Anthony Turney


Anthony Turney | Bucks Herald

The Venerable Anthony Turney died on July 4 in a San Francisco hospice at the age of 76, after three years battling cancer.

Born Anthony Hipkin in Sutton, England, in 1937, he was adopted aged four by Sidney and Ida Turney, who lived in Aylesbury. He joined the army at 17 and was a ceremonial guard outside Buckingham Palace before he emigrated to the United States in 1968.

He spent time in St Louis, Atlanta and Washington DC before settling in San Francisco. When his partner Jimmy Brambaugh died from Aids in 1992 he completed a panel in the Aids Quilt. He was appointed CEO of the Names Project Foundation and in just three years transported 42,000 panels of the quilt to the National Mall in Washington DC, where they were seen by 1.2 million people.

Gay Activist sends condolences to family, friends and colleagues.




26 September 1977: Freddie Laker and the inaugral Skytrain flight | Uncredited, thought to be Press Association: Copyright details being sought

In 1977, after a long legal process involving the aviation authorities in the UK and America, the Civil Aviation Authority approved an application by aviation tourism pioneer Sir Freddie Laker to commence a cut price, walk-on walk-off service between the UK and New York, to be called “Skytrain”.

Skytrain took to the air on 26 September 1977 when the inaugural flight departed London Gatwick for New York JFK with 272 passengers on a 345-seat McDonnell Douglas DC-10 widebodied aircraft. The fares charged at the time were £59 one-way from London and $135 one-way from New York.

The attractive fares, and the convenience of the service, made the trip to New York possible for many gay men in the UK and the service was widely used.

Sadly an unrecorded number of the Skytrain customers contacted HIV in New York and the service became known as “Deathtrain”.

Skytrain came to an end the day the airline went spectacularly bankrupt on 5 February 1982, with debts of £264 million in what was termed the biggest corporate failure in Britain at the time.

Sir Freddie Laker died on 9 February 2006.


Harvey Proctor


Harvey Proctor | Public Domain

Yorkshire born Keith Harvey Proctor was born on 16 January 1947 and is still living. He is a former Conservative Member of Parliament. A member of the Monday Club, he represented Basildon from 1979 to 1983 and Billericay from 1983 to 1987. He was known for his opinions about immigration.

Glasgow Herald

On April 16, 1987, Mr Proctor appeared in court accused of committing three acts of gross indecency with one male and one act of gross indecency with another male – both teenagers. Lurid allegations surrounding Mr Proctor’s sex life surfaced in September 1986 when allegations appeared in a Sunday newspaper claiming he had organised gay spanking sessions with boys in his London flat.

Harvey Proctor resigned as MP for Billericay shortly before his trial which began in May 1987. He pleaded guilty and was fined a total of £1,450.

The following year, with financial backing from former colleagues he opened two shops selling luxury shirts. In 1992 Mr Proctor and Neil Hamilton, then a government minister, were assaulted by two men on a “gay bashing expedition”. Mr Hamilton’s nose was broken in the attack in Mr Proctor’s shop in Richmond-on-Thames. There is no suggestion that Mr Hamilton is gay. Mr Proctor’s shirt shop business ceased trading in 2000.

BBC On this Day

Glasgow Herald/Google archive


The Spartacus International Gay Guide


Homiki, Poland

The Spartacus International Gay Guide is an international gay travel guidebook which was first published as a set of magazines from 1968 and was converted to a book in 1970 by John D Stamford, then a Catholic Priest in Brighton. In the early 1970s, exact date not clear, Mr Stamford moved with his business to Amsterdam.

On 1 December 1986 Stamford, then 48, sold the business and title to 31 year old Bruno Gmünder. Mr Stamford then went globe travelling with his companions – presumably using his venerable guide. There are then unsubstantiated reports that he was wanted for illegal activity in The Netherlands and is thought to have spent some time in prison somewhere in Western Europe before his death which is understood to have been in 1999.

Ready to go

The Bruno Gmünder Group was founded in 1981 in Berlin, Germany. The company became one of the world’s leading companies in gay publishing media. Bruno Gmünder Group was sold on in 2011 to a new management consisting of Tino Henn, Nik Reis and Michael Taubenheim. On 28 May 2014 the company announced on their web site that they had entered a “restructuring insolvency” with their bankers.

Sales of their products were declining; they had invested in new media such as apps – including a Spartacus app – and relaunched magazines – but unfortunately sales had been disappointing. The restructuring insolvency is hoped to allow the Bruno Gmünder Group to save the company, meet regular debt obligations and allow the company to avoid a bankruptcy, and to get “back in the black”.

The company is still trading. The future of the printed Gay Guide is not known.


Dublin: The Fairview Park Murders and the Declan Flynn murder case


Fairview Park Protest March photographed on Amiens Street, Dublin by Derek Speirs, courtesy “Out For Ourselves” (Womens Community Press, 1986) | Irish Queer Archives/Come here to me

In 1982 during the summer a series of systematic beatings was carried out in Fairview Park, Dublin. Gay men used the park as a meeting place and for cruising. On September 10, the gang attacked 31-year-old Aer Rianta worker Declan Flynn. One of the gang was used as ‘bait’ and when Flynn sat down next to him on the bench, the other four rushed out from behind trees.

Their victim managed to run towards the gate and the main road but did not get out of the park in time. They kicked and beat him with sticks and left Declan Flynn lying on the path choking on his own blood. He died within an hour of admission to Blanchardstown Hospital.

Mr Flynn, living in a country where and when homosexuality was illegal, was not out to his family.

Fairview Park, Dublin | Google Maps

His attackers were 19 year old Tony Maher, 18 year old Robert Armstrong, who were both members of the Air Corps, 18 year old Patrick Kavanagh, 17 year old Colm Donovan and a 14-year-old boy. “We were all part of the team to get rid of queers in Fairview Park,” Armstrong later said.

In March 1983, in court, Justice Sean Gannon gave them suspended sentences for manslaughter and allowed the five to walk free. “This,” he said, “could never be regarded as murder.”

The ruling caused outrage – as did the judge’s comments that the so-called vigilantes were “cleaning up the area” – and became the catalyst for Ireland’s fledgling gay rights movement, leading to the foundation of the main gay organisations in the Republic of Ireland.


1977 – The year San Francisco “turned gay” claims The Guardian

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Gay activists march in the Gay Freedom Day parade in San Francisco, 24 June 1979 | Roger Ressmeyer/CORBIS

The Guardian republish part of their archive feature from 25 June 1977.

In fact San Francisco had been a gay centre for some years before 1977 and had certainly been the home of a significant gay community since 1945.


The birth of gay pride and gay liberation, 45 years ago


The Intelligencer looks at photographs of the start of the gay pride and liberation movements after the raid on the Stonewall Inn, which took place 45 years ago this week.

Diana Davies photographs Manuscripts and Archives Division/The New York Public Library/AstorLenox and Tilden Foundations

In the early hours of June 28, 1969, the crowd that lingered outside the club was still 500 strong, initially festive but increasingly angry as the raid progressed. The turning point came when the crowd saw the police slam a lesbian, who was struggling to resist arrest, against a police car | Fred W. McDarrah/Getty Images.

On July 31, a little less than a month after the uprising ended, a new militant movement was formally born with the formation of the Gay Liberation Front | Photo: Diana Davies/Manuscripts and Archives Division/The New York Public Library


Persuading the American Psychiatric Association that homosexuality was not an illness


Uncredited and Undated Photo: A demo near the Hadson Hotel, West 31st Street, New York, probably in the 1970s | Business Insider

The American Psychiatric Association regarded homosexuality as a mental illness until 1974. The illness of homosexuality was “treated” on a wide basis. There was little or no suggestion within the psychiatric community that homosexuality might be conceptualized as anything other than a mental illness that needed to be treated.

Then in 1970 gay activists protested against the APA convention in San Francisco. These scenes were repeated in 1971, and as people came out of the “closet” and felt empowered politically and socially, the APA directorate became increasingly uncomfortable with their stance that homosexuality was an illness at all.

In 1973 the APA’s nomenclature task force recommended that homosexuality be declared normal. The trustees were not prepared to go that far, but they did vote to remove homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses by a vote of 13 to 0, with 2 abstentions. This decision was confirmed by a vote of the APA membership, and homosexuality was no longer listed as an illness requiring treatment in 1974.


Havana’s secret gay parties



Gay people in Havana suffered violent attacks and police repression for many years, writes Regina Cano in The Havana Times.

In the Cuban capital, there have always existed “public” homosexual meeting places, generally for men (we haven’t heard of any such spot where women meet, and it is said the spots for men are rather dangerous for women).

These spots were often the sites of collapsed or burnt-down buildings, abandoned, dimly-lit and dirty spaces, distant from the prying eyes of the unsuspecting at night. Though private, these places where also dangerous, to say nothing of the risk of sexually transmitted diseases people exposed themselves to. They included the ruins of the Moscu restaurant, the Chivo beach, the public bathroom at Quixote park, the Jose Miguel Gomez mausoleum, Fraternidad park in Old Havana, the Fuente Luminosa, the areas surrounding the Capitolio building and the malecón ocean drive.

People would switch meeting spots because of police repression. At the time, there were no places where members of the community could meet in person safely. The number of such spots increased notoriously, especially after the onslaught of the “Special Period crisis” in the 1990s. So-called “10-peso parties” (illegal parties with a 10-peso admission) became common.
Popular parties were thrown by Piriquiton, in Cerro, Lila’s parties, parties in Cojimar and others that continued to be held into the 2000s.


Filming Hungary’s gay history


Making the film | SoSoGay

SoSoGay highlights an appeal for funding for a gay history film project, “Hot Men Cold Dictatorships”.

How did gay men live during the communist era in the heart of Central Europe? Did the subculture flourish from the ’60s? What was the extent of government harassment? Was homosexuality considered a crime, an illness or neither? How did gay men hook up or have relationships during this time of oppression? Did legal changes have any effect on everyday life? Hot Men Cold Dictatorships attempts to answer these questions. Four young Hungarian gay men decided to make a movie about their ’forefathers’ during the dictatorship period.

Hot Men Cold Dictatorships concentrates on telling the stories of the older gay generation in Hungary, who were the pioneers of the gay movement, entrepreneurs and ordinary people who all happened to be gay in the communist era.

After 1962, homosexuality was no longer considered a crime in Hungary, but gay people were under surveillance and blackmailed into spying on their peers by the authorities. During the Kádár era (named after János Kádár, General Secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party and de facto leader of Hungary) they lived underground. Not until the late 1980s and early 1990s did the first visible communities begin to form and initiate a movement.

The film brings to life important scenes and key venues of the communist past: for example, the Egyetem Bár, the best-known gay bar in Budapest at that time; the Duna-korzó, a popular cruising area; or the Island of Rab in Croatia, which was the embodiment of freedom for many Hungarians.