Your Letters

Please note that any letters received by us at Gay News are liable to be published unless you state otherwise.

Quiet and Concealed

Natal, South Africa,

Dear Gay News,

Congratulations on launching your paper. It’s pretty good too!!

It’s great to be in touch with what is happening in the UK. Here in 19th-century South Africa one can feel terribly isolated from all the activity that one feels sure is going on elsewhere: a copy of Gay News seems to bridge the gap somewhat.

Some brief notes on South Africa: we have a largish gay community (among the Whites) organised in each of Durban, Cape Town and especially Johannesburg. In each of these cities there is an exclusively gay night-club and sometimes a bar (non-exclusive). Johannesburg has about three clubs and at least an equal number of bars.

Gay attitudes being essentially S. African attitudes, there is very little racial mixing, any contact is frowned upon. I do not know anything about gay communities (if these exist as such) among any of the black population groups. I have heard that the Indians have a gay club in Natal, but apart from this one could easily believe there to be no black homosexuals in S. Africa!

Gay Liberation — none so far as I know, except for a small group in Durban started recently by a couple of friends and me. So far we’ve had little success. There is too much apathy and fear of coming out, even on the campus.

Police action – although homosexual acts are illegal, the police turn a blind eye on the clubs, at the moment. They don’t like Gay Lib though!

Generally speaking, the South African scene is quiet and concealed. Everyone minds their own business and lives in their own closets. As long as you conform more or less, you’re OK.

Richard Wallace-Tarry

Appalling Bad Taste

London SE15.

Dear Sirs,

I must say I find your picture of Lord Longford and Cliff Richard in the current issue of Gay News in appalling bad taste. Lord Longford is one of the few really good men in public life today, spending much of his time helping drop-outs in all walks of life. Because you disapprove of his investigation into pornography, it is no excuse for slandering him in this way.

The thing that worries me about pornography is the effect on youth. I am not a father but I don’t wish my young nephews to see lurid paperbacks when purchasing their sweets and comics. Nor when answering an ad in your magazine, do I wish to be invited to ‘cum in my pants’ while watching young boys having sex on film. Don’t you think it is wicked that children should be exploited in this way? What sort of lives are they going to lead? Anything that Lord Longford can do to clean up pornography as it affects children is long overdue.

There are many good things in your magazine and also some offensive. With so many representations of the male organ in the current issue I should think even more retailers will refuse to handle it, and I don’t blame them.

H.R.A.

Thanks to Gay News…?

York.

Dear Gay News,

Thank you for your paper — it’s saved me from going completely insane. My boyfriend and I have lived together for three years, during which time I found out he was gay.

Together we dragged ourselves off to various doctors and psychiatrists, after which time we were both taking anti-depressants for some time. Phil began to think he was a raving pervert, and I believed it was gay people who were perverting him.

Then Gay News emerged into our lives, and slowly the gap between us narrowed and we began to live again. Only through understanding and respect of each other as people have we managed to denounce the roles that society has given us.

At last Phil can be as gay as he likes, and I’m proud of him for it. After reading some of your articles in GN I’ve cried with guilt to think that a year ago I might have thought like those cops.

With the help of GN and a change of attitudes we now have an extremely happy relationship, sexually and otherwise.

Maybe your paper ought to do an article on bisexuality. One doctor we went to see told us there was no such thing! During one visit, when Phil wasn’t there, he told me that I should find myself a nice straight guy so that I could have children, as that what my aim in life should be, and what was a nice girl like me getting mixed up with a ‘queer’ for.

Well, it’s shit to the lot of them because we’ve proved them wrong, we’re happy. I’d much rather stay with Phil as he’s a beautiful person, than go forth and multiply with any Tom, Dick or Harry for the sake of keeping up with the attitudes of society, ie that gays and straights are two different kinds of species.

Lots of love from a converted straight,

Joan

Safety in the Suburbs

Dearest Pooftahs,

What with all the carry-on, hasslings, arrests, righteous indignation and wrongful suspicions of stolen cameras that has been happening around and about the dear old Coleherne lately, isn’t it about time that someone (could it be me?) tried to bring some little perspective into the matter.

So all right, the pigs persecute us gays on every possible occasion, and most of us have known about it for quite a time. But aren’t we playing rather too obviously into their hands in this particular case.

How many times have you visited the Coleherne at closing time, not merely as a witness to the bullying pig tactics which quite obviously go on, but as an observer of how one particular part of a minority group (ie the gays who use the Coleherne) behave late at night in a high-density living area. OK, I know 11pm isn’t late for some, but some of us are early risers by economic necessity, and the cruising and camping, bitchy fights and lingering farewells often do carry on until much later.

Perhaps if a few of our people were less shrill in their manner and more abstemious with their gin and tonics, the pigs wouldn’t even have an excuse.

Anyway, right on. Gay News, you’re just beginning to let it all hang out!

Love.

J. Porter.

ED. Bring up any little thing you like J.P. and play into anyone’s hand you can get into, but some of us have been frequenting the Coleherne regularly for up to ten years, as customers, and we know the scene. Earls Court is generally a noisy late-living area, especially the Old Brompton Road itself, it’s the police who push people into the back streets, and who are we, or you, to dictate drinking habits to anyone.

Any Offers

Cheshire,

Dear Sir,

I am writing to see if you may be able to help me with my problem.

Since 1940 I have been a confirmed S/M, and my first wife was also, and therefore I had no occasion to look elsewhere to have my bottom smacked or caned or whipped to give me complete sexual satisfaction. But in 1960 I lost my first wife with cancer. In the 18 months which followed I met three men, one a homosexual, in Manchester and he got pleasure out of smacking my bottom for an hour at a time until it was bleeding, and this relationship lasted for three weeks then he disappeared. I found two more but they were only one night stands. Then I remarried and tried to introduce this way to my second wife and found she wouldn’t and couldn’t respond to it, and I have tried to find someone, unknown to my wife, of course, who would smack my bottom but I’ve had no success and I’m very frustrated now. I don’t mind which sex, colour, or nationality as long as I can meet someone, or as many people as possible because I like plenty of it.

So if you could help me at all I would be very grateful. Or course this is all unknown to my wife and there would be hell to pay if she found out, but if I make contact with someone first, arrangements could be made later.

R.B.

ED. If anyone wishes to write to our friend we will pass all letters on to him. Stamped envelope please.

Kiddettes

London WC1

Dear Gay News,

Even if Councillor Kidd appears to be developing an obsession with homosexuals there is no reason why we in turn (as seems to be the case) should develop an obsession with him. There are few people in Scotland who would treat his views with the seriousness of Gay News 7, and still fewer who would go to the trouble of seeking them out — with the possible exception of BBC Scotland looking for a lighter item for its News. Councillor Kidd has been a laughing-stock throughout at least the Lowlands for years; the very mention of his name provokes derision. Homosexuality is only the latest in a very long list of subjects on which he has pronounced with unfailing unintelligence. He is an isolated eccentric even in true-blue Edinburgh: have you thought about how much practical effect his exhortations to the police have had?

You would do better to think more about the support for us that does exist outside the gay community (and finds regular practical expression — witness the Iona Community’s help to SMG) than to build up bogeymen for us to shudder over in private. Do for goodness’ sake cheer up: much of your last issue reads as if it were produced in an office full of inconsolable depressives.

Good wishes anyway.

Graeme Woolaston.

Sickening Treatment

London NW3

Dear Sir,

I was interested to read your Stop Press item on the trouble it the ‘Champion’ on 16th September. As an onlooker that evening, I was sickened by the way the Landlord and police treated the GLF boys who were not in my opinion in ‘drag’. I feel that this word must be defined more precisely before the law is allowed to come down upon it.

I was also shocked by the lack of support from other gays in the bar and I left shortly after the events, determined not to support that pub again. Until the Landlord drew attention to himself and the police arrived I was not even aware of our persecuted comrades.

I am not accustomed to wearing drag but I did not find the clothing in the least offensive and they behaved admirably in the circumstances.

If gay people allow this sort of discrimination without protest, where will it end?

A Teacher

No Chips Please

Birmingham

Dear Gay News,

Firstly, thanks for a newspaper that looks towards the future and not the usual propoganda we read and hear so much about, as though we have a chip on our shoulders about being gay.

We are all human beings with the same feelings towards life as everyone, homosexual or heterosexual and not at all odd, so there is no need for anyone to feel guilty about being gay.

I would like this paper, given time, to be read by heterosexual as well as homosexual. We will eventually get accepted by the general public if we don’t segregate ourselves as though we are different and as if we are all the time hitting out upon the public as though they are always against us. It works both ways, and the sooner we realise this the better our chances for an equal acceptance!

Every Success for your good work,

P. Arthur Miles
Gwen Browne

Chosen One

19721001-05Cliff Richard has been chosen to sing for Britain in the Eurovision Song Contest next year, and he becomes the first singer to be chosen twice to sing in the event.

He came second in 1968 with ‘Congratulations’, one vote behind the winner.

Announcing the surprise choice Mr Bill Cotton, BBC’s Head of TV entertainment said; “Cliff is the biggest selling singer in Europe. He was the obvious choice.”

Cliff, and his group were recently banned from appearing in Singapore, because of his alleged long hair.

Ban On Cliff

19720901-04Believe it or not, our own very special Cliff ‘Livin’ Doll’ Richard has been reportedly banned from performing in Singapore next month. The reason given was his long hair

The 32-year-old ex-rock ‘n’ roller is understood to have had his, and his five-man backing group’s application for a visit refused for the same reason, according to Singapore’s afternoon newspaper New Nation. Cliff Richard, although still popular, is not renowned for having flowing locks and all that mistakenly implies.

One wonders if Val Doonican will be banned from Hong Kong, and God help David Bowie on his forthcoming trip to Australia.

Cliff, who is touring Israel, commented “If Singapore bans me I shall simply carry on to Tokyo and forget the whole thing.”

“I’m not going to get a haircut. Is this long?” remarking, that is, on his fashionably styled hair, which is considered short by our own standards.

Keep it growing Cliff, for as long as you are able. One wonders if this thought has ever crossed Cliff’s mind, “Did Jesus ever have this trouble?”

Your Letters

ALL LETTERS RECEIVED BY GAY NEWS ARE LIABLE TO BE PUBLISHED UNLESS YOU STATE OTHERWISE.

03-197207XX-02The ………. Club,
Malta
July 1st, 1972.

Dear Gay News

I and my fellow Gays here have read with interest the account of your new venture “Gay News” in Alan Brians Diary in the Sunday Times, of June 25th.

Here in Malta we have formed a Gay Circle consisting of seven Maltese three English and two Italians, ages between 18 and 69 (the latter one of our most active members).

It has long been our wish to contact visiting gays of any nationality and to give them hospitality. All of us have our own accommodation and can put up suitable visitors with similar tastes. We know how difficult it is for strangers in a strange land.

All of our circle are attractive especially the Maltese who are in the 18-24 year group. These boys are most appealing having beautiful eyes, sensuous and accommodating mouths, and beautifully experienced fingers. All are slim and most seductive. We are all two way operators and everything goes for us except whipping. That is the only thing we bar.

We understand that you cannot print gay lonely hearts ads in your magazine but we would be most grateful if you could pass the news of our existence in your circles.

We would like to subscribe to your magazine but police cencorship of magazines is so tough here it would be dangerous for us to receive it.

In any course we understand that all letters will be answered so who knows you may get us some contacts.

If any visiting gays want to contact our circle will they please contact me by letter first stating their likes and dislikes, their preferences or desires and I am sure they can be well accommodated.

Best wishes for the success of Gay News.

J.


Che Kent Youth Group
1, Trinity Road,
Folkestone,
Kent.
8th July, 1972

Dear Gay News,

I am very impressed with both issues so far, I think your format, articles and layout is just great, please keep it up and don’t for goodness sake fold up will you?!! Can you find a space somewhere just to ask if there’s anyone in Kent, especially S.E. Kent who reads Gay News and hasn’t joined either CHE or GLF and is willing to help me get things going in this “respectable” seaside resort. So far I am having to do all the leafletting, sticker sticking and campaigning work by myself which beside being time consuming can be rather disheartening too. So please all you young active gay guys and girls if you’re reading this and want to help drop us a line for heaven’s sake!

Love,
  Brian Hart.


Co. Derry,
N. Ireland.

Dear Gay News,

I do not usually write congratulatory letters so consider yourselves honoured.

The only sour note was the ‘Het of the Month’ bit – I’d call that a scandalous liberty, in the case of issue No.1. There is, I contend, no evidence whatever to suggest that Cliff Richard is heterosexual.

S.Fruizzell.


HANDS OFF !!!
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE
GENERAL POST OFFICE.

Dear GPO,

We feel flattered that members of the GPO are interested enough in Gay News to the extent that they wish to acquire copies. But please, could you buy them like everyone else. If you write to us we will tell you your nearest stockist, or alternatively, why don’t you take out a subscription?

It is very naughty to open up our parcels and pinch copies; it upsets the person receiving the parcel, not only because copies are missing but because the then tatty parcels don’t protect the rest of the papers very well. We get upset too because we lose money that is needed and it makes life hell for the person keeping the books.

Latest example of this petty pilfering reported to us is the strange disappearance of 4 copies from a parcel sent to Birmingham.

Please stop it!

Gay News collective.

Continues on Page 9

Hamburger’s Jesus

01-197205XX 9Mr. Hamburger and Mr. Darjean have provided Cliff with this bouncy ditty about Jesus, and all His wonders. Cliff warbles tunefully along, hardly missing a note, happily acclaiming the virtues and mercies of the Son of God. It’s bound to sell to all those festival-of-lighters, and I’m sure Peter Hill has a copy, and Prince Charles. I can’t imagine it going down very well though in the Rockingham Club in manchester or the Catacombs in London’s often exposed Earl’s Court. But to each his or her own. One doesn’t have to buy it, and Tony Blackburn never plays it.