WE'RE COMING OUT PROUD
We've probably all heard of the Louis Eakes case -- the Young Liberal who was convicted of gross indecency on Highbury Fields the flimsiest of police evidence. No doubt many gay people thought it as just another case of police harassment and something we're all powerless to do anything about. But at our meeting of over 200 last Wednesday (Nov. 25) the sisters and brothers were seething with anger at this, the latest amongst hundreds of crimes committed against gay people by the police and the establishment every year. The fact that Eakes claims to be straight is beside the point, we were angry at the very fact that the police have the power to arrest and harass people on the slightest suspicion.
We therefore decided to protest the Eakes conviction by holding a "gay-in" on Highbury fields at ten on Friday evening after contacting the Press and the police. So, 150 beautiful gay people assembled outside Highbury and Islington station about 9 o’clock; a few of us were talking to sensation-hungry reporters. We then proceeded to the scene of the crime carrying and squeaking balloons, and shouting 'gay power' slogans. Assembling at the far end of the fields we lit candles and torches, and listened to a brother reading out our list of demands. After each demand we all responded with 'RIGHT ON' which echoed around the fields. Many of us felt that listening to our demands was not really strong enough and so decided to fulfill some of them there and then, by holding each others hands and kissing. Of course the photographers jumped to take pictures - and we let them, we had nothing to be ashamed of. At one point a brother overheard the bunch of straight, grey reporters describe us as a bunch of "pooves". So we descended on this bunch and demanded a retraction, and that they recognise our demands as just. Half of us then felt like demonstrating our power of togetherness by walking round the fields arm in arm, kissing, shouting our slogans, and with our torches, fists and heads held high.
Coming together again it was agreed that we'd demonstrated our point, and we all made our way back to the pub, stopping on the way to light each others cigarettes (this was all that Eakes said he did.)
The next day I rushed out to buy all the papers, thinking there would be banner headlines and sensational pictures. But after spending about 4 bob all I could find was one very mild report in the Times. It looks as though there had been a press boycott because a truthful report would have encouraged all our sisters and brothers in the provinces and suburbs to get into militant activity. The report in the Times deliberately played down the politics of our action, and made it appear as though we were being meek and mild like "C.H.E.". They did concede the point however, that this was the first public demonstration by homosexuals in the history of these sceptered isles.
RIGHT ON to GAY LIBERATION - Jonathon.
GAY LOCAL GOVERNMENT HANG-UP
I am a local government officer, typically surrounded at work by round, bald, friendly, conservatives, severe career spinsters, "dolly" local girls, dull straight boys. In this universe I am deviant in at least one visual way: I am one of the few wearers of post-1965 fashion in suits.
But there are no problems in being gay because I never talk about it. The round friendly conservatives tell me to look forward to the day when I shall be married with two kids. The spinsters surprise themselves to find that young men go places at weekends. The "dolly" girls think I have a non-stop, rave, hetero time. The boys think I do the same as them. Banging a nice bit of crumpet, they say.
I am, however well-practised in evasion, negative lying and counter-conspiracies of silence -- it works.
Insofar as I am successful in looking younger than I am, I am lucky, as the junior office boy is invulnerable in his position of no responsibility. But I don’t think I would get the sack if I told everybody -- they wouldn’t believe me.
It is very easy to get so used to this silent oppression that it ceases to be noticed or felt. It becomes increasingly difficult to join the oppression-smashers.
I think there must be a lot of gay local government officers who will be terrified of the Gay Liberation Front. But GLF is for everybody who wants solidarity against oppression. So COME OUT and join your sisters and brothers at GLF.
Local Government Officer
OUR DEMANDS ARE
GAY POWER TO GAY PEOPLE
WHO WE ARE
This small broadsheet has been put together by a small collective of gay sisters and brothers in the media workshop group of GLF. We by no means represent the opinions of all the GLF members, but hope to be able to provide a service to all those of us who have something to say about the oppression that gay people suffer. We will also attempt to keep the gay community in touch with the activities of the Gay Liberation Front and any other attempts by sisters and brothers to put an end to the physical, psychological, economic and generally all-round oppression that they suffer. Poems, drawings and any other creative things done by our sisters and brothers will also be included, though try to bear in mind that we don’t really have that much space due to limited funds.
We would like to say right now, that all the so-called gay mags, such as Jeremy, are just a load of absolute bullshit and an outright insult to gay people. They just try to foist a "closet-queen" mentality on to us; they think that all we are interested in are the secret life of closeted pseudostars and the latest in rip-off bourgeois fashions. Some of us are just about pissed-off with this shit and are beginning to say -- "NO MORE. From now on gay people in Britain are going to write their own history".
L.S.E. GLF dance Dec. St. Clement's Bldg., Concourse Area, at 7:30 p.m.
GLF PEOPLE'S DANCE -- Kensington Town Hall, Tues. Dec. 22 at 8 p.m. tickets 6 shillings
GLF meets once a week at London School of Economics, Houghton Street at 7:30 on Wednesdays. GLF street theatre group has also been formed.