The Spartacus International Gay Guide



Homiki, Poland | 14073

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.

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 | 14074

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 | 14075

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.”

14076 | 14076

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 | 14077

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 | 14078


Diana Davies photographs Manuscripts and Archives Division/The New York Public Library/AstorLenox and Tilden Foundations | 14079


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 | 14080


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 | 14081


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 | 14082

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.


ILGA and ILGA-Europe



The ILGA Conference in 2012 | ILGA | 14083

ILGA is the International Lesbian and Gay Association. It was originally founded at the conference of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality in Coventry, England on 8 August 1978 as the International Gay Association, and changed name to ILGA in 1986. It is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. Among its initial aims were to secure recognition of the persecution of lesbians and gays by Amnesty International (achieved in 1991), and to campaign for the removal of homosexuality from the list of illnesses recognised by the World Health Organisation.

ILGA-Europe was founded in 1996.


Havana’s secret gay parties



Caridad | 14026

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.