Gay News Christmas Presents

The Gay News collective is a generous bunch, and we would love to give gorgeous Christmas presents to everyone. But we’re broke. If we had the money here are some of the presents we would give, and the people we would give them to.

To London Transport
– the stock of exhibits from the Transport Museum at Clapham to replace rolling stock on the Northern line.

To Danny La Rue
– Liberace

To Selfridges
– an instant boycott by all the gay staff and customers of the store, which might make the bookstall manager think twice before telling us there would be no call for Gay News there.

To Lord Harwood
– an LP of Leonard Bernstein’s opera Candide, hoping it would inspire him to put it on at the Coliseum instead of another Merry Widow.

To Alexander Walker (film critic of the Evening Standard)
– a secretary, so that he doesn’t crack his nails on a typewriter, thus giving away the fact that he’s a … journalist.

To Bass Charrington
– vast profits from owning the majority of gay pubs in London.

To All Gays
– a “Welcome” from Bass Charrington.

– lilies – and thanks for the laughs.

– carnations and a computerised membership files.

To CHE and GLF
– the capacity to love and understand (if not to agree) with each other.

To All MPs
– a copy of Gay News, so they can tune in to the realities of the situation.

To F.I. Litho
– yet another cheque for printing Gay News

To Anthony Newley
– a nice modern theatre where he can stage all his shows – in Formosa.

To The Governor of Holloway Prison
– a big bunch of flowers for allowing Myra Hindley half an hour of light and air.

To The Festival of Light
– a power cut.

To The National Theatre
– the collected plays of Oscar Wilde to remind them of what they have been ignoring these past nine years.

To The GPO
– a two year work study programme of interfering with and losing so much of our mail and for indecent relationships with our telephone.

To Mary Whitehouse
– a pair of ear plugs and a sleeping shade.

To the BBC
– the retirement of Mary Whitehouse.

To ITV and London Weekend Television
– programmes as good as the commercials.

To Sir Gerald Nabarro
– more lady chauffeurs like his last one.

To Lord Longford
– a halo.

To Malcolm Muggeridge
– an airport at the bottom of his garden.

To Edward Heath
– a cabinet made up of ex-grammar school boys.

To Harold Wilson
– a political party

To David Bowie
– an appearance at next year’s Royal Command Performance.

To Larry Grayson
– some original jokes and a black mark for telling fibs.

To Chris Welch (of Melody Maker)
– a record player and a job on the Financial Times.

To The Daily Telegraph
– a losing law suit with Private Eye.

To The Sunday Telegraph
– Richard Ingrams as editor.

To The Evening Standard
– an ad in Gay News

To Private Eye
– a bathchair on the cliffs at Hastings.

To Martin Stafford BA
– A ‘Glad To Be Gay’ badge and a lifelong subscription to Gay News.

To Chelsea Police
– a dictionary to look up the words ‘obstruction’ and ‘malicious’.

To Kensington Police
– a manual on ‘How To Care For Your Camera’


The last few months seem to have passed extremely quickly, for here we are at our 10th issue. We’re as surprised as we are sure some of you must be. Nevertheless we’re rather pleased and hope that we will be around for some time to come. And we would never have come this far if it hadn’t been for you — our readers. You persevered with us through our amateurish first few issues, providing the encouragement and criticism we so badly needed. You were undaunted by the fact that issue 3 was a week late arriving. And were apparently impressed enough with our first 16 page edition (GN6) to help almost sell out our following issue. Now your articles and comments help fill and improve each 16 page edition we regularly bring out.

More Expansion

To tell the truth, we are beginning to find that 16 pages is a little restricting. If all goes well in the next couple of months we expect to go up to 20 pages. But we don’t want to rush into anything we may not yet be able to fully cope with, so we’ll change when we feel competent enough to keep to a consistent standard.

Reviews and The Arts

We hope that you find the review section of the paper comprehensive. We have tried to establish pages for most forms of commercial entertainments and will attempt to enlarge the areas already covered as the paper grows in size. But we would consider it too wasteful to expand this area of the paper any further at this stage. As news and articles become more forthcoming we will be able to grow with the amount of material available. Also we’ll want to keep you informed and up to date with all that is happening in the arts, whether commercial or otherwise. If you have any comments to make on the coverage we give at the moment, please let us know. And we welcome reviews from the areas we don’t yet include. Gay people seem to have a greater awareness of these things, perhaps some of you would like to tell us, in your opinion, why? Or maybe you disagree entirely. Let’s hear from you either way.

                           10th October, 1972.
Gay News,
19, London Street,

Dear Sir,

         Thank you for your letter of 22nd September and the three copies of your newspaper "Gay News", which is of no interest to me.

         I would like to point out that, under no circumstances, are Selfridges to be quoted on any publications.

                    Yours faithfully,
                    for SELFRIDGES LIMITED

                    T. S. Gregory

Not All Gayness

Because Gay News is primarily for homosexual people it has been only natural that the pages of our first editions have been usually filled with gayness of one sort or another. But gay people, like heterosexual people, are interested in everything that goes on around them in this world. So now that we have estab lished ourselves to a certain extent we feel that it would only be right to feature articles on matters that are not just significantly gay in content. In the future we will feature items of general interest and their inclusion will be judged solely on their literary and interest merits. No doubt you will be in touch with us if you think we are altering the paper too much or too quickly. Remember, we are no different or better in reality to ‘straight people, so it would be wrong to be continuously concerned with our own sexual preferences to the exclusion of everything else.

Open To All

Gay News is certainly not averse to criticism, we would never have made it this far without it. But some of you, when criticising or objecting to a particular article, tend to think that just one item is determining the general policy of GN. This is not so. In our pages you will find many differing opinions on equally diverse subjects. Many of them written by contributors not closely associated with the editorial collective, if at all. As the paper is open to all of you, it is bound to happen that you will strongly object to some points of view. But we like to think our pages are open to more than just a few types of people or opinions. This is a position that few other papers enjoy, that of being a completely unbiased newspaper, that is attempting to make itself interesting and informative to well over 6 million gay men and women, and to all the heterosexuals who want to gain a true understanding of us. Perhaps ‘straight’ society could do with such a medium, they don’t appear to have one at the moment. Most national newspapers for instance seem, if not openly, to be the organ of communication for one definite viewpoint or political stand. Gay News isn’t, it’s for all people, no matter what their own personal convictions are. Or rather, it is if you want it to be.

Same Old Story

In the columns of this editorial you will see a letter we received from Selfridges, after approaching them to stock Gay News in their periodical department. We were rather taken aback with the reply, so we rang them up. The gentleman who signed the letter was a lot calmer on the telephone and told us that the store was not continuing to stock magazines and papers that didn’t sell above a certain percentage. We mentioned that we hadn’t yet been stocked by them, and we were informed that they were not taking on any new publications and also had no room for them anyhow. We at GN have heard that before and have come to realise that there are reasonable refusals and that there are excuses, ranging from clever through to paranoid. Read their letter and judge for yourselves. If you come to the same conclusion that we have, perhaps you would always make a point of asking the periodicals department of Selfridges for a copy of GN whenever you are visiting the store.(One wonders what would happen it all the gay customers and staff of this long-established emporium stayed away for a while.) Please keep on asking for us at W.H. Smiths too, it provokes some wonderful reactions, some of them unprintable.

In conclusion, thanks from all of us to each and every one of you for making this 10th issue possible. We’ll try our utmost not to let you down.