HIM 63, November 1983

Boy George, the androgynous singer with Culture Club, is driving tabloids crazy. His sexual ambiguity gets the feature writers in right old tizzy. Is his close companion male or female? His ex-boyfriend Marilyn just adds to the confusion.

The Daily Mirror even went so far as to write an editorial telling Boy George to have his hair cut and don a three-piece suit. If he abandoned his make up, they said, he’d be much happier.

I wonder if they mean he’d be happier or they’d be happier?

Keep ‘em guessing Boy George.


Elsa Lanchester, speaking to THE GUARDIAN, said that she found out about husband Charles Laughton’s homosexuality a few months after they were married.

With unusual compassion and amazing strength, she remained married to the star of Mutiny on the Bounty and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, simply because he was a wonderful friend and companion. She enjoyed her men friends and allowed Charles to enjoy his.

As she said several times during the interview, there was no-one in those days she could talk to about it.

Thank goodness all that has changed now and people in her position can get a sympathetic ear almost anywhere.


In an extraordinary article in THE SPECTATOR, somebody called Jeffrey Bernard offers the opinion that: “the decline in the quality of queers dates from the time gay became their title.”

He goes on to relate how, in his youth, he would attach himself to lonely and frightened gay men and get money from them by flaunting his “delinquent looks that queers fancy so much.” For all the money, favours and holidays he received, Jeffrey Bernard just prick-teased his victims whilst despising and ridiculing them.

Mr Bernard thinks we should revert to using “queer” and “poof” to describe ourselves because “gay is what I am after four or five large ones.”

Listen, any youth who persistently importunes gay men, excites them, flirts with them and then, at the crucial moment, tries to say that he is “an obsessional heterosexual” has got to be suffering from a serious psycho-sexual problem.

And while we’re on the subject of calling a spade a spade, how about Mr Bernard being honest about himself? Didn’t his activities, in fact, make him a prostitute?


Following the success of their recent feature about gay men who came out to their parents, THE SUN now gives us “My Daughter is a Gay”.

As the title implies, this time it concentrated on the reactions of parents to the knowledge that their daughters were dykes.

One has to be fair and say that the article wasn’t bad. In fact, rumour has it that THE SUN is making an effort to recognise and cater for its gay audience. This hasn’t been reflected in the editorial department yet, but perhaps we can look forward to a better deal from Bouverie Street? [Note: At that time, The Sun was produced in Bouverie Street, London EC4]


Gerald Priestland, the former BBC religious affairs correspondent, devoted his recent “Priestland’s Postbag”(Radio 2) to homosexuality. In this five-minute homily he got off to a good start by telling us: “Homosexuality is not a subject that interests me because I have no experience of it.”

This admission did not prevent him trotting out the full repertoire of established Christian complacence:

“Sometimes bankers or lawyers want to dress up in kinky clothes, but they have the good manners to keep it to themselves, they don’t force it on me,” he said. “It’s right that Christians should be merciful now, but I do wish the word gay still had its original meaning… blah, blah, blah.” Well, you’ve heard it all before, about twenty years ago.

He ended up by admitting he found homosexual acts “ludicrous and distasteful.”

Fine, he’s entitled to his opinion, smug though it be. But there’s a strange callousness about Mr Priestland’s tone which I find hard to accept, especially as he purports to be concerned with the major social issues of the day.

Are we to assume, for instance, that because we have no experience of starvation, we need not take seriously the situation in the third world? That seems to be Mr Priestland’s message.


THE DAILY EXPRESS informed us that Sting, lead singer with the rock group Police, was very “hot” during a recent concert in Germany. Wishing to communicate to his audience this fact, Sting said: “Ich bin warm.” This, in fact, means “I am gay”.

Can we take it, then, that Sting considers himself to be a hot, gay man, or was it all a dreadful mistake, as THE EXPRESS would have us believe?


According to THE SUNDAY TIMES, the Kincora Boys Home scandal, which has been on the verge of breaking for some years now, seems to have died the death.

This will be bad news for THE SUN and other papers that thrive on ‘homosexual scandals’ because this one had, potentially, all the right ingredients.

The Kincora Boys Home is in East Belfast and there were dark mutterings some time ago that boy prostitution ring had been in operation there.

That would have been juicy enough but better still, word had it that this vice ring had been used by senior civil servants and army officers. The icing on the cake was that the Royal Ulster Constabulary were accused of covering the whole thing up. Even Ian Paisley was in there somewhere.

Now a report by Sir George Terry, former Chief Constable of Sussex, says that the allegations were “totally unfounded”.

I think this is the best solution. Not only does it prevent unscrupulous politicians from publicly smearing their opponents (no proof needed, a mere accusation would be enough to do the damage), it also takes away the opportunity for the Fleet Street Bingo Cards to rehash the ‘gay corruption’ angle yet again.

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