Your Letters

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

Why Risk It?

Middlesex

Dear Sir,

I have only seen numbers 9, 11 and 12 of GN.

I advertised in numbers 11 and 12 for someone to share my home and life. There was a bigger response than I expected and I am dealing with this now in what I hope is a civilised way.

Meanwhile, one or two thoughts occur to me. I think the heading of your illegal page is excellent. Some of the ads, however, are a bit doubtful. If you want to remain in circulation, why put it at risk in this way? There is always a temptation, feeling oneself to be in a minority, resentful, a bit aggressive about it, to be daring. Resist it. You do not have the lampooning function of Private Eye, that can tell any client of the blessed Arnold Goodman to get fucked. JS recently found BS by way of your columns (it may have been the other way round!) One of them wanted a big black cock but he could well have found it by other means without exposing you to police prosecution. Stratton-Wells is justified in his complaints. I am half-guilty myself, knowing that particular appeal, though I am not passive. Still, there is a fantasised urge there. I think Antony Storr points out that many active homosexuals want a partner with a big prick, which is, may I say in passing, English vernacular as opposed to the American cock, applicable to both male and female genitalia. The fantasised urges I spoke of can’t be allowed to direct our lives. I hope that JS and BS are happy together.

But I do think that being ‘turned on’ is suspiciously mechanical.

Faults of layout and format are not worth criticising in view of the difficult conditions you have to cope with. I wish you could find a gay millionaire to smooth things out.

Another thing: whatever Messrs JS and BS may say, your business is not to do with cocks and spunk and arseholes. These are very private matters. Gay includes women. Women do not have the apparatus mentioned. Not only do you need to devote more space to women, you also need to promote more effective communication between gay women and men. I am sure you are thinking about this.

Finally, I think you could and should increase the price of GN to at least 40p. You are in a seller’s market, with the unique advantage that you are on the side of the buyer.

Peter Jackson

Second Thoughts

Brighton

Dear Editorial Collective,

At your invitation I feel I must write and ask who is the self-styled Mary Whitehouse, or Little Hitler? Who has barred such innocent words as leather and denim from the personal ads ?

While I must agree some of the ads have been near the knuckle. I’m sure the situation doesn’t justify this discriminatory action.

Why, even in GN 12, Julian got all switched on when “he” visited the Wheatsheaf’s Green Room. I can’t wait to get there.

If you don’t want to continue the personal adverts for fear of prosecution, then come clean and say so, and don’t inflict this dictatorial attitude. After all. I’m sure everyone knows the idea of the ads.

I was hoping to put a personal advert in after Christmas, but for fear of this censorship, I am having second thoughts. So will many others.

Have another think about this matter, and come up with a logical answer.

Roy Bonham

PS. Have subscribed to no 23. Make it!

ED: Sorry we didn’t explain our new policy towards personal ads clearly enough in GN13. We most certainly are not “barring” words such as leather and denim. But for now we must alter or refuse adverts which explicitly refer to sexual acts, preferences or organs, ie whipping, CP, well-endowed, etc.

Love Lives Forever

London, SW8

Dear Gay News,

Your correspondent Doug Pollard approached the problem of ageing (GN 12 page 7) with as much wit as possible. Correct. Better laugh than cry, always. But I must tell you that the lads at the disco don’t tell me (as Doug does) to go and find an armchair at the Athenaem; and talking to my old school chums (all those bloody bishops). On the contrary, the lads at the disco invite me to come again, because I love them and they (bless their hearts) love me.

There’s only one solution to the problem. We must create a special Marxism for grandpas. What about joining the T.G.W.U. (Terpsichorian Grandpas of the World Unite) and then I can buy a ticket to the Yuletide National Lorrydrivers Lottery (You’ve nothing to loose but your life).

To be serious, Doug, I think that your phrase “gone for ever” is a bit defeatist in tone. Of course you are perfectly right in a way. If homosexuality is simply a question of cocks and balls and having it off, then certainly there comes an end to that.

But homosexuality isn’t that. It’s love, and love doesn’t go, it lives forever.

So let me stay on the disco circuit, where I guarantee I’ll find more courage, humility, generosity, gentleness and sheer love per square foot than anywhere else in London, possibly in the world. Oh brave new world that hath such creatures in it. Even Pale Brother Death is halted, and stands amazed.

Dai Grove.

Face It Babes

Dear Collective,

Sorry, but I’d like to inject a sour, critically appraising note into the general chorus of congratulation. Of course it is good that you exist and the paper is mildly entertaining, though not very informative. But how many other gays besides me are increasingly turned off by the prevailing giggly, simpering, juvenile tone representing all that is passé and stupid and discredited in the homosexual image.

Face it, babes, there is something tawdry about Gay News. Just not enough reality and intelligence.

It is mostly badly written, amateurish and uncritical in its comments on almost everything. I am not calling for the over-intellectualised approach, just a more balanced and broad depiction of the real variety and maturity in much of the gay world.

And how confused can your values get? That calendar has a photograph of Mae West who may be the object of a cult but has been known for years to be extremely hostile to gay men. I suppose you’re being good Christian gays (who needs them?) in turning the other — you should pardon the expression— cheek, but first rule of any revolution, no matter how minor, is know thine enemy.

Daniel James

Fem or Butch

Leeds

Dear Gay News,

I’ve just returned from a gay club in London where I was asked if I was ‘fem’ or ‘butch’ — having never considered this, I just said I was a person. However it seemed that people expected to know if I was ‘fem’ or ‘butch’ in order to relate themselves to me; ie was I a good pick up. I find it equally hard to relate to fem and butch images and all their restrictions. Perhaps it’s my restriction but I suggest that these gay women are presenting the stereotypes that one can find in any straight disco/bar. They also prevent other gay women coming out by turning them off the gay scene because these gay women seek individuality rather than conformity. Anyway, I’d like to know what other people think of this.

Incidentally, we’d like more women members of GLF in Leeds, we have fluctuated to two at the moment.

Jane

Much Ado

Bayswater

Dear Gay News,

Whilst, probably correctly, petulantly chanting again and again your dissociation with any organisation, do you dare print this letter and admit in reply to James Knight that Roger Baker, Press Officer for CHE wrote the attack on Martin Stafford for your newspaper?

Love, B S

ED: We dared to print your letter. So what?

Bugging the Bugs

London

Dear Gay News,

Thanks a lot for that really interesting article on crabs in GN8! As you said we can all be a bit simple sometimes and I must qualify for simpleton of the year award. I’ve been scratching my balls for about a week or so, and it was only when re-reading some back numbers of GN that I realised what I had got. I immediately rushed round to the local chemists for the Quellada (and got an icy and disgusted look from the assistant as she gave it to me!) Got a hot (too hot) bath with about half a bottle of Dettol in it and proceeded to cover myself with the recommended lotion. Then I took everything I’d worn, the bedsheets, towels and all to the laundrette and the dry cleaners. All this as you can imagine cost me a fortune, the dry cleaning alone came to £1.50. I’m still racking my brains to think when and where I could have caught the little bastards, as I get a bath very regularly and use plenty of Femfresh – er I mean Old Spice!

What really made me uptight was that the other night I was with a really fabulous boy at a club and had to make excuses when he asked me back to his place, as I still had the Quellada lotion on my body! Thanks to the above mentioned article and its excellent advice I have got rid of the pesky things and can start to live again!

On another track. I’d like to say how fantastic I think Gay News is and give my love to Julian! Keep the gay flag flying!

Rick

Lovely Points

Dear Gay News,

That letter from ‘Queenies Castle’ really slayed us (Gay News issue number 12). “If” Sebastion is “straight”, then “call me Madam”. Perhaps He (or she) had a tiff with the Manager of the “dear old Bio” and plans to get her revenge.

Keep on writing, Julian, we love to read your points of view. We also think “Queenies Castle” should be renamed “HATTERS CASTLE”.

Martha, Michelle and Diana

Never Be Parents

London, W14.

Dear Gay News,

Few people seem to be aware of the unhappiness facing the Lesbian who loves children, but, because she cannot respond to men, despairs of ever having any children of her own.

Many gay men marry women who understand their problems and together they managed to bring up happy children. Gay women, on the other hand, have to find all their emotional satisfaction in their relationships with other women – and as they get older, with increasingly young girls who tend to become daughter substitutes.

Not all gay women may have found this, but it has been my experience. All my men friends are gay; all the straight men I ever knew lost interest not being content with a non-sexual relationship. Good riddance anyway. In retrospect they are all so hung-up on role playing that they couldn’t see the real person in me or themsleves.

Is there anyone who is really into kids and is not hung-up on sex and roles? Creative and understanding? I would like to hear about gay or bi men who also get depressed because they think they will never be parents.

Dierdre.

1972 Goes Out In Style for Gay News

LONDON: The editors and members of the editorial collective of Gay News disported themselves briefly in Shepherds Bush, to celebrate the end of the paper’s first half year of existence.

Not that the gays had it all their own way. Sandi Rutenberg, the GN typesetter brought along her South African boyfriend, and Richard Adams, Gay News’ art man brought along his wife.

The Christmas issue of Gay News was read by more people than have bought any other issue, as sales are up by about 1,000 — another reason for the editors to celebrate six months of publishing.

When Gay News first appeared it made British publishing history, as the first independent gay newsapper in the country. Since then it has picked up a design award and sales of about 10,000 – which results in a readership of 40,000 to 50,000, being the most widely read gay publication in the British Isles.

The Christmas party was held in the Green Room at the Wheatsheaf, Goldhawk Road, and, though it was a relatively sober affair, Hammersmith police and New Scotland Yard decreed that it should end at 1 am.

The bill was footed by friends of Gay News.

Julian’s Column

Ooow dears, hasn’t it been cold lately? I’ve started wearing my gloves — knitted by an old dearly loved friend of mine called George — weeks before I usually do. I’ve been thinking of getting one of those hairy Afghan coats, in white, but they are a bit too much really. But as that lady says on the television, ‘Naughty, but I like it.’

Sorry to disappoint you all, but the Biograph has not got back to its usual form yet. By that I mean the films in future programmes are less than exciting. But at least the temperature there is fairly constant, know what I mean loves? For those though that are into men, as men are supposed to be according to Playboy and other mags full of nude ladies, Cliff ‘Sock it to me’ Robertson and William ‘Got it all here’ Holden show off their celluloid masculinity in Devil’s Brigade, which is the Sunday special on 3rd December. Support, for those who care, is Kill A Dragon (the Bio’s manager, Mr Wheelan, ought to watch this) and displays the talents of that sexy latin lover Fernando ‘Tango’ Lames and Jack ‘You can be in my film’ Palance.

That’s all about the Bio till next issue, so here’s a bit about my experiences during the last couple of weeks. And not the sort you lot think either.

I was at the Masquerade Club in Earl’s Court the other night and saw Mark Fleming performing. What a wicked lady she is. I’m glad I’m not a member of the Royal Family, I can do without the type of slagging she gives all the Queens, Duchesses and Princes. I noticed that she’s making a lot of cracks about the Bio. She apparently spends most of her time there in a cubicle in the ‘Ladies’. Wonder why, it must be rather lonely there.

I went up to the new gay bar the other evening. It’s the Green Room at The Wheatsheaf in Goldhawk Road. Mind you I wouldn’t like to live in Shepherds Bush, give me Brixton anytime. But I had a nice time there. I thought it would be a little quiet, but it was really busy. And lovely people too. The night I was there a few of those nice motorcycle boys were also sampling the delights. They must get cold in this weather, that leather just doesn’t look thick enough to keep them warm. The Green Room has a very pleasant atmosphere, and I love those palms. Reminds me of better days before everything went modern and flashy. In my day it was the people who were flashy. They might not have been as affluent, but they always had their flash. I keep on losing track, don’t I? The Green Room will certainly feel my presence again, and a few other times if they keep it as nice and friendly as it is now.

You won’t believe it but guess what I was sent in the post? A couple of introduction cards, one of which wanted me to ‘come as a stranger and leave as a friend’. The establishment where these goings-on happen is The Bristol Suite, ‘the club which is run entirely by the “City Girls”‘. You are supposed to ‘retreat to our intimate Bristol Lounge bar’, for whatever charms they have to offer during your discreet evening. The other card advertised the Burlesque of Berkeley Square. Here they offer you ‘lovely naughty burlesque spots every twenty minutes’, as well as ‘intimate seating’. They have a supply of ‘talkable danceable waitresses’ and are ‘all geared to the taste of the busy Executive who wants to loosen his collar after a day’s work’ and stiffen up a few other things no doubt. Fancy sending such details to me. Must be an error somewhere. In case their pleasures actually appeal to you, both establishments are situated at 14-16 Bruton Place, Berkeley Square, Mayfair W1. This is a line taken from the Burlesque card, ‘luxurious Louis XVI decor… yet casual ambience’. Somebody’s got a poetical dictionary.

Well all, love you and leave you. See you next issue. Julian’s Column will be there for you to grasp some interesting tit bits from. Wrap up warm and don’t trip over any extra large feet at the Bio.

New Gay Bar

Shepherds Bush is the location for London’s new gay bar. Situated in THE WHEAT-SHEAF, Goldhawk Road, the bar is called THE GREEN ROOM, and it promises to be a pleasant addition to gay social life in London.

In the past The Wheatsheaf was known locally as being a gay pub, but previous management had discouraged its continued existence as such. But now the pub has new management and The Green Room itself is run by Ronnie, who is well known to many from his days at The Coleheme in Earls Court.

To enter the bar, one has to go through a longish, mirrored, ‘modern thirties’ hallway, complete with palm trees. And the Green Room is not surprisingly dominated by the colour it gets its name from. It is fairly large, but not enormous, and so evades being uncomfortable. The decor is similar to the entrance way and all things considered, it makes for a relaxing environment. The night GN was there background music was provided by a record player, the sounds ranging from ‘Cabaret’ to The Supremes.

The bar has been open, at the time of writing, for just over a week, and is still fairly quiet, but the signs are that it will increase in popularity as more people hear of it and venture to spend an evening there. It is particularly handy for gay residents in the surrounding area, and as time passes should attract customers from further afield.

There are plans to install an electric organ but drag will not be featured. The drinks are standard saloon bar price, 20p for Keg, 18p for bitter, 11p for light ale and 18p for gin, whisky, etc. If you are going there by public transport, the nearest tube is Goldhawk Road on the Metropolitan Line (5 minutes walk) and buses that go past the entrance are No’s 88, 117 and 12.

It’s some time since London had a new gay bar, and The Green Room may possibly prove to be an entertaining, relaxing asset to gay social life. The management (a married couple) and Ronnie certainly seem to be trying their best to make it so.