Here We Are Again

You probably have read in your papers of the dancing in the streets and the happy merry-making in the vicinity of London Street, Paddington, once the editorial collective of Gay News finally managed to secure larger premises. If you somehow missed hearing about this major event, here are the up-to-date details.

Earls Court Here We Come

After months of searching, inquiring and appealing, we found suitable accommodation in London’s fashionable Earls Court district. The new offices consist of two large rooms, each at least three times the size of our present location at Paddington. There is also a garden, which will no doubt be put to such good use as growing green carnations. One of the offices also incorporates a small kitchen unit. The new address and telephone number of GN will appear in bold type at the end of this piece.

From now on, please send all correspondence, information, articles, box number replies and enquiries to our new address. Our old telephone number will still be operating for a while but we suggest that you ring the new number. We intend to keep the original office, even if we haven’t yet decided to what use we are going to put it. Any of you intending to visit GN should come along to our new address, where you will always be most welcome, although we can’t guarantee how much attention we can give you.

Incidentally, the new premises and the retaining of the Paddington office, are just inside the budget we have allowed ourselves.

Discrimination?

The acquiring of our new offices has been a somewhat exhausting and depressing experience. Admittedly our bank were helpful within certain limits. Also, the offer from a friendly individual to provide a guarantee for a bank loan we needed to obtain premises we were at one time considering taking, was most generous and greatly encouraging. But that particular place eventually proved to be way beyond the amount budgeted for accommodation.

More often than not we have come up against hostility and discrimination when we have approached estate agents and landlords of vacant property. In the few days preceeding the acquisition of the Earls Court offices, we had lost the opportunity of two ideal locations, purely and simply because we happened to be producing a newspaper that aimed at gay men and women. A comment from one of the people we saw concerning a certain property, delivered in a most agitated manner, was: “Gay News! You mean it’s for QUEERS?”

The other possible landlord, after what we supposed to be a re-thinking of the meaning of the words “gay news” took only a minute or two to come to the no-argument decision of “NO”, after demanding to see a copy of GN.

We have tried to be objective in interpreting the negative responses we have come across. Possible paranoia and over-reacting on our part to likely discriminatory situations have been taken into account, but the only general conclusions we can honestly come to, are that through being unwilling to conceal the true nature of GN and our own gayness, we have, in the majority of instances, come up against the same ignorant, insufferable prejudices and unfounded fears that gays of both sexes have had the misfortune to endure throughout recorded history.

Gay News intends to seriously investigate the problems gays may encounter in finding accommodation, including local council flats and houses, or in obtaining mortgages. More on this subject in future issues. For now, you could write to us, informing us of any discrimination you have encountered in relation to housing.

Departures

Number one David Bowie fan and GN news editor Peter Holmes has now left the paper. Peter has parted company with us for personal reasons.

In the past he has not only contributed to the growth of GN, but has also submitted news and features to Time Out and the new pop/movie magazine Screen ’n’ Heard.

We wish Peter much success in the future. GN won’t be quite the same without him.

In another part of this issue you will see an advertisement for someone to replace the large gap left in our news department by Peter’s departure.

Orange or Lemon

The last issue, for reasons yet to be explained by our printer, came out in two different colours, lemon and orange. The one that we wanted was the latter, but these things happen. Unfortunately we considered the lemon covers (no offence Denis) to be rather dull. It looks as if the occurence will be filed away in our insoluble problems department.

Dates

Issue no 19 of GN will be published and available from 21st March. Deadlines for that edition are Friday 9th March for copy, letters, etc and the morning of Tuesday 13th March for advertisements.

FOOTNOTE: Please note that our new address is Gay News, Basement, 34d Redcliffe Square, London SW10. The telephone number is 01-01-373 0586.

Gay News Makes News

HATFIELD: The Hatfield and Welwyn Advertiser burbled happily when it discovered that local talent, Barbara Cartland, the ageless authoress, had been chosen as a calendar girl by no less than Gay News.

The Adver chirruped: “She is one of 12 celebrities to illustrate the months – others include Mae West, Dusty Springfield, Cliff Richard and silent film star George Arliss.” George Arliss? The Herts Adver bubbled on: “Asked why they had singled out Miss Cartland, a joint editor of Gay News, Mr Denis Lemon, said: ‘We think she’s a rather fun lady.’”

JOHANNESBURG: Viv Prince, who writes a column for the Rand Daily Mail, reads the journalists’ trade paper UK Press Gazette.

For his Play Back column he virtually reprinted verbatim UKPG’s report of Gay News getting a bit professional. Over to you, Viv, you’re better at it than us.

“I suppose it had to come. Last week I was saying how devious our young maidens are here in Johannesburg with their liberated dating techniques. Now comes the freedom fight of the twilight male.

“It’s just been announced that Gay News – the new fortnightly for homosexuals – is getting its first full-time trained reporter.

“The lad in question, a Mr Peter Holmes, is leaving the English evening paper for which he works – ‘for a paper I can believe in’.

From here on out it just quotes the story Peter wrote for UK Press Gazette.

Such as “Said Mr Holmes: ‘It may be hard work for low pay, but it’s worth it for a paper that’s only just getting off the ground. I’ve decided to put my pay packet where my mouth was.’”

Our Viv ends up with a bit of his own: “I suppose that’s what you call being liberated.”

ED: George Arliss??

Sssch-Press Silence

LONDON: A sex-education movie that may be bought by the Inner London Education Authority may not be advertised in the Evening Standard, because Cobra Films who made the movie want to quote the criticism of Cobra-1 that appeared in Gay News.

Cobra-1, also called etcetcetc, approaches the subject of sex from a standpoint that values relationships higher than “the perfect position” for a couple.

When Cobra Films booked the space in the Standard the advertisement department could see no objection to running the ad.

But when Geoff Richards, formerly of the Electric Cinema Club in Portobello Road, which gave Cobra-1 its premiere, took the copy for the ad along to the Standard, he was told by the assistant advertisement manager that the Gay News criticism was “near-pornography”. The man at the Standard suggested that Cobra should find a “respectable film critic to quote — like Alexander Walker” if it wanted to run the advertisement.

But Cobra Films, who maintain that the Gay News criticism (in GN10) was the only crit that approached the movie on its own terms refused to change the wording and would not cut off the by-line tag: “Peter Holmes, Gay News.”

The result is that no advertisement for Cobra Films’ first movie appeared in the Standard. The shareholders of Beaverbrook Newspapers are the losers.

Mind Games

A PERSONAL ANTHOLOGY. Written and edited by Jorge Luis Borges. Published by Picador at 45p.

There is no writer who amazes, baffles and intrigues me more than Borges – Argentina’s leading man of letters.

This is the selection of work on which he’d like his reputation to rest. I don’t think it’s his best work. But at least most of it hasn’t been printed in this country before – Penguin’s ‘Labyrinths’ selection draws heavily from the ‘Ficciones’ anthology.

Borges is a writer whose pure logic takes him and your thoughts along straight lines over the edge of the world and back to where you started. If you have grown out of Cosmo’s novelettes and like to think now and again, Borges is your man. This is a good selection of his lunatic-mathematical stories. It’s a pity I can’t like his poetry.

Peter Holmes

Law Triumphs, Justice Doesn’t

The Magician by Sol Stein. Published by New English Library. Paperback, 40p.

One of the most upsetting and at the same time most outstanding novels I have read recently is ‘The Magician’ by Sol Stein. The point of the book is to show that the law doesn’t necessarily equal justice, in fact the two can quite often be used for different ends.

Briefly, the plot is about a vicious assault on a sixteen year old schoolboy and the legal consequences. Much of the story is concerned with the ensuing court case or else in studying the characters of those principally involved — the culprit responsible for the seemingly pointless attack, the parents of the victim and the aggressor, and Ed Japhet, the schoolboy. The novel also comments on the state of American society – not the seamy, junk-neon, spectacular country that is usually over-glamourised, but middle America with its institutions and on-the-surface respectability and tranquility, hiding its inner turmoil.

Sol Stein’s style is both convincing and literate, without ever becoming boring. And the final twist is startling, although not altogether unexpected. A feature film is soon to be made of ‘The Magician’ and if the script is sensibly handled, and without the essence of the story being lost, it should prove to be a major event in cinema.

‘The Magician’ is an important book that has something significant to say. At the same time it is a very captivating book.

Denis Lemon

A Bold Study of Abnormal Sex: World Famous Best Seller

They Live In The Shadows

‘Syphilis’ is no longer a shocking, or even an impolite word. Everywhere, people talk about venereal disease as unfortunate, but natural… and curable.

We’re more broad minded today but not about every thing. Two things – HOMOSEXUALITY AND PROSTITUTION – are still considered by the majority of the population as the lowermost depths of depravity, or subjects for bawdy humour.

As it happens, homosexuals and prostitutes are real people – with very real problems.

Here, for the first time, is a book about what they are like, and what their problems are.

From the blurb, you’d expect the book to be at least controversial. Find out for yourselves. It’s presently being remaindered at only lOp, at several book shops in London, anyway. And you’d hardly guess it was the dear old Wolfenden Report. Dressed in sheep’s clothing?

Bona Bargain Basement

Open Minds

19721001-04Gay News is researching the subject of psychiatry and psychosurgery used on gays.

So, if you’ve been subjected to treatment by hormones, operations or aversion therapy, especially using erection measurement machines, please contact Peter Holmes at Gay News, 19 London Street, London W2 or phone (01) 402-7805.

Whatever you say will be treated in the utmost confidence. Your secrets will be safe. So please contact us and help stamp out anti-gay psychiatry.