Fulham police are smarting from the defeat they suffered in the gay dance queer bashing case at West London Court.
Tony Reynolds, 21, one of the organisers of GLF’s Youth and Education Group and of Gay Pride Week, was charged with using threatening behaviour outside Fulham Town Hall.
With the court’s public gallery packed to capacity with GLF members, some of them in full drag, the magistrates were told of how a gay left the GLF dance on July 7 and was beaten up – needing four stitches in the cuts in his face (reported in GN3).
Sgt Mervyn Sault said Tony shouted obscenities and raised his arm, with his fist clenched, at a group of youths standing on the other side of the road.
Tony told the magistrates he had shouted: “Look there’s one of them. He’s laughing and joking with them – British justice!” But he’d said nothing obscene – in fact, he rarely swore. He didn’t clench his fist.
Three witnesses appeared to corroborate Tony’s evidence.
The police did not attempt to deny that they had been laughing and joking with the queer bashers, and had to withdraw a charge of using threatening words.
The final egg on the law’s lace came when a well-wisher handed Tony the £5 from the public gallery to pay his derisory fine.
Gay Pride week got off to a friendly but not very inspiring start with a dance at the Fulham Town Hall – all thirties glass and stucco. The hall was responsible for the poor sound – it was either too loud or inaudible – and so the first group deafened me whilst Rupert Herries gentle songs were lost. In the former case, it would have helped if the hall had been full, but, alas, the attendance was only fair.
The most noticeable feature of the evening was the quality and quantity of guys in drag, from those who took themselves very seriously and were got up in variations on a theme by Mae West/Yvonne de Carlo or even a sort of Drag Valentino in a velvet mirrorwork gown, on through the dollybird to a sort of Gert-and-Daisy character in a print shift, woolly socks and hush puppies (not to mention the hairy, stockingless legs and the three-day growth). Major entertainment of the evening for me was watching one guy lifting his skirt and hauling down his tights in order to join we poor trouserbound males at the urinal. But I do wish that the people in make-up had made up their minds too – most attempts at combining thirties vamp and Cherokee warpaint are doomed to failure, I’m afraid.
It was O.K. as dances go, certainly more fun than the last, and I’m quite sure a few of the town hall staff were given considerable food for thought. It’s a pity more people from outside GLF weren’t there – still, never mind, eh?
Wednesday, June 28th, 1972
Dear Gay News,
Yesterday, in London’s Oxford Street, I saw a mob of grotesque, raddled and over-painted nellies carrying placards and banners proclaiming “GAY IS ANGRY”. As they ambled towards Marble Arch whooping, jeering, calling out slogans and four-letter words etc., I couldn’t help bur feel utterly disgusted by their behaviour.
What, I wonder, do such people hope to achieve? Where they in any way sensible they would realise that flaunting themselves through the streets of the Capital will only shower further disgrace on all gays and incite more and more youths to go “queer bashing”.
If the object of “Gay News” is to campaign on behalf of exhibitionists such as these then your battle is completely lost, and you should toss in the towel right away. No self-respecting gay would want to concern himself with these drop-outs. They are a menace, not only to gays, but to the whole of man/womankind.
Simon L. Manson.
This letter is a comment on a G.L.F./Radical Feminist action, presumably part of Gay Pride Week. Gay News welcomes other inter pretations of this event.
On a late June night in 1969, police attempted a routine search at the Stonewall, a gay bar in Christopher Street in New York’s Greenwich Village. This time, however, they met with resistence. The patrons of the bar pushed them out into the street. Greenwich Village is the largest gay ghetto in the world, and the police soon found themselves confronted by hundreds of angry homosexuals who streamed out of the surrounding apartments. What developed was a minor rebellion, complete with bricks and bottles: a spontaneous explosion of years of pent-up anger and frustration.
This was the beginning of the Gay Liberation Movement in America, A year later it was to appear and grow in London. Every year in New York a carnival is held to celebrate the event and to demonstrate the movements feeling of Gay Pride. Last years celebrations were held throughout North America, and this year will also be celebrated in London and the major cities of Europe.
The London Gay Liberation Front is planning a week-long series of events as part of this years celebration of Gay Pride. Theme of the activities will be both an assertion of Gay Pride and and two concrete demands: repealing of all anti-gay laws and full civil rights for gay people.
The weeks events are:
- FRIDAY JUNE 23rd: West London Gay Dance – Fulham Town Hall, 8pm – 12pm.
- SATURDAY JUNE 24th: Various events, including mass leafleting of the gay areas.
- SUNDAY JUNE 25th: Gay Days at both Battersea Park and Waterlow Park, Highgate. Meet at both parks at 12 noon.
- MONDAY JUNE 26th: Disco at the Kings Arms, Bishopsgate, Liverpool Street. 8pm.
- TUESDAY JUNE 27th: Street events around London: ring GLF number below for further information. Amongst other activities the will be GLF vigil outside the American Embassy in Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, against the continuing war in Vietnam. 12am – 1pm.
- WEDNESDAY JUNE 28th: West London Gay Disco at: White Lion Pub, Putney. 8pm.
- THURSDAY JUNE 29th: The same events etc. (excepting US Embassy vigil) as Tuesday. Extra events are expected to come from local GLF groups.
- FRIDAY JUNE 30th: GAY PRIDE DANCE: Fulham Town Hall, 8pm – 12pm. Featuring rock groups, light-shows, disco, bar, and much togetherness.
- SATURDAY JULY 1st: GAY PRIDE CARNIVAL, meet at Trafalgar Square 2pm. March from there at 3pm. to Hyde Park through the streets of London. From 4pm. at Hyde Park there will be music, food, fun and surprises. On Saturday evening there will be a Disco at the Northern Polytechnic, Holloway Road. 8pm – 12pm. Music, lights, beer and even more surprises.
- SUNDAY JULY 2nd: Gay Day at Primrose Hill from 2pm.
There will be more events and celebrations as they come together, for further information about Gay Pride Week contact:
Gay Liberation Front, 5 Caledonian Road, London N.1.
Gay News is in no way involved in the organisation of Gay Pride Week, but we fully support the idea and motives behind this week of proposed gay celebrations. We wish than concerned much success in this venture and hope you, like us of the Gay News Collective, will endeavour to attend and participate in as many of these scheduled events as possible. Gay News, of course, will bc reporting and examining in depth the events of this week.