“Gay Sex Ed. Is A Must”

LONDON: A teach-in in London was told a teachers’ information service should be set up to advise teachers on how they can introduce gayness into sex education in schools.

The teach-in was held at the London Collegiate Centre by the Campaign for Homosexual Equality and the London Homophile Society. The subject was introducing homosexual education into schools.

It lasted all day and was split into three sections.

In the first session, called Identifying The Problem, the speaker was Malcolm Johnson. The second session was Methods of Education with David Bell as speaker. David said that if a teacher had a healthy loving relationship with his pupils they would accept his sexual orientation as an incidental and healthy part of his total personality. Too often, gay teachers simply comply with acceptable heterosexual standards and to that extent have a hollow negative relationship with their pupils.

The third part of the teach-in was on practical action with Glenys Parry of CHE speaking.

In question time one teacher said he felt that a teachers’ information service should be set up to advise teachers on the best way to teach pupils about gayness.

Others criticised Michael Douane, of Risinghill School and N. S. Neil – who are seen as progressive in education – were reactionary in their approach to homosexuality. Apparently, they said, the heads saw freedom making happy healthy heterosexual children and adults, and that homosexuality is the result of negative environmental pressures.

One teacher said that real live homosexuals should be allowed to be guest speakers at schools to avoid a discussion on homosexuality becoming too abstract. But this idea the teach-in thought, would be a challenge to school authority structures and the establishment’s thinking, and would be difficult to implement.

Glenys’s session on practical action was on the ways teachers could come out and influence their pupils’ minds by discussing the real nature of figures in history and introducing the subjects into religious instruction lessons.

Whilst the teach-in admitted that it would be difficult to introduce homosexuality into some subjects, such as metalwork, Wallace Grevatt, who did much of the organising that got the teach-in to happen, said he hoped a teachers’ action group to provide an information service and to create pressure upon educationalists to consider the possibility of introducing homosexual education into school curricula.

Platform Wreathed With Flowers

03-197207XX-03Che’s all-London Congress could, depending on your standpoint, be regarded as a success. Quite a few ideas were aired, there was none of the tension that has sometimes characterized previous mass meetings. The platform had been wreathed with flowers. Maybe thats why. About 200 people turned up and sat in grave rows in the Holborn Assembly Rooms. Gavin chaired alone, deciding (rightly) we could do without a line of glum celebrities flanking him.

Most of the time was spent discussing the Che club. The establishment of a nation-wide series of non-profit making, well equipped clubs for homosexual men and women is one of Che’s prime aims. It looks as though it is up to London Che to do it being bigger and therefore richer (though not necessarily wiser) than the provincial groups.

The treasurer told us early that the Building Fund now stood at £449.96. A great deal of discussion ensued about priorities – that is, should this club start right off as a sort of C.O.C. enterprise, or was the acquisition of a small permanent office more important just now? David Bell claimed that the Che club would “be the one thing that Che is known for the world over”. Gavin decided it was not very rewarding to look to Europe where things were different and had been so for some lime.

A few lone voices expressed doubt about the wisdom of apparently competing with existing gay clubs, and someone else told us to avoid the church hall syndrome since members wouldn’t come to meetings.

However, this wasn’t exactly supported as the entire meeting heavily agreed that they would attend Che meetings no matter where they were held. The temperature rose just before half time when one guy, obviously cheesed off with the debating stood up and threw a 50p piece on the floor and bullied everyone to do the same. His idea was action now and to hell with the chat. His enthusiasm was partly infectious as that little episode added an instant £70.86 to the Building Fund.

There was some inconclusive chat about Che’s central London groups and the growing number of local ones. We heard that gramophone enthusiasts, poetry-lovers, drama-buffs, car rally maniacs, musical souls, sporting types were now being catered for by a series of groups set up to pursue these hobbies. There was to be a choir as well, and a sports club. And a dining club.

The assembly was intended to provide an opportunity for members to sound off about Che, to criticize and make suggestions. So the larger part of time was spent, inevitably, on internal topics. But the meeting was opened and closed by discussion of more general and more relevant topic. Immediately the dynamic Jacquie Forster of Sappho harrangued the meeting about male-domination of Che. “Do you spend any time at all thinking about Lesbians?” she cried, “equality must mean more girls in Che”. And we agreed. There was, she added, no evidence of any campaigning activities. And why not? The IT case was touched upon, but briefly with a reminder that a great many people had written letters to all sorts of publications and indeed, that week Che had scored highly with letters published.

Altogether the meeting produced a tremendous feeling of unity, enthusiasm and confidence that in London Che is doing the right thing and beginning to do it rather well.