Please & Thanks – A Reminder

Our appeal for donations and loans, first printed in GN14 and repeated in subsequent issues, has brought a most encouraging and optimistic response. As regular readers of this paper know, we needed to raise £500 immediately at the beginning of January to ensure GN’s publication during the first two months of this year. This we have received, and we are extremely grateful for the positive action on the part of those who sent in donations etc.

We also stated that we needed a further £1500 in addition to the £500 already mentioned, to enable Gay News to be financially sound during the next few months, until we are finally able to stand on our own feet completely.

From the list of figures printed at the end of this piece, you will see that to date we have only managed to obtain a portion of the amount we were hoping to raise. In this issue you will read that we have secured larger, more adequate premises, but at present we are without the funds to furnish the offices with the equipment we desperately need to operate efficiently If you still feel that GN is a venture worth supporting, your donations will be most welcome. May we remind you that loans or guarantees for bank loans are also of much value to us, as is any office furniture etc you may not be putting to good use.

In conclusion, we sincerely thank those of you who have so far contributed to our Please & Thanks appeal. We hope that your support has been repaid by the continued publication of Europe’s only independent, fortnightly newspaper for gays of all sexes.

Donations & loans received up to 14/2/73 630.73
Donations received from 2/2/73:
Mike, London SW18 1.00
David, Hexham 1.00
G W, Teddington 1.00
Colin, Hornsey 1.00
Eric, London 2.00
Dave, Cockermouth 1.00
David, Newcastle 1.00
Mike & John, Dalston 2.00
Anon, Paris (10Fr) 0.80
Barry, Birmingham 3.30
Eric, Leeds 2.00
Brian, London SW10 1.00
Brian, Heanor 1.00
TOTAL £647.83

Please And Thanks – A Reprise

In GN 15 and 16 we have carried a list of all the donations (and loans) received by us since we informed you of our financial difficulties.

We are pleased to announce that our immediate problems have been solved by your generous response. But we are still desperately in need of capital to make sure our recent troubles don’t reappear again in a month or two’s time. Also, if Gay News is ever going to be more than just a sixteen page fortnightly, we must expand and improve.

We have many plans for the future besides raising the standard and increasing the size of GN. Some of you have heard us talk about them, whilst many others can easily guess at what some of our aims are by taking a long, hard look at what is called the ‘gay scene’ and drawing their own conclusions about what is missing and sorely needed. When we finally secure larger premises we intend to regularly invite you, the readers, to meet with us to discuss the paper and the directions it should or should not be taking as well as talking about the other projects we have in mind.

To realise any of these aims, there must be funds readily available, especially in the next few months as the paper struggles to become completely self-sufficient. We must appeal to your help to reach the amounts we need. They were £500 immediately, with a further £1500 to put us on a firm financial footing. As you can see from the figures at the end of this piece, the first amount has been reached, but we are still a long way from reaching the second. May we suggest that you can help in more ways than just by sending us cash. Loans and guarantees for a bank overdraft are also a sound and practical way of providing financial stability. We can offer what assets we possess at this time as security. Any people interested in offering assistance in this way are most welcome to inspect our books before coming to any decisions.

Finally we would like to express our sincerest gratitude to those of you who have contributed to our Please and Thanks appeal. Your loyalty and faith is much appreciated.

Donations received up to 1/2/73 355.40
Loans 125.00
Donations for electric typewriter 54.00
534.40
Donations received from 2/2/73:
Tony, Weybridge 1.80
Mike, Harpenden 2.70
Waler, Hawick 1.00
David, London 7.00
Bill, Hull 2.00
Tony, London EC3 0.50
Terry, London SW4 5.00
Leeds University Gay Lib Soc 3.83
Raymond, Boston (for electric typewriter fund) 25.00
Edward, House of Commons 23.50
Anon, London 0.50
David, Birmingham 2.00
Brian, Heanor 1.00
Peter, London EC2 2.00
Dieter, Nottingham 2.00
Tony, London N4 1.00
Ronald, Wantage 2.00
Mary, London SW3 1.00
Paul, London SW6 2.00
Graham, Wrexham 1.00
John, Leeds 1.80
Micheal, Bromely 7.70
TOTAL £630.73

Please And Thanks – An Encore

Following the Editorial comments about our financial difficulties in GN14, there has been a growing response to our appeal for positive help. In the last issue we printed, under the headline Please And Thanks, a list of those who have contributed to making sure that Gay News carries on being regularly published and that the paper keeps to the standards we have set ourselves.

In this edition we reprint that list, adding to it the many other donations, large and small, that we have received since. We apologise to any people whose names do not appear but have all the same sent us something. Please get in touch and remind us.

The amount of money required was an immediate £500, plus a further £1500 to guarantee our continued existence. If we can gather in this capital, it will mean in a matter of months, that we will be able to stand on our own feet, and as we said in the last issue, make appeals such as this a thing of the past.

Your donations and the interest you have shown in our financial problems give us at Gay News a vigorous determination to make sure that the paper carries on happening in the future. So please accept our most sincere thanks and love for helping to give us the chance to keep on publishing this country’s first independent national newspaper for all gay men and women.

Once again we leave you to calculate how much we have received so far, and how short it is of the amount we need. Of course, we have totalled the list. Why don’t you?

D and G, London £25
AK, Essex £2.70
Enzo, London £2
Kenneth, Scarborough £1
Tony £1
Jim, Glasgow £2.70
David, South London £5.00
Christopher, Oxford £5.00
Philip, Camden £10
Simon, Newark £2.70
Ray, Norwich1 £5
Antique Dealer, London £10
N, London £2
Luke, London £10
C.T. London £1
Milic of Le Faune £5
Joe, Liverpool £5
A F B £20
Henry, West Worthing £5
Phil, uncorn -£2
Customers of Le Faune £9
EG, Brighton 90p
Anon £1
National Federation of Homophile Organisations £50
Robert of Pluckley £50
Challenge £25
Tony & Eric, London NW6 £25
CHE (London) 6 month loan £75
Friend, 3 month loan £50
Scottish Minorities Group £10
Austin, Kirkeudbrightshire £10
Sidney, Challenge £5
Peter, London SW7 £5
G & J, Rochester £5
Arthur & Henry £5
Richard, London £5
Stuart, Glasgow £5
Anonymous, (given at Coleherne) £5
Anonymous £5
Richard, London SW11 £2.70
S, London £1
Peter, London £1
Nick, Blackburn £1
Phil, Cheshire £1
Richard, Malden 70p.
Rob, Nottingham £5
And thanks to George for paying for the hire of our first electric typewriter for six months. £54

Please And Thanks

In the last edition of Gay News, our Editorial told you of the financial crisis we’ve found ourselves in. Antony Grey expanded on the problems and the way that these were in common to all sections of the gay community in his article ‘1973 – Make Or Break Year’.

As a response to what was said, we have received a number of donations. We said in the Editorial that we needed £500 to solve our immediate difficulties, and a further £1500 to ensure our continued existence.

If we can raise this much needed capital, we should, within months, be able to stand on our own feet and make appeals such as this a thing of the past.

In the near future we will include a financial statement in Gay News to let you all know the ups and downs of the paper since we started publishing last June.

The joint editors and collective of Gay News would like to sincerely thank the following life-savers who sent in donations etc, no matter what the amount was.

We leave you to work out how much more we need to guarantee that the paper will keep on publishing.

National Federation of Homophile Organisations £50
Robert of Pluckley £50
Challenge £25
Tony & Eric, London NW6 £25
CHE (London) 6 month loan £75
Friend, 3 month loan £50
Scottish Minorities Group £10
Austin, Kirkeudbrightshire £10
Sidney, Challenge £5
Peter, London SW7 £5
G & J, Rochester £5
Arthur & Henry £5
Richard, London £5
Stuart, Glasgow £5
Anonymous, (given at Coleherne) £5
Anonymous £5
Richard, London SW11 £2.70
S, London £1
Peter, London £1
Nick, Blackburn £1
Phil, Cheshire £1
Richard, Malden 70p.
And thanks to George for paying for the hire of our first electric typewriter for six months. £54

Here We Are Again

Thanks for welcoming us to the New Year by purchasing our first edition of 1973. Despite the present financial gloom, we are all optimistic about the future, and like Mr Micawber, feel something is bound to turn up.

As we have said in the Editorial, we do need a large amount of money/capital to come into our coffers to guarantee our continued existence, as well as expansion and improvement. But as well as needing cash, other needs are almost as important. These are larger premises, which hopefully will be available in the not too distant future, and also we must have better and more professional organisation and systems of working together within the structure of Gay News itself. And it is up to us, the joint editors and members of the editorial collective to make sure that these things happen. We most certainly are endeavouring to.

New People

On the first of this month we are being joined full-time by Peter Munday, who is now solely responsible for distribution, apart from street selling which is a must for every member of Gay News.

It is extremely important that we do sell more copies of GN, but to do this we have to find more outlets. This is where Peter comes into his own. As well as ascertaining all is running smoothly with our present distribution network, he will, during the coming months, be attempting to make sure Gay News is on sale in many more newsagents, bookshops and street vendors pitches around the country and in London. Also, and probably more significantly, Peter will be trying to arrange that the paper is available in as many gay pubs and clubs throughout Great Britain as possible. Whilst GN is still in its infancy, it seems logical to us that the best place to sell a gay newspaper is in gay places.

So if you can help Peter, please contact him at the Gay News office.

As well as having someone to handle our distribution, we also have been joined by Mike who is looking into the present running systems of GN. We feel many areas leave a lot to be desired and also that we may be wasting much time and energy by using unrealistic and self-defeating methods. So during the month or so Mike is with us he will be examining the complete structure of Gay News and be offering advice on how we can improve or change the present way we work. In addition, he will be organising new ways of handling the administrative side of the paper.

New Years Resolution

During 1972 we felt that there has been far too little co-operation between Gay News and the other gay publications available. Like us, these other papers and magazines are as hard pressed for money and necessary assets. So it seems to us at GN that if we all try a little harder to understand what the others are doing, and worked and exchanged information with one another it would help put an end to that bad feeling that exists between some of us.

All too often, bitchiness, intolerance and non-communication has taken the place of friendliness, awareness and a general interchange of ideas. Unfortunately, this has happened too between Gay News and some of the gay organisations. None of us are going to get anywhere without each other’s help and support, so in 1973 let’s all take a step down from the various pedestals we have placed ouselves on, and be friends, even if we cannot bridge the gap between our ideological differences. Gay News sees no reason why a little more co-operation and love amongst the various gay publications and organisations will result in any of us having to sacrifice our editorial independence or ideological convictions.

By working together we can show the ‘straight’ world more than just the fact that we are no different to them. For we can also let them see the power of togetherness and toleration by a large and varied cross-section of people who by overcoming their differing opinions and committments, can jointly struggle and work for a common cause.

Togetherness and toleration should be the New Years Resolution we should all make and keep through 1973.

Julian

Apart from a brief phone call the other evening, the last we heard of Julian D. Grinspoon was that he had gone off to his beloved Brighton for a quiet but socially busy Christmas. A member of GN did receive a rather vague call from him though last weekend, when, in a lightly breathless manner he said he was thoroughly bored with turkey and that his New Years article would be ‘gay’ ways of making turkey leftovers interesting and appetising. Since then we haven’t heard a word from him, and as turkeys are a fading memory for most of us, it’s probably just as well. Anyway, Julian, we hope, will be back for the next issue. We all love you, dear.

Next Issue

Gay News No 15 will be available from 24th January. Please keep your letters, articles and suggestions coming in. See you all next issue, and hope you enjoy this one.

Editorial

05-197208XX 1We said it once. We are saying it again. We are short of money, and we need more. Not to expand the paper. Not to improve it. Just to keep it in existence. And we wouldn’t need to say that if our shops paid us promptly.

Most news is pessimistic — which is pretty well inevitable in the present situation of gay people. We are, after all, a frightened, fighting, persecuted minority, especially at the moment.

But …. where is the optimism, the creative side of gay life? What are we doing that is positive and fun? Not much.

The collective has heard a lot in these past few weeks about why we ought not to have started a gay newspaper, about how we are singling out gay people and setting them apart from everyone else, about how we are publicising the elements of gay life that many of us would like to forget or pretend didn’t exist. We’ve also had favourable comment to far outweigh this. But we feel we ought to make it clear why we disagree with our detractors on this point.

Firstly, The business of creating gay groups, papers, and so forth, serves a very great need. If someone thinks they are the only homosexual in the world, publicly gay things show them that they are not, show them things they can be part of. If someone is in any kind of trouble because they are gay, then that affects all of us, because we are gay too, and “there but for the grace of god go I”. We must be in a position to help one another.

Secondly. The gay scene that does exist is largely created for gay people by non-gay people, who do not understand us and our way of life as well as we do. They are in it because they know that if a place is passable but also gay, it will make them money. Mind you, we are getting more discerning. The Hummabum Club only stayed open a short while – people realised that it was a rip-off operation and weren’t going to fall for it.

But because the places for us to meet are few, and so many of us are isolated from one another because we do not feel able to be what we are openly at all times, we tend to be aggressively single-minded about getting someone home to bed when we do meet en masse. And this leads to the unthinking and inhuman treatment of other people as bed-fodder, judging them solely on the basis of their look and style, not as people.

We don’t like that attitude very much. It’s so much nicer going to bed with people you like, people you know, people you care about – in other words, to have friends you get to bed with now and again.

Thirdly. We believe in honesty. At all times, in all places. It’s incredibly hard. It hurts, especially if you’re not used to it. But it is really worth it. It really is worth the effort. So playing straight is not our game – indeed, we try not to play any games, or if we do, at least be aware of them.

So, at the moment, there is very little of value …. for the simple reason that anything gay people have has been granted or provided after much pressure by the very begrudging majority. A majority that is ignorant of us, doesn’t like us, and doesn’t want us. So we end up with what they think we deserve — and most of it is very dingy and expensive tat. If we really want anything of lasting value, we must create it ourselves; get together and do it. If that means staying an isolated minority for a while, that’s exactly what they want us to be. But it also means that we can show them, prove to them that we can do very well without them thank you, that we don’t need them. That we have every bit as much to offer to the human race as they have, and if they want it, they must come and get it. We here at Gay News don’t want two worlds, gay and non-gay. We want one world for everybody. For all that to happen, they must see us, know us, respect us, and actively want to be part of what we are doing as much as some of us want to be part of what they are doing (and that involves conventional society changing too – we don’t want to be part of it as it stands).

We made our beginning with a newspaper. Others do it in the various movements (though it would help if the movements stopped bitching one another and actually got together to do something). We would hope that the paper will stay out of those inter-movements politics, bridge some of the gaps, and perhaps become a nucleus for the more positive side of gay culture. At the moment we are preoccupied with trying to survive. But what we want to do …… to be really national, with regional offices, to have really much less cramped premises here, to start a counselling service for people in trouble, to run a club. We get letters, lots of them, that show how cut off, how lonely, how tired-of-things-as-they-are people are. We want to do something about it. All of us, all of you.

If we could all get together and do something like that, we could spawn a whole new beginning for straight society as well as for ourselves. It’s a dream. It’s a long way into the future. It could start now. But does anybody care?