of other people too. It’s a lonely time for the very old who have outlived, become separated from, or ignored by their families. It’s a lonely time for the divorced, the widowed, for those men and women who just don’t happen to have got married. It’s a lonely, bleak time in institutions. It can be a lonely time in the family circle when the ring of faces is only made bright by the reflected glow of a television show canned before the leaves fell from the trees. Sometimes the cruelty of Christmas seems to outweigh the sweetness of its message.

Cruelty? Because instead of bringing peace on earth and goodwill to men, Christmas merely underscores alienations that during the rest of the year are either submerged or easier to tolerate. Not just between gay and straight, but between young and old, attached and unattached, blood and water. Of course, Christmas is supposed to serve a precisely opposite function and much time is spent at this time of year paying lip-service to this myth from the fatuous rhymes in cards and the banalities of Victorian hymns (mistakenly called carols) to the whole carapace of empty phrases that emanate from Canterbury, Rome and Windsor.

Christmas is a time when barriers are generally reinforced, not melted. We are reminded of the less fortunate, the weak, the sick, the distressed and perhaps some people are stirred enough to buy cards from a charity and thus ameliorate the minor stab of guilt. But compared with the money lavished on unspeakable toys, on aggressive displays of illuminated decorations for the streets, on advertising displays for commonplace cigarettes packed in tinsel, a fiver on cards for multiple sclerosis is tokenism of the worst kind.

Why just at Christmas? Multiple sclerosis exists the year round. Why pancakes (which are nice) on one day only; why bonfires (which are nice) on one day only? We jump like rats to a bell and shake out our required responses when required, then wrap them up and put them away until next time. Christmas builds barriers.

Also it promotes a wholly unreasonable selfishness, rationalised into ‘it only comes once a year’ (hear the bell?) or ‘we’re only doing it for the kiddies, have another gin-and-tonic’. Is there any wonder that half the population dread Christmas when the other half is ruthlessly enclosing itself in an impregnable cocoon of self-indulgence. The rich man stay’s at his table and the poor man is forever at the gate.

Is there any wonder that the suicide rate rises quite sharply during the Christmas period. Psychiatrists who, of course, once they have detected a phenomenon must instantly explain it, sought a reason for this suicide increase. It was suggested that the central figure of Christmas, the Christ-child, is a symbol of unattainable perfection and that when faced with this concept many individuals become acutely aware of their own imperfections, their own failures and are thus brought towards a suicidal state.

It’s my guess that they feel so bloody rejected and alienated, so fed up with seeing lights behind windows, so put-down by the relentless cash-bang of the High Street that oppressions felt during the rest of the year, but handled, rise sharply to the surface and get trapped in the cul-de-sac of the mind.

But the symbolism of Christmas is potent, complex and reaches far into the unconscious. It asserts certain standards, certain patterns of behaviour and certain ways of life, projected as ideal but rarely questioned.

In the west it is impossible to escape the influence of the myths; so impossible that the idea of escape never occurs. Christmas has undoubtedly inspired some of the greatest painting and music the world knows. But whether it is projected through Messiah or through a clumsy message picked out in cotton wool on the shopwindow, the assumptions remain the same. Christmas ecapsulates the systems of society which, of course, utterly reject the homosexual who is left kicking on the edges of the festival trying desperately to find a way in.

The central tableau is a family scene, the prototype, if you like, of the nuclear family, a single consumer unit given its consumer goods in the form of gold and frankincence and myhrr. The concept of the family is central, is firm, is essential. But the Holy Family is a strange one with a father who is not a father, and a mother who remains a virgin. So we have, in one image, one of basic contradictions – an assertion of procreation, of new and hopeful life linked with a complete repression of sexuality and sexual love.

How do gay women relate to the Virgin Mary? Talking around one gathers that many lesbians have a strong need for children, yet reject the essential male interaction. AID is a strong subject.

The imagery goes further with a statement of social division, not unity. Consider the attendants on the scene: the shepherds and the magi. The proletariat and the establishment. They meet in common worship in a stable. But they remain divided, their roles are set and the unity of common worship is a sleight of hand designed to suggest an equality that never exists. Paul sent the converted slave back to his master, still a slave.

This concept is a meaningless gesture that has been chucked around through the centuries. It has been revived in the plays dedicated to Moral Re-armament where industrial disputes are settled by shop stewards and management finding a common faith -which is about as relevant to strikes as everyone patronising the same tailor.

All these things are implicit all the time, but are asserted in strength at this time of the year. As I suggested earlier, it isn’t just gay people who are lonely at Christmas, but those who feel lonely and bereft at Christmas but are not gay, do at least have in-built defenses to sustain themselves against this barrage of conformity. They know they have the potential to take part in this festival of family and capitalism.

The gay person has no such defenses. At this time of year if he or she is at all sensitive then they must see themselves as alone and quite outside the structure everyone else seems to be celebrating. I said earlier that gay people were trying to Find a way in. Such is conditioning. Is it something one wants to find a way into? Even those gays who remorselessly claim that there is no difference between homosexuals and heterosexuals must, at this time, realise, somewhere, that this is too simplistic a view.

For sex (what you do in bed) is repressed out of the Christmas story and the root of homosexual alienation at this time must be sought elsewhere. Sex is irrelevant. The homosexual just doesn’t fit into the way society works and that’s that. And Christmas brings this home with force.

There are two things that gay people can do about this situation. One is already being done. That is – to get together over Christmas. Both GLF and CHE are having open parties and encouraging those gays who are physically alone at this time to get together for the holiday: “Not necessarily on a sexual basis, just brothers and sisters seeking a friendly and warm relationship”, as GLF’s newsletter so neatly expresses it.

The second thing is less easy. And that is to acquire an attitude of mind, a way of thinking in which Christmas and the terrible strictures it implies upon the gay community becomes irrelevant, where the images have no power to hurt and reject. To reach a stage where there is no need to find a way in because it isn’t worth getting in to; where the gay alternative is better and more rewarding. And not just for a week at the end of December, but all the year round.

Christmas – Season Of Goodwill?

I have very mixed feelings about Christmas and all that it implies in the countries which celebrate this age old Christian/pagan festival. I am not a believer in organised religion, for most of them I view with a mixture of cynicism and despair. But at the same time I like to think myself tolerant of those who do profess faith in such institutions. So long as they don’t try to dictate or violate my own search for spiritual awareness.

The doctrine of peace and goodwill is mighty fine, but is Christmas the only time to preach such ideologies? It will mean very little to the people in Ulster, a strongly religious country, I’m afraid. That country will need more than carols, turkey and the Queen’s speech to heal the festering wounds that scar it and its population. I doubt if the Pope’s message to the world will do much for the bitter Orangemen of Belfast, or even the extremists of Catholic Londonderry.

What will Christmas mean to Vietnam, apart from extra rations for American troops. It won’t make the destruction of crops, fields and villages as well as the continual massacre of innocent civilians an easier burden for that truly God forsaken country to bear.

Even here in Great Britain, will the few days of loosening up and declaration of love and friendship for the rest of humanity, really mean anything will be different once the holiday is over. All the fine words and gestures are soon forgotten as New Year’s Day hangovers take their place. Do black people really expect to be treated as equals next year as a result of Christmas? Will women suddenly find themselves freed from the oppression of being classed second class citizens? Will material wealth still be the most popular way of assessing a human being, rather than looking for strength of character or conviction? Am I expected to believe that gays will no longer be classiFied as sick or perverted, and be released from the intolerance and misunderstandings that have been their lot throughout the course of history.

I’m not as bitter as I may sound. It’s just that I would be kidding myself if I thought Christmas could really do anything it is supposed to do, except increase the ringing of cash registers, worry parliament with rising inflation figures and kill a few score more people on our roads. I truly wish that the dreams of Christmas were as real as advertising executives make them seem, but the world has got to change and evolve a great deal before this period of over-indulgence and mass commercialism will mean much more than heartburn and lots of empties.

Christmas for many hard working people is a holiday and a time for relaxation and enjoyment. I like to think that I fit into this category of reveller. But I have no time for bigots and hypocrites who, for a couple of weeks preach religion and righteousness, and before you know it are back into the same non-thinking, exploitative patterns they left on the 24th December.

Despite my lack of conFidence and somewhat harsh attitude towards the Christmas ‘spirit’, I hope that you all will have a good time, and perhaps give a little thought to the injustice and inhumanity so many have to endure. As gays we know something about that. So isn’t it only right that we should at least be aware of the plight of countless others.

Christmas – Fantasy Or Fiction

I was going to make this a very heavy anti-Christmas article, decrying the brash commercialism, the intensified loneliness it brings to so many, especially gays, and the ‘Guess who’s coming to dinner’ situation of taking the boyfriend home for Christmas, or facing the family alone – “What do you get up to in London then?” “When are you going to get married?” Or could it be Birds Eye Frozen Turkey warmed up on the bedsit gas ring, or a big anti-climax. Christmas is the time when for some reason expectations rise in a silvery, glittery, fairy-tale fantasy, filling the mind with false hopes which can never be fulfilled, hence the big Boxing Day depression.

Really, I suppose, I rather enjoy Christmas. I’m very selfish. I love excesses of rich food and good wine, receiving exquisitely wrapped gifts, and watching a surfeit of movies on the telly; all the bourgeois trappings in fact. I don’t even find Boxing Day an anti-climax, because the movies are usually better than on Christmas Day.

Momentarily back in my Woolworths plastic gold comfy bum easy chairette, pretending to be a kind of male Gloria Swanson, my ideal fantasy Christmas would begin on Christmas Eve, with a long, slow, luxurious dinner in the company of my fantasy ideal boyfriend, who is a 21 year old, unpretentious, but intelligent Cockney lad of medium build, with brown hair, blue eyes and slightly tanned skin. In fact he’s so elusive that every time he comes to see me he arrives through the wall floating under a purple plastic halo, decorated with green tinsel, surrounded by a soft white mist. Long, soft, beautiful sex, accompanied by Judy Garland records from the four silver speakers, one attached to each of the four posts on the chintz curtained four poster bed. Christmas morning is spent opening presents of antiques and camp, coloured glasses, in front of a roaring tinsel-clad open fire. At lunchtime friends arrive. Another meal: this time a traditional gargantuan dinner followed by hours of horror films in my basement cinema.

To all of you reading this I hope Christmas will bring you a little bit of happiness; and remember it’s better to sit smiling and wanking over some delicious fantasy in front of the telly than weeping in a corner. And that’s really all the consolation I can offer you, without being patronising, but don’t forget the Boltons and the Biograph re-open on Boxing Day.

Christmas – I Like It

I do like Christmas, it’s the hassles beforehand that I can’t stand. I like it in spite of Christmas cards from people I hate and had hoped didn’t have my address. I hate the frightening possibility that they might be silly enough to arrive unannounced and expect drinks, mixed nuts and good will. I resent having to lay in a bottle of cheap sherry for the occasions.

Thank God they only last for an uneasy half-hour with nobody saying much, after the inevitable joke about the turkey has been laughed at noisily, by whoever said it and his affair.

I hate the garbage in the stores which you can buy any old day of the year, suddenly masquerading in even more gaudy packaging as suitable Christmas gifts.

I loathe it when the greengrocer round the corner appears to stock only assorted citrus fruits, nuts and sprouts.

I got annoyed last year when I spent two fruitless (pardon the pun) days searching for fresh chestnuts to shove in the goddam turkey and ended up with two cans instead.

Apart from all this I do enjoy the three days of the holiday. It’s nice when everything’s well organised, lots of really good food the superior booze the guests didn’t get, presents, some of them deliberately silly, most good although I generally spend Christmas only with the people I really like who know me very well.

And it is nice to be properly indulgent and lazy, forgetting all your problems for a few days in being piggy. It’s really pleasant to sit in front of the colour telly (I do love colour, it makes the bad programmes really hysterical) and get stewed.

People do get a great deal more relaxed and therefore pleasanter to be with, so in spite of the last minute panics, the high pressure sales displays, it’s a nice comforting time. I like it – so there, David Seligman!

Here We Are Again

Most people are superstitious to a certain extent, and we at Gay News are no exception. With the publication date of this edition falling on the 13th December, and the last issue of GN being the twelfth, we decided not to tempt fate and have left the number off the front cover. The mistletoe that takes its place is a fair exchange we think and we hope that you all take advantage of it.

As we mentioned before, this will be the only edition of GN to appear this month. Our second publication date would have fallen in the middle of the Christmas holidays and as that wouldn’t have been much use to anybody, we are taking a holiday along with the rest of you. Consequently Gay News No 14 will be out on the 10th January, 1973.

We have tried our best to make the Monster Christmas issue as entertaining as possible and hope that it fits in well with the time of year. At first producing a Yuletide Edition of a gay newspaper seemed a fairly difficult task, but after a fair amount of discussion and planning the issue began to take shape. And what you are holding is the result. A special thanks to all the people who sent us suggestions.

Personal Ads

We have tried not to be too serious in this GN, but there is one particular problem we have to tell you about. And also explain our present course of action.

As you all must know, gay personal ads are illegal. Male homosexuals are allowed to make love in private if they are over twenty-one, women if over sixteen, but we are not allowed to encourage people to get together. And as far as we can ascertain, this goes for gay women too. This results in the ridiculous state of affairs whereby a very large section of the population is discriminated against because of their sexual preferences. And to advertise for companions or friends is, in the eyes of the law, akin to prostitution.

That, in our opinion, is a disgusting slander against gay people, but at present we are powerless to do anything about it. Gay News tries to at least ignore these archaic laws, by running a personal ads page (illegal page) but it could eventually result in us being prosecuted. This we are prepared to be, if necessary, although we would prefer not to be, as it could seriously interfere with the publication of Gay News.

So the present position is that we take a chance and hope that it will not be too long before we no longer have to subject ourselves to the possible wrath of the courts. But whilst being prepared to take such risks, we think it somewhat pointless to invite prosecution, so we have asked you not to place ads if you are under twenty-one and male.

We have also stipulated that explicit references to sexual acts or preferences should not appear in our ads.

We of course, don’t care a tinker’s curse what you say, but the Director of Public Prosecutions’ office and similar bodies do. And the best way to avoid unwanted attention from the law, is by keeping the ads as simple as possible, and keeping descriptions of your particular sexual preferences for when you make contact with someone who replies to your ads.

Unfortunately over the last few editions it has become increasingly apparent that many of you are going into detail and that gives possible prosecutors just the excuse they are looking for to bring us to the courts.

The area in which the ads are becoming noticeably more explicit is in the leather/S&M section. So we ask you to tone down your ads or we will have no choice but to tame them down for you.

We hate discrimination as much as we dislike censorship, and hope that any advertisers for people with similar tastes in leather and S&M will not think we are solely clamping down on them. Leather et at people have for far too long been put down by other gays, as have transvestites, transexuals, denim and rubber ‘admirers’ and all the other people who have slightly more adventurous tastes than most of us. This in our eyes is terribly wrong. The struggle of gays for social acceptance, understanding and tolerance is hard enough without discriminating against ourselves.

So will the people who find that they can’t quite say what they want to, or have their ads slightly amended by us, please not think we are adopting the same intolerant attitudes as the others who seemingly are against them. To us you are all gay, your preferences are your affair not ours, but as we have to cut out explicit references to sexual acts or organs, so must we apply such restrictions to S&M and CP enthusiasts.

We know this will not be a popular decision with some of you, but for the sake of Gay News, please bear with us until such times as all gays can say whatever they want in their ads. Incidentally, if we find it impossible to rephrase an ad without losing its entire meaning, we will return it to you so that you can make the necessary adjustments.

Your views and opinions are most welcome on this course of action of ours and we look forward to hearing from you, no matter how strong your criticisms.

Christmas Greetings

The joint editors and members of the editorial collective of Gay News would like to take this opportunity to wish all our readers and contributors a very happy Christmas and an eventful New Year. GN would never have survived beyond our first few editions without your help and support, and we gratefully thank you for continually buying the paper, for being constantly critical of our mistakes and errors of judgement and for giving us the type of encouragement that makes it all worth while.

In particular we would like to send greetings and thanks to the following: Carl and the rest of the crew at our printers; Brian Dax and all the other girls and boys at Time Out; Jim Anderson and Felix Dennis plus the rest of the gang at OZ; Roger Hutchinson and the IT crowd; the managers and staff at all the friendly gay pubs and clubs that enable us to sell copies of the paper in their establishments; Graham Chapman and his gorgeous household (responsible for many a hangover); William Hamling MP; our solicitors (especially the lovely Anthony in the criminal department); the gay organisations around the country who have given us considerable support and encouragement; all the shops, newsstands and small distributors who help get GN to you; Mick’s fish and chip shop; all our friends for putting up with us during the last few months; Peter MacMillan for not hesitating to lease us an office; members of CHE, SMG and Antony Grey of the Albany Trust and NFHO for making sure enough people initially heard about us; a very special thanks and lots of love to Sandi, our amazing typesetter, and all the other beautiful people, unfortunately far too numerous to mention by name, who have given so much of their time and energy in helping to make sure Gay News has regularly happened.

Also we send a large helping of love and thanks to all the people who have given financial support to Gay News, no matter whether it was a pound note hastily thrust into the hand of a GN seller at the Coleherne (Earls Court), a cheque that arrived just at the right moment, or a very welcome donation from a gay organisation.

But the biggest kisses and thanks go to our faithful readers and those brave enough to take out a subscription in the early days. To all of you, have a really great Christmas holiday and an amazingly happy New Year. See you all in January.

The Ballad Of Snow White And The Seven Gay Dwarfs

A jealous queen was once obsessed
With mirrors on the wall
And one day made the vain request:
“Who’s the fairiest of them all?”

“Oh mirror give me your answer true,”
When much to her distress
The mirror said: “It isn’t you.
It is the camp princess”.

This put the queen in such a state.
She freaked the princess out.
Who fled from the old bitch’s hate
As she was chased about.

The queen with a malicious smile
Then left that teeny gay,
Who quickly disappeared meanwhile
And wandered far away.

She reached a cottage open wide
And entered with delight.
For there were seven stalls inside
But nobody in sight.

She said: “It’s no good waiting here”
But peeping out she found
That seven dwarfs were lurking there:
It was their cruising ground.

Wanky and Randy went in first.
Then Bashful and then Peepy,
Then Sucky with his raging thirst,
Then Gropey and then Creepy.

The dwarfs were overjoyed to see
A gay so pure and sweet.
And followed in a row when she
Sat outside on a seat.

The dwarfs grew anxious when she said
That Snow White was her name:
The watchful queen, they knew with dread,
Would see her on the game.

The mirror told her all too well.
It pierced her jealous heart;
She mixed a potion, cast a spell
And used her blackest art.

She put the mockers everywhere;
To poison poor Snow White,
She threw an apple in the air:
The princess took one bite.

Alas, the fruit was meant to kill.
The dwarfs each shed a tear.
Thinking her dead when lying still
And placed her on a bier.

In vigil they stood side by side
And silently they wept.
Still wondering if she really died,
or if she only slept.

They heard a horseman far away,
And as he came in view,
They saw a prince handsome and gay
Whose body well they knew.

They welcomed him with great delight
Into that sordid place,
And when he saw princess Snow White
He bent to kiss her face.

The apple fell which did the trick.
To everyone’s surprise.
The gay was neither dead nor sick
But opened wondering eyes.

The queen watched from her miror; she
Was freaked out of her mind
And died in dreadful agony —
A warning to her kind.

“Let every queen give up her crown,”
They cried, “Let’s have no more.
All royalty should be put down.”
And each one cried “Encore!”

They formed a commune from that day,
Which numbered three times three.
And said “Far better to be gay.
And to be proud and free.”

Their gender roles went overboard,
They spurned the ancient lore.
And in harmonious accord
Were happy ever more.

This ballad will be performed as a 10-character mime at the GLF dance at Shepherd’s Bush on December 22, for which it was specially written.

A Queen’s Christmas Message

My husband and I, at this time of year, are glad to be able to pass on to you all our best wishes. As I lie here on our snake-skin rug in front of a blazing row, I like to think of you all at your hearthsides wearing see-through tulle and figure-hugging mini-briefs.

This, above all, is a time of year, when we think of our dark-skinned friends with their enormous attributes in the Commonwealth. We must also think of our yellow-skinned friends, who make such a charming addition to any soiree – well Keith certainly thinks so.

On our recent tour of Canada I was very touched. Up to Christmas we have been very busy with official visits to King William IV of Hampstead, The Royal Court, High Wycombe Air Base, and the Earls Court Wimpy House. We are proud to report that the general spirits of the Great British Public are high and the economy of picking-up is improving.

We have not cheapened ourselves, we are merely making inroads into Europe, as we come closer in our hearts to delightful butch Danes and the people of Marseilles.

Anyway, must close now darlings, Keith’s just come back in – and I do mean in. Love to you all and to all the ‘members’ of the Commonwealth.

Love and kisses,

Keith and ‘Brenda’

Gay News Christmas Presents

The Gay News collective is a generous bunch, and we would love to give gorgeous Christmas presents to everyone. But we’re broke. If we had the money here are some of the presents we would give, and the people we would give them to.

To London Transport
– the stock of exhibits from the Transport Museum at Clapham to replace rolling stock on the Northern line.

To Danny La Rue
– Liberace

To Selfridges
– an instant boycott by all the gay staff and customers of the store, which might make the bookstall manager think twice before telling us there would be no call for Gay News there.

To Lord Harwood
– an LP of Leonard Bernstein’s opera Candide, hoping it would inspire him to put it on at the Coliseum instead of another Merry Widow.

To Alexander Walker (film critic of the Evening Standard)
– a secretary, so that he doesn’t crack his nails on a typewriter, thus giving away the fact that he’s a … journalist.

To Bass Charrington
– vast profits from owning the majority of gay pubs in London.

To All Gays
– a “Welcome” from Bass Charrington.

To GLF
– lilies – and thanks for the laughs.

To CHE
– carnations and a computerised membership files.

To CHE and GLF
– the capacity to love and understand (if not to agree) with each other.

To All MPs
– a copy of Gay News, so they can tune in to the realities of the situation.

To F.I. Litho
– yet another cheque for printing Gay News

To Anthony Newley
– a nice modern theatre where he can stage all his shows – in Formosa.

To The Governor of Holloway Prison
– a big bunch of flowers for allowing Myra Hindley half an hour of light and air.

To The Festival of Light
– a power cut.

To The National Theatre
– the collected plays of Oscar Wilde to remind them of what they have been ignoring these past nine years.

To The GPO
– a two year work study programme of interfering with and losing so much of our mail and for indecent relationships with our telephone.

To Mary Whitehouse
– a pair of ear plugs and a sleeping shade.

To the BBC
– the retirement of Mary Whitehouse.

To ITV and London Weekend Television
– programmes as good as the commercials.

To Sir Gerald Nabarro
– more lady chauffeurs like his last one.

To Lord Longford
– a halo.

To Malcolm Muggeridge
– an airport at the bottom of his garden.

To Edward Heath
– a cabinet made up of ex-grammar school boys.

To Harold Wilson
– a political party

To David Bowie
– an appearance at next year’s Royal Command Performance.

To Larry Grayson
– some original jokes and a black mark for telling fibs.

To Chris Welch (of Melody Maker)
– a record player and a job on the Financial Times.

To The Daily Telegraph
– a losing law suit with Private Eye.

To The Sunday Telegraph
– Richard Ingrams as editor.

To The Evening Standard
– an ad in Gay News

To Private Eye
– a bathchair on the cliffs at Hastings.

To Martin Stafford BA
– A ‘Glad To Be Gay’ badge and a lifelong subscription to Gay News.

To Chelsea Police
– a dictionary to look up the words ‘obstruction’ and ‘malicious’.

To Kensington Police
– a manual on ‘How To Care For Your Camera’