Joint Editors and Members of the Editorial Collective
Richard Adams (Design), Peter Holmes, Denis Lemon, Peter Mundy, David Seligman
Ian Dunn (Scotland), Glenys Parry (Manchester), Graham Chapman, David Sherlock
Roger Baker, Denis Cohn, Barry Conley, Lawrence Collinson, Brian Dax, Martin Grant, Antony Grey, Peter MacMillan, Manus Sasonkin, Martin Slavin, Bernard Searey, Rebecca John, David Hart, Simon Benson, Tim Morris Derek Jardine, Christopher Ambury and Richard Watkins.
Richard & Norman, Ken & Allan, Angus, John, Stanley, Peter, Anthony, David, Ken, Wolf and all the other Friends & Loved Ones.
|Page 2||…||Back of Cover||Page 9||…||Bisexuality|
|Page 3-4||…||News||Page 10||…||‘Gay Church’|
|Page 5||…||News Extra||Page 11||…||Books|
|Page 6||…||Mets of the Month||Page 12||…||Shows|
|Page 7||…||Integrating the Straights||Page 13||…||Films|
|Page 7||…||Who’s Kidding Who Episode 2||Page 14||…||Records|
|Page 8||…||Towards A Gay Culture||Page 15||…||Personal Ads|
Gay News is published fortnightly by Gay News Ltd., 19 London Street, London W2 1HL. Tel 01-402 7805
Distribution: Us, You and a prayer book. Typesetting by Sandi Rutenberg.
Printed by F.I.Litho Ltd., 182 Pentonville Road, London N1.
Gay News is the registered Trade Mark of Gay News Ltd.
The protracted soul-searchings by Appeal Court judges over the Andy Warhol television documentary, followed by a series of raid on ‘pornographers’ by the police have put the question of what is obscene and what isn’t back into the centre of public attention – where it ought to stay for a good while longer so that it may be resolved.
The trouble is that the time it takes the law to make up its mind as to what is offensive – and is therefore the basis for a criminal charge – makes the court the wrong place for it to be decided whether something should be available to the public or not.
The situation in this country now is that you can publish whatever you like – and the court will make its mind up later whether or not you are to be damned. And that situation is, quite obviously, not good enough.
Society must decide, once and for all, what it is going to allow. The choice, quite starkly, is between all or nothing.
If the answer is nothing, then we have opted for a society that doesn’t want to develop.
It’s a truism to say that standards have changed over the last so many years. The only reason they have changed is because society has developed organically. The moral censors and porn-breakers are usually fighting a rear-guard action.
To change organically society must accept new ideas constantly.
That’s why a society that refuses to allow certain things to be published, because they offend the standards of those judges and censors of our moral taste and behaviour, is a stagnant society. Judges and censors are usually ageing, middle-class and totally out of tune with the times they live in, not seeing outside their own cloistered world.
In fact, society has set up these censors precisely to halt change, without realising that it is the worst possible move as far as its own interests are concerned. By doing this, society has surely shut the door on an organic change.
A closed-doors society cannot keep itself away from the influences of the rest of the world.
Eventually, either those who censor will find the ground eroded from under their feet or the members of the society they control will refuse to be ruled by out-moded laws any longer.
These considerations are quite apart from the allegations made by the porn-swoop police that the ‘pornographers’ were involved in underworld gangster warfare. The gang allegations are more than a mere side-light on the whole subject of pornography. It is a product of the very system that censorship is intended to protect.
There will always be a need for what is described as ‘pornography’ and while society goes on denying people what they want to see, the porn-biz is going to be very big business, a high-profit business, where a contact magazine that sells wholesale for 10p retails to the public at £1. And it’s that sort of high-profit business that attracts the less honest to cash in on the great titillation bonanza.
By its absurd practice of attempting to clamp down on sexual publishing – and then only after the event – society builds up not evolutionary, but revolutionary pressures and opens the way for racketeers, who will, naturally enough, be prepared to join battle to carve themselves a monopoly out of this multi-million pound trade.
There’s one answer that relieves the law of the burden of wasted hours spent in finding out whether or not a girl’s breasts are offensive to a judge; a solution that avoids the massive costs of such court cases and destroys the semi-gangster sub-culture the underground porn-market creates. The answer to all these problems is quite simple: scrap censorship as we know it now.
Let people see anything they want to. They’ll get to see it anyway, by hook or from crook. Perhaps it would be necessary to extend the existing system of movie-censorship in a modified form to cover all areas of publishing.
The sanest way to censor would be for something that is to be published to be passed as fit for people under or over a certain age. Above that age anything should go. It would need a censorship board to deal with those areas of publishing not already affected by censors, but once a publisher had his work passed as fit for adults, he would be sure there would be no possibility of prosecution.
This, surely, is the only way to get out of a situation where we are beset by cranks on one hand and people (we are told are gangsters) on the other.
Dear Gay News,
At last a publication worthy of our cause! Today I purchased my first copy from a news-vendor outside Tottenham Court Road underground station.
I’m both surprised and delighted. Surprised at your very high standard and delighted with the format. Since you’re gonna need all the support you can get I’m not gonna proffer any criticism. That’ll come later – when you’re solvent!
Keep up the good work. I should like to contribute an occasional feature. Without payment of course. I’m a freelance journalist and my work has been published in a variety of magazines.
Please accept my very sincere wishes for a prosperous New Year.
Dear Gay News,
I am enclosing a donation to help buttress your collapsing financial structure – and prevent the contents of that egg running out of control.
I for one am most grateful for the birth and continued existence of GN. Most gay publications — the Lunch Togethers, Jeffrey Comes and CHE Ballotins of this world – leave me feeling bloody furious, for one reason or another – usually many. Not so GN. It is handsome to look at, attractive to handle, interesting in content — just like its editorial collective, no doubt. I should be very sad and disillusioned with the gay community (assuming it exists) if GN were allowed to flounder.
My chief concern is that you should remain available especially for the young reader. I often think how valuable a publication of yours would have been to me, twenty-five years ago, when I was a confused and lonely teenager. There was nothing to help/reassure then – there isn’t that much of real value now — for their sake you must go on.
JCR, University of Southampton
Dear Gay News,
I don’t imagine that you get many letters from ‘straight’ people in appreciation of your entirely gay paper. Nevertheless I think that you are doing a great job in providing this interesting, usually well written, and good humoured magazine for your regular readers. I picked up number 10 by chance in a common room here and once over the shock of seeing what it was, started to read it. Learnt a lot — which perhaps is what a lot of other ‘normal’ people should do — I certainly feel I understand a little more about the gay way of life than I did.
I hope your News will penetrate even darker corners of the heterosexual bigotry — keep up the good work.
From a surprised reader,
S. C. Loder
P.S. Hope I got the terminology right — your jargon is worse than James Burke’s!
In your comment on the Body Politic affair you rather pompously say: ‘Investigation must be unbiased, rational, and thorough’. In a Utopian society, maybe it would be — but in ours, alas, anything that smacks of sensationalism is seized on and used as the press consider will most impress their readership. Surely the solution is simply not to publish articles like ‘Of Men And █████ Boys’ and indeed not to publish pictures of pretty █████ nude boys like you did in GN14, (any straight person seeing the front cover could only have one opinion about the tastes and desires of gay people).
My other objection was the lack of any reply to the article itself. Whilst I do not deny that an affair with an older male would probably do a boy no harm, and might even do him some good, there are two things worth remembering. Firstly if the affair is discovered and there is an almighty hoo-ha and investigation (which often happens) the experience might well leave a mark on the boy’s mind which would never be erased. Secondly, relations between men and boys can only lead, as far as the man is concerned, to frustration, anxiety, fear, self-doubt, and the danger of punishment. The only sensible advice one could give to a man who loves 14 year old boys etc is to cultivate a liking for older teenagers and men in their twenties. I believe in most cases it can be done.
As to that balls about it enriching both parties and producing tomorrow’s revolutionaries – well!
A boy of 13 who is seduced is just as likely to become a member of the Monday Club, I’d have thought. Must we always make such wild assertions without any evidence?
Yours, looking forward to an Editorial comment on the Body Politic’ affair and perhaps a slightly more balanced article on the subject of boys and men.
ED: The ‘Body Politic Affair’ was controversial, admittedly, to the point of offending certain people, but part of Gay News’ function is to throw open new ideas for discussion and thought.
Dear Gay News.
Recently you have been talking a lot about pederasty. Well, I’m not sure if I come under that classification, but here are my problems.
I am 17 and I’m normally attracted to boys of roughly 8-18, so therefore any type of sex for me is tremendously illegal. It is very hard for boys and chics like me to make contact. We are always scared of the consequences and are often put in a predicament when older people, understandably, make passes at us. This creates feelings of guilt, anxiety, frustration and fear.
Let me state a personal incident: Some people I knew were squatting in a pre-fab due to be pulled down for a by-pass. One day myself and Sue (a Danish guy chick) were there with a █-████-███ boy who visited the pre-fab often.
The boy told us that he wanted to go to bed with me. After a little questioning we discovered that he knew what he was saying. Sue advised me that I should. But the other squatters came in so all was quiet. While people were there the boy sat in the chairs with me, with his arms around me. He did this for several days and kissed me upon entering and leaving and wanted to hold hands with me in the street (this I banned). I did not have any sex with him because the others promised some nasty happenings if I “Come the queer with any of the kids” this not only upset me but scared me terribly. They all knew I was gay yet this ‘proof’ was too much for them. Later they had the gall to say it was for my own good. They didn’t want to see me in jail.
There must be lots of boys like me who have had and are having similar problems.
This letter may not be much but I hope you’ll think about it.
Dear Gay News,
As a student librarian, I was interested to read your report (GN11) that Newcastle City Library had agreed to subscribe to Gay News, and similarly that Bath Municipal Libraries have refused it (GN 14).
Public Libraries have an essential role to play as agents of communication, and should act, in such a situation, as a counter to the restrictive monopolies of large organisations such as W H Smith.
On these grounds alone there is a strong argument for libraries to stock Gay News (and Sappho) since these are non-party-political, non-religious, and likely to be of help to many people.
The public librarian, however, is in a tricky situation, since he is responsible to a committee of elected councillors, who may shy away from risking complaints from the public which may endanger their political position. (This, I imagine, accounts for the ‘vetting by a senior librarian’ in Newcastle, which no doubt includes censoring the full-frontals which quite frequently appear, often unnecessarily I might add).
The image and aims of libraries are changing, slowly but surely; but we are still a long way behind the USA whose American Library Association now has a ‘Gay Liberation Group’. There is no professional contact between gay librarians in Britain at all.
I would like to hear the views of other gay librarians on these matters.
Your commitment to the homosexual cause is greatly to be admired. Which of us would chuck up better paid jobs to work (very hard I’m sure) for £15 a week and with very little hope of a rise in the foreseeable future?
The financial contribution of the gay world is just not good enough. “Gay News is not out to make a profit, but cannot continue at all without adequate support.” Nice letters aren’t enough, tangible help is needed. I call upon all those that appreciate what Gay News is doing, here and now, to give it the support it deserves.
READERS: Show your appreciation by a little modest self sacrifice. Give 50% of what you spend in a week on smokes and drinks (or equivalent indulgences) to “Gay News”. Send it NOW.
To the collective I say: Put up the price forthwith to 25p — the same as Lunch charges. Quorum is twice that, so it would not be out of the way. Those who made an act of faith by making a years subscription might be asked to pay half the difference on their remaining numbers. I don’t think this would break anyone, and it should not only relieve you of the worry of not knowing where the money for the next edition is coming from, but also ensures that there IS a next edition!
I am sure that readers do not realise the urgency of your (or, one might say, OUR problems) and I write this in the hope, as an ordinary reader only,
I can emphasise the gravity of the situation.
I hope this will result in a flood of contributions!
I enclose my own, based on the above recommendation. Best wishes and good luck.
Dear Gay News,
Talking with a group of straight social workers the other day (several of whom were middle-aged) I spoke about the problem of isolation for gay people. The older ones particularly asked how gay people can make contact let alone establish social or love relationships. We then spoke about GN, Lunch and the gay magazines. Their response was “but how do gay people know about them unless they’re already on the scene?” Their reaction was not just curiosity but meant to express sincere concern. I explained the reluctance of booksellers and newsagents to stock gay publications — unless they are purveyors of lucrative hard porn.
It is the isolated and lonely who need contact most and yet it is they whom we are least successful in reaching. That is why GN must not just survive but be much more widely available. Thus I am personally glad that you have decided to ‘tone down’ the contact ads. Though all minorities, however bizarre their tastes may seem to some of us, do need some means of meeting one another, in the present fraught legal situation there seems little alternative but to choose between catering for all needs and just some.
I have, privately to you, expressed my misgivings and concern that GN may be prosecuted for its ads, and thereby deprive gay people everywhere of a vital lifeline. I feel that I should now, publicly, add support to your decision (which will be unpopular in some quarters) and commend its wisdom and farsightedness. Here’s to a circulation of 100,000 in 1973!
Love to you all,
Michael Launder (National Organiser, Friend)
PS: Is your ‘1HL’ postal coding a subtly significant reference by the GPO?
More letters on page 10.
LONDON: Britain’s press has suddenly discovered the ‘Dilly Boys’ after a book by the same name was published by a small publishing house, Croom Helm. First in where angels fear to tread was the Sunday Mirror. With dazzling originality it called its Sunday Mirror Documentary on the Dilly boys ‘The Dilly Boys’ and admitted that it borrowed heavily from the book.
It saw a Picadilly Circus peopled almost entirely by 13 and 14-year-olds playing the flipper games and the market at Playland and the other mausement arcades, but carefully avoiding naming names or getting close enough to the problem for the article to be more than an empty piece of plagiarism from Mervyn Harris’ book.
It seemed the only people at Piccadilly Circus older than 14 were either older men there to pick up the boys, probation officers leaning on the anti-pedestrian railings or even Sunday Mirror reporters.
The Mirror’s story said: ‘We traced the case-histories of five Dilly boys who, homeless and short of cash got caught up in the dragnet.
‘Two have graduated from amphetamines to hard drugs; one has gone to jail for stealing another has put a girl “in the club”. The fifth has managed to get out of the game and gone back to Bolton.’
Earlier, Victor Sims, the Mirror’s man in the dirty mac at the Dilly had told us: ‘Nearly all of them have heard about the easy pickings to be had in London’s rich heart, and reckon they can eke out a living on their wits.
‘more often, they finish up frozen, half-starved, asleep inside a telephone box, huddled for warmth in a deserted railway coach, in a hotel car park or even in warehouse packing cases.
‘It’s at this stage of disillusionment that the trouble starts. They hang around Piccadilly, desperate for food and shelter. Instead of pocketing their pride and going home, they become easy prey to anyone who will offer them a warm bed …
‘Horrifying? Shameful? Almost unbelievable?
To the senior police officers and detectives at West End Central police station, the problem is very real.
‘The Chief Superintendent told me: “The situation created by these juveniles, who drift into our area is one of the most difficult we have had to handle.”’
The Chief Superintendent didn’t mention gay trade at the Dilly being more of a problem than any other drop-out youth situation there. But the Mirror chose to run as its second headline on the piece: ‘Their trade shames a national showplace’ and under it published a picture of a probation officer ’at “The Meat Rack”, the Piccadilly Circus haunt of young boys waiting for homosexuals.’
Five days later it was Friday and the Times lifted its skirts and had a slam at the Dilly.
In a series called Policemen Talking, Peter Evans wrote a piece on the ‘Missing boys and girls enmeshed in Soho vice nets.’ Racey stuff this for The Times. Police sergeant M Woodheath of the Juveniles Squad, gave us the low-down from her point of view. She said: “If they are young lads, men will start speaking to them and take them home and be nice to them. These boys are usually naive and often accept. The man demands something more of them. Eventually they put these lads on the streets as male prostitutes and they give the men part of their earnings. Their ages can range from 14 upwards. Many of these boys end up as permanent homosexuals. It is very difficult to get at the men in charge of them. Boys are reluctant to give a description or a name and address. They are frightened to give you much.
“One man had ten little boys working as male prostitutes for him from 14 upwards. They were reluctant to give evidence. Some turned up at court to give evidence. He was convicted.
“The same sort of thing happens to girls. Lesbians pick them up from 13 upwards. Three girls from Cardiff were arrested for soliciting before we discovered they were juveniles…”
And so on. It seems you get the Dilly’s dirty washing aired just as publicly in The Times as you do in the Mirror. And The Times gives its readers more details of the washing its discovered.
ED: We’ll carry a full review of Mervyn Harris’ The Dilly Boys in Gay News 17, and we’ll try to look a bit deeper into the rent scene in the future.
DUBLIN: The Irish Medical Times’s resident man on the psychiatrists couch, Dr T K McKeogh, reckons that dominant Irish mothers and one-sex schooling in Ireland, usually by anti-sex clerical teachers, helps make young Irish people gay, and worse, is psychologically damaging to the young people.
In his Talking Points column in the IMT, Dr McKeogh wrote: ‘Some interesting illustrative studies have been done in this field, and one which indicates the influence of cultural patterns on the expression of symptoms in patients with a given mental disease is the study of Irish-American and Italian schizophrenics in New York City by Dr Marvin K Opler in 1959.
This study seemed to demonstrate unequivocally that the Irish culture inhibits sexuality and emphasises male inadequacy, fear of females and latent homosexual tendencies, and inevitably that alcoholism was much more common among the Irish than in the Italian-American patients.
‘Whilst the change in sexual mores amounting to a revolution in some countries in the last decade may have gone too far, in Ireland so far one can applaud the more liberal attitudes now prevailing and point happily to a rising marriage rate and the lower ages at which they occur.’
In his column, which was headed ‘No Thanks To Heaven For Little Girls!’, the doctor said: ‘The dominant Irish mother who idolises her sons and deprecates her daughters does incalculable damage to both, and our one-sex schools, too often permeated by the anti-sex attitude of the clerical teachers, male and female, aggravates the injury.
‘There may have been a time when the Irish were the chivalrous lovers that light fiction once asserted, but that possibly was before the deity appeared to weigh in on the side of Victorianism with the disastrous famine.’
He also tells us a story which made him think of all this. A girl walked into the lounge of a Dublin hotel, and wanted to sit down with her girl-friends. There was no empty chair, so she had to drag a chair up to join them.
The doctor, in horror, confides in the IMT’s readers that ‘none of the males present displayed the slightest interest in her that I could see (and a psychologist is a man who watches other men’s faces when a pretty girl enters the room).’ At no time does he explain why he never rushed to help the seatless lady.
LONDON: Just to prove that there are some that can and some that can’t, the three judges who banned the David Bailey documentary on Andy Warhol actually sat down and looked at what they’d stopped the public seeing.
It was the first time the judges, who banned the television programme without seeing it, put their innocence in jeopardy by exposing themselves to the documentary film about the pop artist and movie maker.
For this treat, they left the boring old Appeal Court, where they spend about 30 per cent of their lives. And just to prove that he didn’t mind risking being corrupted by the ATV programme he’d got blacked out, Ross McWhirter, the rugby commentator and record book compiler, who has ambitions for political office, went along too. He’s behind the Master of the Rolls, Judge Denning (centre, front row).
Now that McWhirter has battled the Bailey documentary to a guarenteed high viewing figure when it is finally shown, he intends to take on the Attorney-General at the European Court of Human Rights alleging that the Government committed an illegal act by making Britain join the Common Market.
He’s a versatile campaigner, who even the Daily Telegraph put down as someone who ‘has set himself up as a legal watchdog on Governments and public bodies’.
In the past he’s failed to get elected to Parliament as Conservative candidate for Edmonton (1964), accused James Callaghan, the Labour Home Secretary, of jerrymandering (1969), and finally settled out of court for £250 costs.
The fact that not only the judges, but also McWhirter were allowed to see the television movie demonstrates that in the eyes of the law some can be corrupted, and some can’t. Those who can’t are judges and their friends.
BRISTOL: The student newspaper of the Bristol Art students, which has a circulation of about 15,000 copies, published an article headed ‘Gay News’ on January 25th. The article dealt with a description of what it is like to be a gay person today; it opened with a description of a typical gay club and then went on to describe organisations such as GLF and CHE and gay publications such as Gay News, Lunch, Come Together and Gin.
Distributed among the article’s 2000 words were photographs of a Gay Liberation demonstration in Trafalgar Square, a picture of two men kissing and a cartoon. The article also included a section on the relationship between student unions and the gay rights movement which involves the possibility of getting a gay rights motion passed by the National Union of Students at its next conference in April. The article was the first to be published by the area paper although individual college papers had run articles about gay lib before they were replaced by the area paper last year.
The General Meeting of the University of Bristol Union passed a motion dealing with homosexuals on January 17th. The motion, which was passed without opposition, called for trade union support for homosexuals who suspected that they had been dismissed for being gay. The motion also instructed the union’s executive to produce a report on homosexuals and to send a motion to the NUS for their next conference. In proposing the motion, Trevor Locke, who is a member of the union’s executive, said that the student movement in this country could do a great deal of good in supporting gay rights and trying to attack social and legal discrimination against homosexuals. Similar motions have been passed at other universities so that there is a growing body of support for gay people in the universities of this country.
A speaker from Bristol University Gay Soc addressed a meeting of 200 students at Exeter University on January 19, which was the first time that homosexuality had been discussed publicly there. Some students asked questions or made comments, and one student declared to the audience that he was gay and outlined the feeling of isolation he had as a gay person living on a heterosexual campus. There is no gay group either in Exeter city or in the University, but Bristol will help the formation of a group there.
The charges the publishers face are caused by their continuing publication of gay small ads. The case appears to be similar in many ways to the International Times case, which the three defendants lost.