Flog Three: The Gay AGENDA

Title: Grass Roots: A Campaign Manual for Gay People
Author: Bruce Galloway
Year
: 1982
Publisher: Campaign for Homosexual Equality

Description: Softcover staple-bound booklet with light green covers.

Pagination: 1 [2] 3-72

Contents: Strident handbook for campaign organisers; a ‘how-to’ guide for your own local gay revolution.

‘Look around your town. Does it cater for gay people? Do homosexuals live openly as what they are, without fear of discrimination: losing their job, getting beaten up or insulted, harrassed by the police? Are gay children getting sex education that acknowledges their own sexual needs? Do gays have trouble getting somewhere to live? Are they condescended to by doctors and ministers, ignored in the Tourist Information brochures, fed lies about themselves by the books in the public library?…It is on these issues that gay women and men must campaign –as well as on that of legal equality’.

The book is in three sections: Campaigning methods (e.g. ‘The Letter’, ‘The Meeting’, ‘Direct Action’), Eleven Campaigns (public education, employment, libraries, schools, doctors, police, housing, public services, prisons, the church, the nation), & Basic Fact Sheets.

On libraries, the manual suggests four objectives: 1) Persuade the library to stock/order gay books for loan 2) Get gay periodicals into the reference section 3) Get information about local gay groups displayed on its public noticeboards 4) Check that library books on homosexuality do not contain homophobic material, or are classified homophobically.

The campaign guide provides the following tip:

‘A limited campaign with clear objectives: requires persistence, literary interest, persuasiveness and–for best results–a “spy” in the local library. Cultivate the Libraries Committee!’

You have been warned.

In addition to specific objectives for gay equality campaigns, Grass Roots praises the values of organisation and persistence:

Illustrations: Black & white cartoon drawings.

Condition: Covers worn and smudged. Staples rusting. Ink smudge on p. 60 upper corner. Original purchase receipt from Blackwell’s Bookshop included.

Price: £5 / $8 (+ s&h)

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