Your Letters

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

Scandalous Behaviour

Woodsetts, nr. Worksop,
Notts

Dear Gay News,

I have been going to write to you for some time but have kept putting it off through laziness. What has at last impelled me to shake off my torpor is the appalling and scandalous action of Mr Martin Stafford as reported in Gay News no 11.

As a fellow member of CHE’s Executive Committee, I am well aware of the petulant and selfish attitude that he adopts. But I am horrified that even he could go to the lengths that you have reported. To disagree with your policy of publishing contact ads is one thing; but to go over to the enemy in this way is something that ought not even be considered by someone holding any official position in an organisation such as CHE. I am absolutely sure that the overwhelming majority of CHE members will join with me in condemning such action in the strongest possible terms. I must congratulate Gay News for its objective (even kindly) reporting of the episode. It is time that CHE took some firm action to put Mr Stafford in his place as the squalid little nuisance that he is.

On the same subject, more or less, I find it very sad that so many of our brother and sister homosexuals, while looking for and expecting sympathy and understanding for their own problems find it so difficult to be sympathetic and understanding of those of others. Typical is the letter of VJM of Dublin in GN 11. What is so awful about camping it up in female clothes that a repressed pederast finds so hard to accept?

In the meantime, it’s an ill wind … etc. I have at last got round to telling you what a good job you are doing and sending you the small donation and the cigarette coupons that I have been meaning to do for some time.

With congratulations and all good wisnes tor continued success.

H. E. (Ike) Cowan

Good News, Bad News

London WC1

Dear Friends and Lovers,

Congratulations on what must be the very best issue of Gay News yet (No. 11). What with one of my very favourite people on the cover and that splendid interview with Shuff, I sat transfixed in the laundromat long after my knickers had finished tumbling dry. Mrs Shufflewick is certainly the best drag artist working today, a comedian of genius. The interview proved that the success of such articles (which only come off now and then) lies in asking the right question at the right stage in the conversation. So congratulations to Shuff’s interrogators.

Now the bad news. I felt that Peter Homes’ report of the German gay movie at the NFT was inadequate and rather silly. The event was not, I agree, as important as all that. But it was interesting and both the film and the audience’s reaction had messages for us that deserved a rather more serious discussion than that offered.

Finally, your reporter with a cold who couldn’t stay on for CHE’s evening show after the fair has embarrassed me considerably. I certainly did not conceive the one-act musical that was put on, nor did I take part in it. In fact my only contribution to the evening was to appear in a five-minute sketch. Credit where credit’s due, etc — so thank Rex, Michael, Marie and Gavin for the show.

Lots of love,

Roger Baker

Forced to be Free

National Federation of Homophile Organisations,
65 Shoot-up Hill, London, NW2 3PS

Dear Friends,

I don’t consider myself to be “Britain’s number one homosexual”; I simply told the London Medical Group audience that I had publicly been referred to in that way at another recent meeting, so I had no objection whatever to telling them that I was gay. This was in response to a “come out” challenge to the panel by a gay visitor in the audience. I added that the Chairman had set us an impossible task by asking for a “dispassionate and objective” account of homosexuality, because everybody in the world speaks from his or her own personal subjective sexual viewpoint, and I was no exception. But I hoped that having told them I was gay myself would not preclude my hearers from accepting that what I had to say was the result of knowledge gained through ten years’ professional work and responsible experience of running the Albany Trust. We have to scotch the absurd notion that only the “straight” can speak authoritatively about the “gay” (or vice versa).

This little episode did, however, cause me to reflect about “coming out”. It is good to be able to: but not everyone yet can without running considerable social and professional risks. Isn’t it somewhat unfair for those who are in a more fortunate situation not to recognise this? To taunt a panel of three professional people, only one of whom (myself) was able to publicly lay homosexuality on the line without almost inevitable and immediately damaging repercussions in their own sphere of work, strikes me as oppressive. It’s utterly wrong, of course, that such repercussions should still happen, but until we have all done much more to put society right in this respect, each one of us must surely be left to decide how far, and in what ways, we can come out. I have fought as hard as anyone for gay liberation and other civil rights causes; but I would resent being “forced to be free” a la Rousseau.

What those who still feel bound to remain “in the closet” can do, however, is to make the work of those of us in the various homophile groups and publications more effective by seeing to it that we aren’t starved out of existence. The entire homophile movement is in a state of chronic financial crisis that threatens its continued life. I hope all your readers will carefully consider the urgent needs of the Albany Trust, the NFHO and its member organisations, GLF, Gay News, and the various other homophile publications and see to it that if they can’t yet come out of their closets, they do dig deeper into their pockets so that we can all do more to make 1973 a year that is safer for gay people to come out in.

Love and Peace,

Antony Grey,
Chairman

Slagging Julian

Queenies Castle
Sussex

Dearest Darling Gay News.

Much though I love your newspaper, I have just one teensy-weensy complaint. I refer of course dears, to our little friend Julian Denys Grinspoon. Really, I don’t know why he bothers! He doesn’t give anything worth having; and what a pseud name!

Well really, loves, who wants to know what films are on at our dear old Bio? No one ever goes there for the films, do they? One gets enough carnal knowledge from just sitting there; and as for active participation, well I don’t think I need tell you old queens anything about that! Jules makes such a fuss just because some silly duchess at the cinema wouldn’t give him what he wants. Then he makes a big thing about telling us about all the people he eventually got it from (the programme of course). As if we want to know about his private life anyway.

The double-entendres are just too much personally I don’t like that sort of thing. He’s always doing things behind people’s backs just to get his own way. That sort of thing was illegal you know! So, why do all you lovelies at Gay News waste your space (and time) on him? Anyway, loves, he’s so camp and that’s one thing I cannot stand!

Thanks for your mag.
Lots of love,
A straight reader and friend,

Sebastian

Call to All Gay Sisters

Dear Gay News,

This is really a call to all lady gays. I fervently agree with the letter from Sappho (GN10) and I sing in chorus “where have all the ladies gone?”

I’m sure I am not the only female reading this wonderful newspaper. But the guys rule the waves once again, don’t let them hog all the paper. I know lots about them and have seen plenty of their arses. How about giving me a little of what I want. Let’s have a few of our lady friends saying something about themselves. I don’t see why we couldn’t have a sexy little ladie’s page if we tried hard enough. But there is only you who can bring that about, so write in and say something – anything! Like, where a few of you lovely ladies hang out! I’m a fresher to London and am still looking for lots of friends and a tour around the gay places. So don’t keep your info to yourselves, let’s all know about it. I’m looking for an opening – don’t keep me waiting! Write and tell me, and lots like me I’m sure, where we can meet some of you lovely ladies.

Love to you all,

Lynne

ED: Please get in touch with us Lynne, you forgot to put your name and address on your letter. Without your address we cannot forward any letters to you.

No GLF At CHE

London W6

Dear Collective.

May I bring this information to the attention of your readers. Going down to the CHE London Information Centre to do my lunchtime stint on the rota on Monday, November 6, I was told by the office manager that on the previous Sunday a decision was taken by the London Management Committee of CHE to remove all GLF literature in LIC.

The reason given was that LIC had too much of a left-wing flavour, and that GLF literature was too much in evidence. I observed that other gay literature including one of full frontal nudes was untouched by this censorship.

LIC exists surely to provide first information, on CHE, then information on all other gay organisations regardless of any political, religious or any other basis. I certainly was not aware that GLF dominated the diplay, nor was I conscious of the left-wing flavour of LIC — whatever sinister spectre that term conjures in certain narrow minds. It is sad to see this rage over gay-red-under-the-bed getting the better of some of our brothers and sisters, or is there some deeper motive behind this first move? Whatever the reason I am sure this decision is a bad one and must be resolutely opposed. Group Chairmen, please note.

Teck Ong

Truer Homosexuality

Durham

Dear Gay News,

The article in a recent Gay News about so-called pederasty prompted me to get my thoughts on the subject in order and write this.

Basically I’m bisexual. At the moment I’m more heterosexually than homosexually inclined, but this is more because of ‘supply’ than ‘demand’. As far as the homosexual side of my sexual make-up goes I could be defined as a pederast, because I’m chiefly attracted to guys in an age-range of about 15—22. I doubt whether I could get it on with anyone older than this. I’ve thought about the reasons for my choice, and they’re something like this.

Physically and mentally, I’m a pretty fair balance between masculine and feminine. I’m also 19 (so that makes half my sexual make-up illegal but I don’t care, it’s the law that’s wrong), and I’m attracted to similar people. Maybe this is truer homosexuality than that seen in many couples where the butch/bitch syndrome is their basis. Anyway, there’s an elusive blend of masculine hardness and slimness with feminine softness which really turns me on. Quite a lot of guys in this age-group have it, and so do some women; the only trouble is, all the guys are straight! So I do the next best thing and go with women…

I’ve written mainly about physical characteristics; but before anyone writes a nasty reply, I do take mental characteristics into account, indeed very much so. however I can’t get it on with a guy or chick unless I fancy them. What a hangup!

Chris

Letterette Of The Month

Sidcup, Kent

… Thanks a lot … great reading … love the ads … love it all … Happiness is egg shaped … and so am I.

EL

Gay Movie

46, Cavan Drive, St Albans, Herts.

Dear Gay News,

I am in the process of finishing a gay film ‘Love Of My Own’ and I would like to hear from interested parties, in getting it on celluloid. Script-writers, film-directors with experience, actors, non-actors, and people with finance. This film calls for actresses (not in drag). I would like any gay director of a company to give permission to use the board room, and also anyone with a large house with swimming pool, so come on, let’s really make this film for 1973.

RL

Your Letters continued on page 6.

Your Letters

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

Whoops!

4, Hamilton Close,
London NW8

Dear Sir,

Just to let you know, as calmly and sweetly as the situation permits, that the beautiful back photo on p7 of GN 10 is by me, repeat me. It is nothing to do with the journal called GAY TIMES, to which it is acknowledged, except insofar as they have printed it once, without bothering to acknowledge it at all.

The model, being well over 21, when this picture was taken, will no doubt be having the last laugh when he sees it used as an illustration on this particular subject!

Yours faithfully,

Karry Knight

Feminism is a Drag

Co Dublin,
Ireland.

Dear Sir,

Please find enclosed my renewed subscription to Gay News.

I think it is a super production, but I sometimes get very depressed when I read all about the persecutions, prosecutions and the drag scene. The latter is stupidly too feminine for my liking and spoils the true concept of a homosexual.

In GN8 you had a short article on pederasts. Well, I’m afraid I’m one and as someone said in your paper, I must have a very sick mind. Maybe I have, but I have never approached or molested a child in my life, nor do I intend to. It’s far too dangerous to do and would spoil that child’s future. I reckon my mind isn’t as sick as those that dress up as women and those that act and address each other in female terms. They just cannot appreciate the male form.

For some years now I have adored, from a distance. boys of the ages 12 to 16 years. I think their faces, in most cases, are the prettiest of any human, their build just perfect. To me the body of a man is revolting and I would rather die than share a bed with one and likewise the thought of buggery is nauseating. My dream would be in the position of being able to kiss a boy from head to toe and no more.

I have never met a homosexual person in my life. Maybe because I don’t look for one. I have read many books and magazines which I often find revolting, but sometimes get satisfaction in seeing magazines of nude boys. I have never seen a real live body of a nude boy since I was a kid myself. I would really give anything, and I mean this, to see one and be with one. I have often felt like advertising, but realised it would be stupid because of the law.

It is terribly frustrating to look at a boy and not be able to touch him even though you don’t intend him any harm…

It is the first time I have ever written to a paper or a magazine. Gay News is the most advanced paper I have come across and I sincerely wish you continued success and safety.

Yours sincerely,

VJM

Beware Of Longford

Dear Gay News,

I was so enraged to see that letter in GN9 by HRA (whoever the hell he is) condemning the picture of Longford and Cliff Richard that I felt compelled to write. I reject any notion that it was in “appalling bad taste”. I found it was very funny, and it made my day. Thank God someone has got a sense of humour.

I must admit that Lord Longford has always been a source of amusement to me, but that hit the bull. If it was mocking, then it was justified. If HRA is offended by the sight of a prick, then I feel sorry for him, he’s missing out on a hell of a lot!

Going back to Lord Longford as a person, it must be admitted that he indeed has a social conscience, but his idea of ‘helping’ is ludicrous, and even frightening. All that he believes in centres around sex, pornography etc; he seems to have it on the brain (which sounds bloody uncomfortable to me). People associate him with pornography, because every time we hear about him he rattles on about it. True, he might ‘help’ drop-outs, but then I could give you a list as long as your… no, longer, of people who devote their whole life to helping in the true sense of the word.

In case anybody did not realise, Lord Longford is officially a nothing. Despite the title and the fact that he can gas away in the House of Lords, he is only one person, and represents nobody – as an MP does. He is a member of a chamber that is not elected, therefore undemocratic, and unrepresentative. He is one of the many one-time officials that are put out to grass in the Lords. He has the advantage of assuming importance so that the Government could well take notice of his monstrous report.

For anyone who knows what freedom of expression is, beware, because if Longford gets his way, you’ll lose what you’re just getting.

Although it is only one little aspect of the subject, if Oz offends someone, don’t read it. If Oh! Calcutta! depraves, don’t look at it. And if the children are going to be corrupted, the goddamn parents can make sure that they only see what’s OK till they’re old enough to judge. After all, nothing will survive unless there is the demand.

Sorry this letter is so long and rambling, but let me end on a serious note. Well done to all the collective, you’re doing a great job. I’d send some money, but I’m out of a job and I’m broke; never mind, it’s the thought that counts.

Adrian.

How To Sell More GN

Dear Gay News,

One way to encourage more people to read GN (re: editorial in GN9) is for regular readers never to throw away a copy. Every copy can be left in a public place, trains and buses being the most convenient, rather than the dustbin.

Now that the paper is well-established, borough librarians could be expected to consider requests for the paper in public libraries; or is that asking too much?

JE

ED: The best way to get Gay News into public libraries is for GN readers to demand that their librarians order it and put it on display.

CHE And Tight Foreskins

Leeds

Dear Gay News,

I have recently been reading your paper which I find very interesting. There are two points from recent issues about which I would like to comment:

Firstly, someone seems to think that membership of CHE is limited to those over 21. This is not the case, though a particular local group may, if it so wishes, restrict its membership in this way. (Leeds does NOT).

Secondly, the tight foreskin problem. As an (ex) fellow sufferer, I read about this with real feeling. I suggest that unless the problem is quite exceptional the easiest and most natural method is best (I detest surgery). The method is to use a dropper with olive oil on it, drop into the problem area and very gently ease it to and fro. If this is done two or three times a week, for a month or so, you will soon find it can be pushed right back, washed, and the hood slid back with just a touch of oil for lubrication. The worst is then over, an occasional working to and fro and all will be fine (it was with me anyhow). This method was recommended by a doctor.

All good wishes.

Henry Giles Leeds Chairman, CHE

Shoddy Performance

London W8

Dear Sir,

David Lutyens’s review of my book One In Twenty in GN8 is incompetent and absurd; he cannot have actually read the book at all. He says I deplore the fact that there are no serious homosexuals. But I do no such thing – on the contrary in Chapter Four I devote a whole page to listing homosexuals of genius, including nearly all those Mr Lutyens mentions himself, plus a great many more. In fact all that he fulminates against me for not mentioning, I do, and discuss at length: that every woman has a masculine side and every man a feminine side; that homosexuality is found in primitive as well as advanced cultures and so on.

He does not tell your readers who publishes the book (Seeker and Warburg), nor how much it costs (£1.50). He discusses it as if it were a new book, when in fact it was published six years ago, when homosexual acts between adult males were still crimes and the whole social atmosphere surrounding the subject was quite different from today. He misspells my name throughout the review. In fact, he gets everything wrong. What a shoddy performance!

Bryan Magee

ED: If any other reader would care to review One In Twenty, we will gladly print it.

Your Letters continued on page 6.

Pederasty And You

[Model is over 21]
In GN No 8 we asked for your comments and opinions on Pederasty. We print below a selection of your letters, along with a few comments from us.

Dear Collective,

I read with interest Peter Kelsey’s article on pederasts, or in the language of the gay scene, chicken lovers. Although I don’t agree with his sentiments to quote ‘Pederasts must be reconciled on leaving their twenties to paying heavily for their sexual satisfaction for the rest of their lives.’ If he thinks that a change in the law will change this, then I’m afraid he’ll be sadly disappointed. Young chickens (boys of 15-20) will always prefer bedfellows of their own age ie other teenagers. Even people in their twenties like myself have difficulty in persuading chickens to bed. In Glasgow the majority of chickens I have had have been rent, in London without exception I have had to pay.

In fact I defy any stranger in his twenties or older to go into a London gay bar or club and get a one night stand with a chicken. I have tried and it’s impossible. Glasgow is the same, although I know a few chickens. One night stands with them are not on, they stick with their own age group.

In my opinion, whether or not the law changes, Peter Kelsey and the rest of us will have to pay for our pleasures.

Richard

ED: It seems that there is a wide usage for the term pederast – but not everyone means the same by it. As this extract from a letter from one of our Surrey readers shows.

The article on pederasty … was of interest and certainly touches on a very important problem. However, some clarification is needed: sex with a child of nine or ten is quite a different thing to a similar relationship with a young person of eighteen and I would like to ask Peter Kelsey if he would classify people in the 15-19 age group as children. If not, then pederasty is hardly the term applicable. I suppose that the vast majority of adult males, whether straight or gay, have experienced strong feelings of physical attraction towards youths of this age group, and it is fairly well accepted that a boy of this age has a more attractive body than at any other time. The problem is to establish the age to which consent, and consequently legal sex, should be reduced to. Whilst we would wish to disabuse people of the idea that sex is something evil from which children need to be ‘protected’, most of us, if not all, would agree that immature children do need to be protected from a relationship which in any way exploits them which seems to imply that pederasty (which means sexual relationship with a child of either sex) must remain illegal.

Michael

ED: That’s one definition of pederasty – but most people seem to mean that very 15-19 age group. The same points about paying for it, and its illegality came up more than once. And the consequences of breaking that law.

Dear Gay News,

Re the letter about pederasty in GN8 – all that is said is only too true.

In my own case, when much younger (I am now in my 40’s) I had many boyfriends from about 13 upwards. The ‘games’ with the boys consisted of nothing more than mutual wanking — never ‘going all the way’, till I got arrested and did a spell ‘inside’.

Since my release – many years ago now -though I like to see pretty boys and I like to see porn magazines with chickens in them, I have been too frightened to touch them, but have managed to overcome the problem somewhat by taking the (mainly) passive part in encounters, usually with men about my own age or older.

Nearly all of my former boyfriends are now married and have children, so I don’t think it can be said that they were corrupted in any way by me.

My own earliest experience was when a soldier played around with me during the war, when I was 14, but I’m sure that if I had not already been ‘that way’ I would have rejected his advances, so I doubt if I was corrupted either.

… Love and kisses,

W.P.

ED: Finally, a letter from Cornwall – which makes certain points which we could not subscribe to, as we have pointed out at the end of the letter.

Dear Friends,

You have a brief mention of pederasty by Peter Kelsey in the latest GN and seek for more. In case these thoughts are any use to you, I am sending them in.

Pederasty is easily the most rewarding form of love that anyone can experience and generally does great good for the younger partner as well as the older. A boy’s love is the most tender and sincere thing possible to appreciate. What the older partner gives in return is not only love, which is for him too often transient, but also a wide education in the ways of the world, intellectual and sexual.

It needs to be emphasised that pederasty is by no means always sexual, though it is usually physical; and for the benefit of anti-gay prudes it needs to be emphasised that there are few, if any indications that the junior partner gets ‘fixated’ homosexually, let alone as a prostitute: indeed, properly understood, pederasty is not homosexual, insofar as sex comes into it at all, other than the mutual attraction of two people of the same sex but different ages – thus it does not lead to the junior partner being ‘corrupted’ sexually or in any other way. On the contrary, the junior partner usually leads a ‘normal’ heterosexual life after his early encounters, enriched indeed by those experiences. Nor is the senior partner necessarily homosexual either, for he too often leads a heterosexual existence, enlivened by his encounters with the young. It is rare for the older partner to, as it were, take advantage of the younger. Those interested would learn much from J.Z. Eglinton’s exhaustive study ‘Greek Love’ and T.C. Worsley’s ‘Flannelled Fools’ for interesting personal details.

There is no doubt that the public, and the gay public needs education on the subject, but whether it will ever be possible to get the public at large to tolerate pederasty with so many long-standing irrational and usually baseless phobias against it, is very doubtful. Is there one country in the world at present which does? It is no good citing Ancient Greece – that was another world, philosophically and socially, and it cannot be brought back.

No doubt the lot of would-be senior partners is difficult, but there is, maybe, a way out; they indeed may not advertise for those under 21, but the reverse is not true* and your columns this week carry an advertisement from one under 21; there would be nothing as I see it to stop others, not only from outside Britain, from advertising. Anyone replying would need to keep his eyes very wide open of course and his head firmly on his shoulders.

One wonders to what extent Gay News is sold to the under-21’s** and more especially, those at school still: one hopes it is, for it is a good sane soundly based paper, and if they see it, perhaps they may start advertising. You would have to be careful though!

“Zakhmi Dil”

*ED: Sorry to disappoint you – but we would be in breach of the law if we knowingly allowed boys under 21 to advertise in our personal columns, whether they were English or not. There is, so far as we are aware, however, no restriction placed on anyone, whatever their sexual orientation, under 21 seeking accomodation or a pen-pal ‘legitimately’, whatever that means.

**ED: We are not a porn mag by any means; therefore we are openly on sale like any other newspaper. Ergo it follows that our readership is probably as wide as any other paper. There is no reason to restrict its sale in any way.

Pederasty

It is accepted now in educated circles that the right to enjoy sex is a basic human liberty, not to be denied for example to homosexuals. Your paper again draws attention to the viciousness of the law in Scotland and Northern Ireland (fortunately rarely enforced) and to the remaining archaic restrictions on homosexual activity in all the United Kingdom.

May I mention the position of pederasts, people who seem to have been overlooked in the past?

Pederasts, who are attracted to boys aged from say 15 to 19, are little more attracted to men than they are to women, if at all. Sexual activity with boys is totally illegal, although they frequently have more experience than quieter men ten years older. Pederasts must be reconciled, on leaving their 20’s to paying heavily for their sexual satisfaction for the rest of their lives, something not easy for those on incomes of less than £2,000 p.a.

They have to face the neo-Puritan hostility to prostitution of GLF; and they cannot find sexual partners in CHE, all members of which have to be over 21.

They cannot advertise in your columns. The 1967 Act has increased the penalties they are liable to suffer. In effect, they have to choose between sexual starvation, furtive crime or exile abroad.

It may not be possible to offer paedophiles anything other than prison, electric ‘cures’ or prep-school teaching sublimation.

There is no reason why the fate of the pederast should be the same. Reform of the law, concerning pederasty must be one of the major priorities of the homophile movement.


ED. This is, we believe, the first time that pederasty has been written about in Gay News.

Perhaps it is time then that this paper ran some information on pederasts, paedophiles and their present plight. The gay world is made up of many different preferences, all of which have a right to understanding and tolerance.

It is up to you to send us information and articles on these subjects.