Gay Bank Robber : More Facts

19721001-05It was Donald Matterson, aged 18, who was killed by an FBI agent at Kennedy airport, not ‘Salvatore Naturelle’ as originally printed. The FBI identified him after death through his fingerprints. There is no evidence to suggest that he is gay, unlike John Wojtowic.

Wojtowic is reported to have staged the hold-up to raise cash for a sex-change operation for Ernest Aarons, his lover, according to one of his hostages. Wojtowic had been in the care of a psychiatrist since January.

Aarons and Wojtowic had been married by a defrocked Roman Catholic priest last December, after having lived together for several months. Aarons wore a four hundred dollar wedding gown.

Two days before the hold-up attempt, Aarons attempted to commit suicide after the apparent end of their marriage during a quarrel. Wojtowic is said to have been ‘insanely jealous’. It is thought that this, coupled with Wojtowic’s problems about his own sexuality, led him to embark on this venture.

None of the hostages were hurt; all of the money was recovered. Wojtowic is now awaiting trial; bail has been set at $250,000.

Thanks to: The Advocate

Gay News Sells Out

19721001-05The editorial collective and directors of Gay News regret any inconvenience caused to our readers by the shortage of GN7, which sold out within four days of publication.

This was caused by an unusually high sales of that issue of the paper.

If you missed out on Gay News 7, it is possible that some newsagents will not have sold all the copies they ordered and back-dates may become available.

In the meantime. Gay News is doing everything it can to satisfy its readers. But we would remind readers that one sure way to get it is to subscribe to Britain’s only homosexual newspaper.

Chosen One

19721001-05Cliff Richard has been chosen to sing for Britain in the Eurovision Song Contest next year, and he becomes the first singer to be chosen twice to sing in the event.

He came second in 1968 with ‘Congratulations’, one vote behind the winner.

Announcing the surprise choice Mr Bill Cotton, BBC’s Head of TV entertainment said; “Cliff is the biggest selling singer in Europe. He was the obvious choice.”

Cliff, and his group were recently banned from appearing in Singapore, because of his alleged long hair.

Chedio London

19721001-05The Campaign for Homosexual Equality got almost three hours of airspace when they took over Radio London’s ‘Platform’ programme — the programme being especially extended to cope with the large number of phone calls from listeners wishing to question the studio panel and audience.

The programme opened with a series of statements (delivered in pseudo-working-class tones) of the conventional prejudices, interspersed with cold, calm, facts, delivered in a distinctly middle-class tone. Which was, in fact, the tone of the entire programme. It constituted a plea for the civil rights of gay people, for greater knowledge and understanding, for more honest and comprehensive sex education, for the right of gay people to marry, adopt children, buy houses – in other words, it requested the right to be as respectable, as conformist, and as dull as the rest of suburbia. Put on your pinny, Lavinia, you’re going to be a real housewife. If CHE has its way.

The reactions of the audience (who phoned in) were interesting, but one couldn’t help the impression that most people who phoned 1 in knew someone on the programme (I did, for example). Perhaps the bulk of the audience were bored away by the initial part of the programme, which consisted of four speeches taped by four different types of gay person – one young man, one old man, one woman and one rather more adjusted young man (since joining up), – followed by a studio discussion of each one. I’d heard a lot of it before, and it seemed to me to go on for too long. But these things were being said over Auntie Beeb’s airwaves, were being talked out frankly and in public. By CHE!

The basis of the CHE manifesto, which is what I shall call the first part of the programme was the call for greater knowledge, because ignorance leads to hostility. And people are brought up with all kinds of unpleasant and untrue myths about gays, which not only make them shun the gays they recognise, but contribute enormously to perpetuating our own feelings of guilt about our sexuality.

Thus the education of children was an important topic – so that those children with homosexual tendencies would grow up accepting them without guilt or fear, and so that their heterosexual friends would not think anything of them for being different. The law would call this depraving and corrupting, I think.

Once knowledge of the true nature of gayness (ie we’re people the same as anyone else) began to be accepted, then the next most important part of CHE thought would become action.

Homosexuality and heterosexuality, as distinct forms of sexuality, would eventually cease to exist altogether. In order to reach that stage, homosexuals should not be discriminated either for or against in societies laws. Thus a gay couple should be allowed to bring up children (after all, even if the child did turn out to be gay, as was suggested by a listener, that was no worse than being straight). Here, even the studio panel and audience disagreed – several of the women thought that a child needed a mother, but had no use for a father. Others thought that if a child had a loving, adult relationship to grow up in the shadow of, that was all that mattered.

Listeners also phoned in raising the questions of joint mortgages and bank accounts for gay couples (both are already possible in some areas, notably Halifax) and similar We-want-to-be-just-like-them questions (I thought gay people had seen by now that marriage doesn’t work, even for straights). Some listeners, notably one John Myers, didn’t accept that gay was as good as straight; he suggested that since homosexuality was (in his words) an abnormality, wouldn’t CHE be better off devoting its time to researching the causes of it so that in future it could be prevented or cured at an early age. He was politely told that to look for a cause was to look for a cure, and since homosexuality wasn’t a disease it didn’t have a cure. Many have looked for one and none have been found. People like him had just to get used to us.

CHE also explained its position on cottaging (in response to a phoned-in question from yours truly) which was: We do sympathise, we don’t approve; the police say they only act when a member of the public complains – we would like that member of the public to make his complaint in court to the magistrate; we would like to see and hear less of police soliciting such offences (which they do); we would like offenders in this respect to be put in touch with us by the courts; we hope to have a bust-fund to help people who want to fight against such arrests instead of pleading guilty to avoid the publicity.

All in all, not so stuffy a programme as I, for one, had been expecting, some lively discussion, and most issues squarely faced. A good statement of where CHE is at and going to, and, thank god, made in public.

Kidd in the Past

Kidd Starts Storm over Festival Club

19721001-05A protest will be made tomorrow to Edinburgh police about homosexuals using the city’s festival Club as their ‘headquarters’.

The protest will come from Councillor John Kidd, who claimed yesterday that he had seen homosexuals “cuddling on the stairs”. He added that he had been attending a conference for overseas journalists at the time and had been “ashamed at what these visiting press men saw. What image of Edinburgh will they take back to their own countries after seeing that?” he asked.

The Club is one of the centres of attraction for visitors to the city during the International Festival. In past years there have been protests to the police about ‘gay’ invasions of the club. Councillor Kidd went on: “There appears to be nothing done to stop them. But, on Monday, I am going to contact the Assistant Chief Constable. I was absolutely disgusted when I saw these men on the stairs in the club. They were standing with their arms around each other and cuddling. It’s the sort of affection you expect a young man to show for his girlfriend.”

Last night a spokesman for the club said he had “No knowledge of any such incidents.”

From the Scottish “Sunday Mail”,
September, 1971

All’s Well

19721001-05With reference to our report in the last issue that the London G.L.F. office was blocking information about dances and meetings, we have been informed that the individual concerned was acting without the knowledge fo the London G.L.F. office collective, and that in future they will be supplying us with full information about their meetings, discos and dances.

Not Gay

19721001-05The Carousel Club in Panton Street, London W1, on being approached for a possible writeup, said. “It’s absolutely pointless you coming down here. This isn’t a gay club. It’s rather mixed. You must be thinking of somewhere else. It isn’t gay at all, really!”

And that was after the guy who originally answered the phone had told him (in a whisper) not to be too unkind. Thank you very much.