THE GAY NEWS
- Richard Adams
- Martin Corbett
- Ian Dunn
- Denis Lemon
- Glenys Parry
- Doug Pollard
- David Seligman
- Jean-Claude Thevenin
GAY NEWS SPECIAL FRIENDS
- Roger Baker
- Graham Chapman
- John Chesterman
- Lawrence Collinson
- Martin Grant
- Antony Grey
- Julian D’ Grinspoon
- Peter MacMillan
- Suki J. Pitcher
- Sylvia Room
- Manus Sasonkin
- David Sherlock
- Marc Fryd
SPECIAL THANKS TO:
- Andrew & Peter
- Jane & Shaun
- Richard & Norman
- Ken & Allan
- Michael, Angus & Ken
- and all the other
Friends & Loved Ones.
- Editorial ___________________________ Page 2
- The 1967 Confidence Trick ________________ Page 3
- N.C.C.L. & Scotland _____________________ Page 4
- Gay Pride Week _______________________ Page 5
- The Samaritans _______________________ Page 5
- David Hockney Interview _________________ Page 6
- Spare Rib Attacked _____________________ Page 7
- Het of the Month ______________________ Page 10
- Personal Ads ________________________ Page 11
- Information _________________________ Page 12
Gay News is published fortnightly by Gay News Limited
19 London Street, London W2 1HL. Telephone 01-402 7805.
Distribution: Us, You and a Prayer Book.
Printed by F.I.Litho Limited, 182 Pentonville Road, London N1.
Gay News is the registered Trade Mark of Gay News Limited
After some very trying times, issue one finally hit the streets, and the first feedback from our would-be readership began. Some of us weren’t too keen on going out to sell the paper ourselves, since there is more than enough work to do in the writing and the preparation of the paper, but the reception almost everywhere was so overwhelmingly friendly that I don’t think any of us will hesitate with this or any future issue.
Of course. there were times when some of us found it a bit trying – like being threatened by a couple of skinheads in Richmond, or being asked “If I buy one can I have you?” (the answer was yes, but the guy didn’t wait!).
People have begun to send in letters, articles, and reviews, whim is really nice and exactly what we hoped would happen – keep up the good work. The number of people dropping into the office has increased, too, which makes life a bit crowded some of the time, but they are often coming to offer help with office work, selling and distribution (all of which is very welcome) as well as just calling in for a chat.
One such visitor was Alan Brien of the Sunday Times, carried into our midst by a whirlwind born of the fleeting press interest in gay small ads, the Spare Rib party, and Jill Tweedie. As those of you who saw his piece in the Sunday Times, 25th June, must have realised, the main topic of conversation was the Radical Feminists in G.L.F. and their behaviour at the Spare Rib party. We both agreed that it was a pity, since most people will now think that Radical Feminism equals Gay Lib, whereas they are only a very small minority on its right wing. Many others in G.L.F. are leaving the movement rather than have these people’s views imposed upon them – on Monday, Harrow local group decided to split from G.L.F. and go it alone under the name “GAY UNITY”: a title which seems to be an appropriate hint to the divisive Rad. Femmes. It appears from what we hear that other groups are considering similar actions.
However, back to the paper. We have now had refusals to stock us from quite a number of bookshops around the country (including an official refusal from W.H. Smith’s on the grounds that we wouldn’t sell fast enough to justify the space we would take up). So we still need you to visit your local bookshops and newsagents as our salesmen, to put these people in touch with us. The more daces you visit the easier it will be for all of us to communicate with each other, and that’s what it’s all about.
One or two people that we met thought the first issue a bit dry, but liked it in spite of that – in fact, the response generally has made the incredible amount of work well worthwhile. Of course, for some it was too radical, for some, too conservative, but you can’t please everybody all of the time. It seems especially difficult to please the Rad. Femmes; since deciding to run the pieces on the Spare Rib party and on what they are doing to G.L.F. generally they have tried to get us to postpone issue two, censor out our opinions of them and generally forget the whole thing. We have made space available in this issue for them to give their version of the events, but at the time of writing this, it has not arrived. It seems unduly hard to make them realise that other people besides themselves have things to say, like the nicer faction of G.L.F. who demonstrated outside the Earls Court pubs. Of course, the Rad, femmes did not support the main body of G.L.F. on this part of Gay Pride week; a prefect example of the selfish way this faction operates.
Anyway, one last thought to leave you with; if you buy the paper from one of the streetsellers in London, the person will most likely be one of us, the editorial collective, so if you’ve anything to say, any articles that other people might like to read, any criticism or encouragement let rip and we’ll do something about it.
See you around.
This is the second issue of Gay News. There is still a long way to go. Gay women do not feature anywhere near enough. There are many areas of the country we do not reach. There is not sufficient money in the kitty to expand either the size of the distribution of the paper. All these things may be remedied in time, but with your involvement the paper will become what you want it to be much faster. We of the collective only ever intended to give you the paper and let you decide what it should become – by writing, subscribing, donating, working with us and eventually supplanting us. But before we go any further we must look at what could stop the paper happening.
The most obvious barrier to the continuance and expansion of the paper is the legal situation. Technically, anything which helps bring gay men into contact with one another can be construed as unlawful, however well-meant the attempt. Any publication which openly discusses sex and sexuality, especially when related to gay men and women, might be judged obscene. It is this which has forced us to abandon, for the time being, our plan to print the story “Shirley Temple Knows”, which we promised you for this issue. It is this which forces us to reiterate that, although we will continue to run a personal ads column, we retain the right to refuse or amend them as we see fit and according to our legal advice. Any ad which states specific sexual tastes is likely to attract unfavorable attention from the law, whilst those which seek only companionship, friendship, or someone to share a flat or holiday, may not. We will take all the precautions we can to ensure that our advertisers are protected.
The second major barrier is, of course, money. We aren’t going to put up our prices or rates unless rising costs force us to, and so it is unlikely that the paper will ever make any significant profit. This means that there will only ever be a limited amount of cash in the kitty with which we can begin to expand the paper and it’s availability. If you think that what the paper is trying to do (by its very existence) – that is, end our isolation from one another and defend our way of life – is worthwhile, then the paper needs to be available over a much wider area than it is now, and it needs a much larger number of pages. And in order to do this we need money, so that the paper can be planned well ahead instead of existing from issue to issue. So this is an appeal for donations, large and small, backers, advertisers, etc., and anything any of you can do to help us find them. We know you’ve been asked for your money thousands of times before – only this time it isn’t so somebody can do something they want to, it is so that you can do something for all of us, for yourselves, all over the country. And that isn’t just a semantic difference.
It would also be incredibly helpful if one of you (at least) would come and join us full-time in order to work almost wholly on getting the paper around the country. There isn’t much money in it worry the name, just enough for survival, so it would have to be a labour of love. Would any lady or gentleman like the job?
Law or Sexuality. Which Corrupts?
Do you believe that the 1967 Act solved everything? That it gave you the same rights as anyone else. Well, take very careful note of the words of one of their high and mighty lordships (Lord Reid) in deciding that IT was breaking the law in publishing gay personal ads. According to him, and therefore the law, there is “a material difference between merely exempting certain conduct from criminal penalties and making it lawful in the full sense.” In plain English, it’s legal, but then again, it isn’t. To the corrupt minds of their lordships, of the police, and of everyone else in a position of power over you life and mine, our homosexuality is a “vice”, a “perversion”, an “abnormality”.
It cannot be said too often that homosexuality, like any other sexuality, is about life, about people, about love, and not just about sexual practices. That human beings cannot be classified into “normal” and “abnormal”, they are simply different from one another. There is no such thing as “sexual normality”, but if “normality” means the sexual preference of the majority of the population, then it would not be heterosexuality, homosexuality or even bisexuality, but sexuality without a fixed direction. The unpleasant, impersonal things of gay life, like the cottages and sauna baths, the overpriced clubs and pubs are a result of the fear and shame specifically created by the law, because the law forbids us to meet freely as everyone else can, to advertise freely as everyone else can. To live openly and freely is our right, but the law denies this, depressing us into a less than full existence, treats us as less than human. If the way we live is depraved and corrupt (and I most strongly contend that it is not), then it is the law which is responsible for that and not our sexuality.
Which is more reprehensible – two people making love (or having sex together), or a whole organisation of people dedicated to isolating. punishing and discriminating against ordinary human beings became they make love? Which is depraved? Which is corrupt? Which harms others? Do we seek to keep any group of individuals down, to deny them less than their full rights as fellow human beings, to damage and control them because of their sexual preferences?
Look at the letters reprinted here – they are from organisations of gays working for our rights. Then consider what the law has said. It doesn’t take much to work out who cares about people, and who is depraved and corrupt
THE TIMES 19th June, 1972
HOMOSEXUALS AND THE LAW
From Mr Antony Grey and others
Sir, the undersigned are chairmen of organizations with a combined membership of over 5,000, representing the welfare of homosexual men and women throughout Britain. We have read with the gravest concern The Times’s report (June 15) of the House of Lords judgment in the case of Knullar (Publishing, Printing and Promotions) Ltd v Director of Public Prosecutions.
The effect of this would seem to be that homosexuals are prohibited from making contact with one another for non-criminal purposes through the public press – a freedom which is not denied, so far as we are aware to any other group of Her Majesty’s subjects. We deplore the House’s apparent judicial belief that homosexuals “corrupt” one another, and we are impelled to seek urgent Parliamentary action to clarify, and if necessary amend. Lord Reid’s dictum in relation to the Sexual Offences Act 1967 that there is “a material difference between merely exempting certain conduct from criminal penalties and making it lawful in the full sense”.
It was the clear wish of Parliament as expressed in that Act – supported, according to opinion polls, by two-thirds of the population – to relieve adult homosexuals of a criminal stigma which had brought much suffering to individuals and wastage to the community. Are we now to understand that this objective has been circumvented by the courts?
This seems a ludicrous and unintended outcome of reform. It is also lamentable that such old fashioned and ignorant views about the nature of homosexuality apparently still persist in high judicial quarters (eg Lord Hailsham’s quaint notion, expressed on television this week, that it is simply a “vice”). We think it is time for those who lay down the law to do some elementary psychological homework.
Chairman, National Federation of Homophile Organizations,
General Secretary, NFHO,
IAN C. DUNCAN,
Chairman, Scottish Minorities Group.
Chairman, New Group, Manchester.
Chairman, Campaign for Homosexual Equality,
SHARON M. MURRAY, North Eastern Women’s Group,
65 Shoot-up Hill, NW2
The Scotsman, 21st June, 1972
214 Clyde Street. Glasgow,
June 16, 1972.
Sir, – The decision by the House of Lords on Wednesday, 14th June, that the publishers of “It” had been rightly convicted on a charge of conspiring to corrupt public morals by inserting “gay” advertisements in the magazine, cannot be allowed to pass by without comment.
That conspiracy to corrupt public morals was a crime known to the law of England, was decided by the House of Lords in the “Ladies Directory Cae” in 1962. This decision adversely affected the defences provided by Section 2(4) of the Obscene Publications Act, 1959 where the essence of the offence was “tendency to deprave and corrupt” The Solicitor-General assured the House of Commons on 3rd June 1964 that “a conspiracy to corrupt public morals would not be charged so as to circumvent the statutory defence in Section 4,” but no effective action was ever taken by Parliament to draw the legal professions notice to this directive.
In the “It” case, it is important to remember that the prosecution made no point whatsoever that males under 21 would likely to reply to the advertisements.
The appellants argued that because homosexual acts between mades in private were now lawful by the provisions of the Sexual Offences Act 1967 (both parties being over 21), it could not therefore be the law that other persons were guilty of an offence if they merely put in touch two males who would, perhaps, indulge in perfectly lawful activity. This argument was dismissed by their Lordships, who, in a very narrow reading of the 1967 Act, said that if people chose to corrupt themselves in that way it was their affair and the law would not interfere, but no licence was given to others to encourage the practice.
The effect of this deliverance must be gloomy news indeed for all those who hoped for more understanding towards the many problems which millions of homosexual men and women have to face. How are like-minded men and women to meet in a lawful manner? No other minority group in Britain is today discriminated against in such a total way. The decision must adversely affect the gradual improvements being won by such organisations as the Scottish Minorities Group who over the past two or three years have been talking with the caring professions and encouraging new thinking towards counselling homosexuals. What now happens when a doctor, a clergyman, a social worker or a lawyer introduces two isolated men with the express aim of bringing about a happy and creative union? We are told that the law is being broken. It is a fallacy that homosexuals usually wish to meet for the purposes of having sexual intercourse. A principal aim of the SMG is to organise social occasions where homosexuals can meet, and thus banish the foul atmosphere of the public bath and the public lavatory.
And in doing just this, SMG has been highly successful. ls this useful activity now to be viewed with opprobrium?
Neither the 1959 Obscene Publications Act, nor the 1967 Sexual Offences Act apply to Scotland. However, we are assured that “in practice the law in enforced in Scotland in much the same way as it is in England” (Civil Liberty – The NCCL Guide, p. 293). The effect of the House of Lords’ decision is to throw
into doubt all the good work achieved by people who have no connection with obscene publications, but whose first desire is to create a caring and happy society. Fresh legislation is now imperative in the light of this recent development. – I am etc.
IAN C. DUNN, Chairman,
Scottish Minorities Group.
From The Evening Standard, 26th June, 1972.
NOW – A GAY PRIDE DEMO
Sir: Milton Shulman’s article ‘Dockers and Homosexuals’ accurately portrays the effects of the recent Appeals decision. Any ordinary person who has been involved in a trial cannot fail to be astounded at how out of touch with present reality most judges seem to be.
What the I.T. decision does is to put many persons, including myself, in peril of arrest, trial and umprisonment. On July 1, there will be a GayPride Demo in Trafalgar Square. The purpose of this clearly is to advocate homosexual practice for homosexuals and to protest against the continued oppression of homosexuals in our society, the 1967 Act notwithstanding. I, and other gay people will continue to defy this absurd law. To be arrested for advocating legal activity is something only a judge would appear not to find ludicrous. Let Parliament speedily remedy the situation or vote money to house a rapidly expanding prison population.
Warren Hague (address supplied)
The Guardian, 19th June, 1972
HOMOSEXUALS IN ISOLATION
The law acknowledges the right of homosexuals to make love. By rejecting IT’s appeal, the House of Lords continues to support the law’s illogical refusal to allow homosexuals to meet. There an no circumstances under which they can meet. Not in the streets, which is importuning; not in properly conducted social clubs because none is allowed to exist.
Such repression encourages recourse to a few dubious pubs and furtive drinking clubs that cater for homosexuals; it encourages desperate efforts to make contact in public with the consequent risk of police prosecution. It encourages the growth of increasingly militant homosexual organisation. It throws and is throwing, an increasingly large burden on the Samaritans and other social service groups – the only people that the isolated homosexual knows he can turn to.
To use the Ladies Directory case (a list, I understand, of prostitutes) as a precedent for dealing with ordinary homosexual people is appalling enough. But their Lordships decision represents a major piece of discrimination against a section of the community that i,. numerically, larger than our coloured population. The House of Lords was dealing with one underground newspaper; their decision affects the very real needs of isolated people all over the country.
Flat F. 23 Great James Street
THE EVENING STANDARD
20th June, 1972.
With regard to your news story (June 14) Lords in Clash on Gay Advert, I and the members of the Gay News, would like to point out that we will be carrying personal advertisements for gays of all sexes. We consider it the right of homosexuals to advertise in this way if they so wish, and can see no earthly reason why gays should not be able to do the same as heterosexuals. Hopefully, one day it will not be necessary for any people, no matter what their sexual preference, to advertise in this way. Until gays an free from the isolation imposed on them by society and people in general are released from the misguided taboos that surround sex and sexuality. Gay News will carry personal ads, no matter what the penalty.
Gay News is a national fortnightly paper for gay men and women and will he available this week. – DENNIS LEMON, Gay News, 19 London Street, W.2.
Most people in other parts of Britain do not realise that Scotland has a separate legal structure with many fundamental differences to that in England and Wales. Some Acts of Parliament do not apply to Scotland and many items of government policy need separate legislation: for example, going through Parliament at present is the Housing Finance (Scotland) Bill which seeks to increase local authority rents in Scotland as does the Housing Finance Bill in England and Wales. The chief law officer in Scotland is the Lord Advocate – at present Norman Wylie, QC, MP. He combines the duties of the Lord Chancellor, Attorney-General and the Director of Public Prosecutions in England and Wales. Through his Department, the Crown Office in Edinburgh, he controls prosecutions throughout Scotland by a system of Procurator Fiscals. The Fiscals are similar to District Attorneys in the United States.
“I asked the Crown Office about this and I was informed that efforts have been made to find when the last prosecution of two consenting adult males took place but nobody was able to remember a single one… and the fact is that they have never done so in living memory so far as I can ascertain.”
So said the Earl of Dundee on 13 June 1967 during a debate on the Sexual Offences Bill. His point was the main argument for not including Scotland in the provisions of the Sexual Offences Act 1967.
However. as late as 1970 when the Crown Office was approached directly on this matter, it transpired that their policy was much more illiberal than supposed. The c Crown Agent stated that those laws which related exclusively to male homosexual behaviour were enforced in so far as it was possible to do so but that since most homosexual acts were conducted in private and because of the Scots Law requirement of corroboration, prosecutions seldom, if ever, arose.
It would seem, therefore. that some duplicity and hypocrisy was practiced at the time the Sexual Offences Bill was going through Parliament. If some item of legislation is not being enforced, surely that is an argument for removing it from the Statute Book rather than for retaining it. Obsolete legislation bring the whole legal system into disrepute.
This type of hypocrisy exemplifies establishment attitudes in Scotland. Sex is not a “nice” subject. “Decent” people don’t discuss it or even admit it exists. This form of repression permeates Scotland, for example, regarding the licencing laws, places of entertainment and Sunday observance. The reasons for this altitude are complex but the historical role of the Church of Scotland is an important factor.
The facts, then, are that for practical purposes the law is not enforced though there would seem to have been some prosecutions of men for acts with younger men or boys, convictions are usually gained through voluntary confessions. However there are many convictions for acts of public indecency in toilets to which homosexuals are driven because of the lack of social meeting places.
The law (Section II Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885) remaining on the Statute Book encourages social discrimination of homosexuals, makes them feel insecure and open to blackmail and fosters prejudice. Scotland is a relatively small country with few large cities; because of the prevailing attitude, described above, any person admitting or being “found out” as gay, faces loss of job and social ostracism. This includes women who, though they don’t face let penalties, are in many ways worse off, certainly in the availability of solid meeting places.
In 1971 the following motion was passed at the Annual General Meeting of the Scottish Council for Civil Liberties:
“This AGM notes the continuing social and legal inequalities of the homosexual in Scotland and recommends to the Executive Committee and the Parliamentary Civil Liberties Group to press for sound legal reforms for an early removal of remaining discrimination.”
Together with the Scottish Minorities Group which is affiliated to the SCCL, it is campaigning for law reform. The Scottish Minorities Group was set up to look after the interests of sexual minorities in Scotland.
A memorandum prepared by SMG was sent to all Scottish MPs. In a covering letter the SCCL stated:
“We adopt as our basic principle the view that sexual activity of any description between consenting parties should not be subject to legal constraints, with exceptions only in the case of provisions necessary to protect the young and immature and to prevent public indecency. We also believe that social discrimination against minorities such as homosexuals is unjustifiable but it can only be eliminated when the law ceases to discriminate.”
Copies of the memorandum were also sent to social workers and other organisations. The press were informed but published little.
The response of Scottish MPs to the memorandum was disappointing. We received replies from a number of MPs who said they would actively oppose any attempt to change the law. The majority of other replies said “Yes, I agree with you but let sleeping dogs lie”. Those MPs who offered to help all thought it was hot the best time to try and introduce reform. Our most helpful replies were from several members of the House of Lords.
Frankly, it seems unlikely that we will get any constructive action from the present Parliament since the “hang ‘em and fog ‘em” brigade seem to be in the ascendancy. However, one of our lawyers has prepared a draft Bill which we hope to introduce into the House of Lords sometime this year to test Parliamentary and public reaction. In addition, members of the Law Reform Committee of SMG have been personally lobbying MPs and this line of attack seems very useful.
The SCCL has been involved mainly in the campaign for legal equality, SMG has been doing a first-class job in contacting and speaking to social workers, churches, university organisations, local councillors MPs and school teachers. This kind of face-to-face contact will do more than any law case, to dispel the public image of the homosexual as some effeminate sex pervert and lead to the realisation that they an ordinary decent citizens attracted to their own sex.
The SCCL is the Scottish arm of the National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL)
All the SCCL’s work is done by voluntary helpers; solicitors and advocates, trade unionists and academics, social workers and housewives. There is a Scottish sub-Committee of the Parliamentary Civil Liberties Group.
Members of the NCCL living in Scotland an automatically members of the SCCL. Membership is administered by the NCCL. The SCCL receives half the subscription fees of Scottish members.
SCOTTISH MINORITIES GROUP.
EDINBURGH, from 7.45pm to 9.00pm in the basement of 23 George Square. Check with Mike Coulson at 031-225 4395. Women’s Group at 7.30pm. Saturdays from 9.30pm to 12.30pm coffee/food/dance at the same address.
GLASGOW, meetings every Tuesday at 8.00pm an 8 Dunham Street, Glasgow C4. Women’s Group at 184 Swinton Road, at 8.00pm. Third Friday of every month at 214 Clyde Street (library of community house) invited speakers, from 8pm.
DUNDEE, every Friday at Dundee University Chaplaincy. Social. Details from 041-771 7600.
ABERDEEN, Weekly social meetings, Details from 041-771 7600.
Many thanks for your letter of 2nd June sorry for the delay in writing but one or two points that you have wanted have had to be obtained from other persons so it’s taken this bit of time to obtain it.
Let’s take it point by point – firstly, what’s it like to be gay in Norfolk. By comparisons with London no pressures exist – this I feel is the season for the exodus of gays from London to Norfolk. We’re having a lot of them lately, some just for the summer others coming permanently. It’s an interesting study to note how they change after a few weeks, more tranquil, less militant. The most surprising thing to them is if they want to shock for any reason at all it doesn’t have effect. Local folk are just not shockable – we’ve got good examples of this to quote.
Police harrasment – none recorded and none known of; this has been verified by cruisers and not heresay. The only possible connection is two uniformed ones who stand by one con in the centre of town but these are there for other reasons as well – not specific harrasment. This was covered some time ago when a blow-up occurred in Cambridge and it was suggested (probably to strengthen the Cambridge case) that it was happening in Norwich as well, but when it was checked with the people it would have affected none was reported.
Samaritan connections very good (well, we think so) one CHE member and one GLF member on the staff. Besides the Sams we have another advertised system called (for want of a better word) Gemini. Anyone can ring the number. Differences between CHE and GLF an explained meeting dates etc., the choice is then left to the person concerned.
VD clinics – nothing out of the ordinary reported from people who had used them. Doctors – only two who are reasonable which is poor considering the amount of registered GPs in the area.
Pubs and clubs – again only two, the club is the Jacquard, Magdalene Street, and the pub is Studio 4 behind Anglia Television. At the latter parties are held above the pub at intervals which attract about 150 approx. from an area covering Colchester Cambridge and Peterborough.
We have no local campaigns except connections with national ones – this is due to the fact that GLF and CHE have only just come into being in the last six months.
Well, that’s a little info. Hope I can visit you some day when I’m in town – if the office is not open all the time is there another contact I can make?
19 Braydeston Crescent
NOR 86 Z
All the cottages in battersea Park are under continual surveillance by the police (plain clothed), and a guy was recently arrested at the popular one by the athletics track. After arrest by a plain-clothes-man he was taken to the superintendent of the park, so that in future he would be easily recognisable. When he appeared in court he sentanced to three months imprisonment, was fined £100 (for a first offence!), also suspended for three years, and banned from battersea Park for one year. Another guy, for whom it was a second offence, was fined £400. (All at the magistrates court, Lavender Hill, where there is a virtual stream of similar ‘offenders’.
So DON’T GO TROLLING IN BATTERSEA PARK COTTAGES – or if you do, you know what to expect.
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.