Look out. Here it comes. It’s the biggest Gay News the world has ever seen. The next Gay News is a monster. It’s the only issue next month, so we’re making it special. The Great Christmas Issue Conspiracy has been uncovered. Reports reaching here suggest the paper published on December 13 will be so packed with goodies you won’t be able to put it down for a month.
It stars Peter Straker (in a Gay News exclusive interview), Robin Maugham (a story that’s never been published outside Gay News) and Judy Garland (an exclusive look through the tinsel at the lady behind the legend). Plus news, reviews, games, fun and entertainment guides.
Special guest star: the entire script of the gay sketch the BBC banned from its top rating comedy show. Know what we mean?
With a goodie like that coming your way you owe it to yourself to order your Christmas Gay News from your newsagent or by sending a cheque or PO (made payable to Gay News Ltd) to Santa, Room 1, Gay News, 19 London Street, London W2 1HL.
Give A Friend Some Fun For Christmas
Don’t be alone in enjoying the monster Christmas Gay News. Give a friend a little pleasure from December.
No matter w your friend lives we’ll help you, and we’ll go on helping you give that friend a little pleasure every fortnight next year.
Pleasure means Gay News. Christmas means presents. Give your friend a subscription to Gay News for Christmas.
Remember make it special and start the subscription with the monster Christmas Gay News.
I enclose £1.20 for 10 issues/£2.30 for 20 issues. Start with issue …………….
(Copies are posted in a sealed envelope). Please make cheques/postal orders payable to Gay news Subscriptions, and send to 19 London Street, London W2 1HL. Tel: 01-402 7805
The Gay News Collective has decided to change the format of our Editorial leaders. We all thought that the Editorial should be used in future for serious comments on events in the news relating to gayness and advancements and deteriorations in the present position of homosexuals in society. As the old format of the Editorial was mainly concerned with internal goings-on of the paper and the difficulties and successes we were experiencing, not forgetting our constant appeals for one thing or another, we realised that this would hinder the object of the new style editorial leader.
But we think it is extremely important to communicate to you the ‘life and times’ of Gay News, as we still stand firmly by what we first said in our earlier editions, that this paper belongs to the gay community and not to those who want to preach their own particular political beliefs or for the monetary ambitions of those producing GN. So to carry on keeping you in the know of what’s happening to us and the paper, we will now run this regular column called Here We Are Again. The reason we decided to call it that was because of the number of times that phrase appeared in past editorials. Yes, we know how our writing styles can be shocking but we’re trying to learn and improve. So, despite our sometimes obvious limitations, here we are again.
The Christmas issue, even if we say so ourselves, looks as if it will be as good as we had hoped. Definites for that edition to date are a Robin Maugham short story, a feature entitled The Garland Legend which is in keeping with the current nostalgia trend, an intimate interview with pop star Peter Straker, and a very special, hilariously funny, surprise scoop that we’re keeping a secret until the issue is out. Also there will be the ultimate gay game for four players, plus many other novelties and seasonal delights. And of course there will be the latest gay news and all the other regular features and review pages. GN’s size will be at least twenty pages for that issue but it will still only cost you 1Op.
Subscriptions for Gifts
To pay for all the extras of our enlarged Christmas issue, we will be trying very hard to sell as many copies as possible. It will be the only edition in December so we expect you all to buy one, and also copies for friends. It will be extremely naughty of you if you continue sharing one copy between six of you for this special issue.
In this issue you will notice that there is a special subscription form whereby you can take out a sub as a gift for a friend or loved one. And what could be a better present than ten or twenty issues of ‘big GN’. Seriously though, we know a lot of people still don’t get to see us, so why not help to unbiasedly inform them of what’s happening in the gay world. Subs are an important factor in our survival and continued existence, so why not treat yourself to mailed editions of GN for the coming new year even if you don’t feel we are a suitable gift for someone else.
Love and Kisses
We would like to thank all those people who had enough faith in us to renew their ten copy subscriptions. At least 95% of you did and we feel very flattered. This type of confidence in the paper is such an encouraging sign to us, and your continuing support of GN will make it possible for us to endeavour to always be improving and expanding and to eventually start some of the plans we would like to turn into reality. In case your sub is due to expire in the next few weeks, we advise you to renew it soon, as the usual Christmas postal chaos may cause delays. And you wouldn’t want to miss our Christmas special would you?
We unfortunately still haven’t been able to find new offices. The present amount of working space is quite a problem and the only way of solving it is by finding larger premises. They must of course be available at a reasonable (cheap) rent. If any of you know of anywhere suitable, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
The only major stipulation we need to insist upon is that the offices be situated in central London, ie Fleet Street. Those of you who have visited our present offices will know of the difficulties we are working under, so to you especially, help!
A magic word to use at the moment, which is guaranteed to get hunched shoulders straightening up at a rapid pace and interest beaming from our innocent faces, is ‘typewriter’. The two manual machines that are still operating are slowly giving up the ghost and no amount of coaxing and bribing with new ribbons or machine oil will help restore their lost youth and effectiveness.
Two others have sadly moved up to that great ‘typing pool in the sky’ and with the two we have left threatening to be reunited with them, typewriterwise we are in a sorry state.
After that convincing lead-in, now comes another famous GN appeal. If you have a typewriter you don’t use and would like to see it put to use, we will gladly guarantee that it will be over-worked. Also if any of you want to automate our surroundings, a gift or the paying of rent for an electric model(s) would mean loving smiles and very grateful thanks from all of us.
A Final Word
We have tried to cram as much of everything into this issue. The last one was so filled with news items we had very little room for featurettes and feedback. So we’re making up for it this time. Hope you find many things to your liking and taste. Take care of yourselves and enjoy your paper.
One of the main criticisms we receive of our editorials is that they are usually about the same subject from issue to issue. Whilst we try to avoid being boring, we cannot help but be repetitious. This is because so many of the points continually mentioned are concerned with the livelihood and the expansion of the paper. If we keep on appealing, it’s because we really have to. So next time you realise you are reading something which is more or less the same as words which appeared in a previous issue, please remember that the help we are asking for is really needed and situation mentioned hasn’t improved overnight.
Just for a change though, we would like to include a few other things in this issue’s editorial, that are not directly associated with the internal running or survival or Gay News.
Age Of Consent
Firstly, you may have read that people of eighteen (who can also vote, marry without parental consent, drink alcohol, die for their country, etc) will soon be called to do jury duty. Not all of you may agree with this, but it’s going to happen. We think at GN that it is an important advancement. But what this new social development brings to our minds is the fact that people on reaching the magic age of eighteen can do everything an ‘adult’ can, except in one area. Male homosexuals still cannot choose who they make love to until they are twenty one. And that’s ridiculous. If someone is considered adult enough to condemn or release a defendant accused of a crime – which can range from murder to traffic offences – then surely they must be capable of exploring their own sexuality in whatever direction it takes them.
Surely it is time that this primitive situation was changed once and for all. And we don’t mean just settling for the age of consent being lowered to eighteen. The age should and must be sixteen, as it is with girls – for to settle for anything else would be an admission on our part that homosexuality is something different and strange. No aware homosexual can possibly think that. As we have said before in GN, not to be oneself, whether through self-denial or legal pressures, is what’s queer.
Who’s Doing Anything
Last week we tried to find out who, whether individuals or organisations, was trying to start the moves to alter the existing legislation with regard to the present age of consent. Apart from a few vague answers, we drew a blank. A very discouraging and saddening discovery. We believe that the longer this area of gay oppression remains, then the harder it will become to gain any reform. So if anyone, anywhere, is doing something about gaining the necessary changes, let us know. We will give you all the support and encouragement we can, and you are welcome to use the pages of GN to attract support and interest for your campaign. We realise that such a task is not easy. One has to get the support of many influential and sympathetic people, both in and out of Parliament. A bill has to be prepared, publicity obtained throughout the various mass medias and so on. But this is such an important matter that the amount of work involved will eventually be justified by the success of changing blind, oppressive, ignorant laws. Of course, it will be the generations that follow us who will feel the benefits of any changes, but does this mean that we should not be responsible for contributing to the advancement of society?
In most papers recently, the word ‘mugging’ has been appearing more and more frequently. Mugging is a particularly disturbing crime and its apparent rise in notoriety is cause for concern. Even the Duke of Edinburgh has described it as a ‘disease’. But the national press seems to be under the impression that this is a new phenomenon in the world of violent crime. It most certainly isn’t. Gays have been subject to mugging – or queer bashing as it is called when directed against homosexuals (both male and female) – for quite some time. As we all know, gays have been favourite victims for those wishing to use fear and brutality as their means of gaining material rewards. At times this has resulted in death or the sustaining of lifelong injuries. Also, as is more often the case, gays – because of the treatment, lack of sympathy, and half-hearted inquiries they expect from the police – have not reported robberies and violence committed against them, and subsequently we are unaware of exactly how many of these frightening crimes have gone unnoticed and unrecorded.
The exploitation of people through fear is a disgusting, obscene occurrence, and those responsible should feel the full weight of the law for such acts. Human scum such as the Kray brothers and the South London ‘Richardson Gang’ have fortunately been removed from society for some time to come. These other merchants of fear also deserve the same treatment and sentences.
So we see it as a pity when other papers pick up on mugging as if it were something new and tend to turn it into a trendy crime. They ignore or forget that some citizens for many years have been experiencing similar barbaric acts – but called by a different name – and because of social attitudes, the victims have not sought the protection or help of the law.
Gay News will be approaching Scotland Yard on their present attitudes towards homosexual victims of mugging. We hope we will receive the answers that those who live in a supposedly enlightened society will want to hear. We will also examine the attitudes of individual members of the police force and those of local police stations. In due course the results of our enquiries will appear in GN’s pages.
We hopefully expect to hear from you on these subjects. They are important to all of us and your opinions and suggestions are invaluable to both us and the people who read them, whether they are gay or heterosexual, male or female.
Please don’t forget that we need your help in getting a really good Christmas issue together. If it is to be a success, we must have your ideas, articles, suggestions, etc. Let’s make it an edition that will be well worth having around over the Christmas holidays. We can do it together.
Your personal ads keep on flowing in. We seem to print a few more with each new issue. And that’s fine with us. We’re sorry that we sometimes have to slightly amend a few of your ads, but we don’t want to invite legal proceedings against us more than we have to. The Gay News collective isn’t comprised of martyrs, just people who think contact ads are a service that is wanted by some of you. And if you take advantage of this service, good for you and the best of luck and love.
Loneliness and isolation are terrible things to endure, and if we can help remove them from people’s lives, we will. Remember too, your morality is your affair, not ours, not the Director of Public Prosecution’s, nor even The House of Lords’.
Christmas can be a very lonely period, so if you think an appropriate ad in GN may be of use in making sure that you or other gays are not alone in the season of ‘peace and goodwill’ why not send one in. We. suggest our late November issue is the most suitable to use for this purpose, as it gives people time to reply before the Christmas postal rush is on. For that issue please make sure you have your ads to us no later than 21st November. And we on our part will send off replies to your box numbers as speedily as possible.
By the way, Gay News is bought by more people than any other gay publication in this country. As a result your ads are read more than those appearing elsewhere. Don’t forget that we are the only gay publication to come out fortnightly, and a conservative estimate of our readership, as opposed to those who actually buy it, is at least thirty thousand. (This assessment is based on accepted advertising circulation figures.) No wonder some of you receive so many replies to the ads you place.
But we mean to make it a very special Gay News – with more pages, facts, fun, photos, info and that sort of thing.
To make it a real Christmas and New Years issue, we need all your help. And this time we mean it!
We need more letters, more contributed articles, more humour, and pictures. Remember too it is going to be a Christmas issue, therefore it would be good if things you send us have something to do with that time of year.
Of course the biggest GN ever won’t cost a penny more, but it will be packed with prize winning competitions, features by big name writers, and further gushings of your GN favourites.
Remember, it is your paper, and the success of the Christmas and New Years issue depends on you.