CHE and GLF have got together at London University to found a Homophile Society – GAYSOC. So far it has been an object-lesson in co-operation between the two organisations. If nothing else, GAYSOC will be the front behind which gay students of all different persuasions can come together officially, both to speak as a gay voice in student and University affairs where this is needed, and to provide social facilities for themselves similar to those abundantly available for straights. It will also be a means of action.
At our first meeting we necessarily concerned ourselves with organisation and business, but things really livened up at our second meeting. For this we had as guest speaker the noted aversion-therapist Dr. Bancroft of Oxford University. He was not surprisingly, strongly attacked, and though very little constructive dialogue emerged, at least the important issues were aired, and we had a chance to hear the therapist’s justification of his job.
Direct action was taken within three weeks of our starting when almost twenty GAYSOC members turned up at a straight University disco. We were seemingly regarded with amusement or indifference until about an hour from the end when two members were told to leave – “so that the boys and girls can have the last half hour to themselves”; The source of the trouble, apparently, was a number of women (who had got in free) who seemed to regard themselves as having been insulted. No men had complained. We solved this problem by gathering together quickly in a group and making it clear that we were not going to be forced to leave. After the failure of their strong-arm tactics, further intimidation by officials of the disco took the form of herding us into one corner of the dance floor and telling us not to break the law. We ignored this, and they retaliated by playing no slow records from then on. We all left when we felt like it. Next day a notice was placed prominently in the building explaining our case. We regard this whole affair as a significant success; hopefully we may have opened the eyes of a few straights, and it certainly helped to build up a feeling of solidarity between our members. Similar activities are planned for next term.
Our contact address is: GAYSOC. University of London Union, Malet Street, London, W.C.1.