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Coming Out, Ready Or Not

Recorded live at Albany Empire, London, 8 December 1982

Released on Coming Out, Ready Or Not [GAYN Records GAYN001], 1983


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[Lyrics new to this version are marked in bold]

The British Police are the best in the world
I don’t believe one of these stories I’ve heard
‘Bout them raiding our pubs for no reason at all
Lining the customers up by the wall
Picking out people, knocking them down
Resisting arrest as they’re kicked on the ground
Searching their houses, calling them queer
I don’t believe that sort of thing still happens here

Sing if you’re glad to be gay
Sing if you’re happy that way
Sing if you’re glad to be – ‘this way’! –
Sing if you’re happy this way

Being a lesbian’s wonderful fun
You ain’t fit to mother a daughter or son
There’s no nudes in Gay News our last magazine
But they still – whoops, sorry Capital Gay!
Read how disgusting we are in the press
The Evening News and Sunday Express
Molesters of children, corruptors of youth
It’s there in the paper it must be the truth

Sing if you’re glad to be gay
Sing if you’re happy this way

Have you heard the story about Peter Wells
Who one day got arrested and dragged to the cells
For being in love with a man of 18
The vicar found out they’d been having a scene
The magistrates sent him for trial by the Crown
He appealed but they still sent him down
He was only mistreated a couple of years
Cos even in prison they look after the queers

So sing if you’re glad to be gay
Sing if you’re happy this way

So sit back and watch as they close down our clubs
Arrest us for meeting and raid all our pubs
Make sure your boyfriend’s at least 21
And if you’re a lesbian don’t be a mum
Lie to your workmates, lie to your folks
Put down all the queens and tell anti-queer jokes
Gay Lib’s ridiculous, join their laughter
‘The buggers are legal now, what more are they after?’

Let’s go!

Sing if you’re glad to be gay
Sing if you’re happy that way

Sing if you’re glad to be gay
Sing if you’re happy this way

Download MP3


Recorded at a benefit concert for Lesbian Line and London Gay Switchboard. Album features performances from eight artists. Tom plays War Baby, and then at the end there’s this rendition of Glad To Be Gay complete with backing vocals from the other artists.

Explanatory Notes:

“sorry Capital Gay!”

The lyric usually says Gay News is ‘our one magazine’ or ‘our last magazine’. In 1981, a new gay publication, Capital Gay, was launched, with its inaugral issue out in time for Pride Week.

Based in London, but with considerable additional distribution in Brighton, it was given out for free. At its height, it had a circulation of 20,000 copies, about the same as Gay News had had.

It ran for 14 years, ceasing in June 1995. By that time, the Pink Paper (founded 1987, and also free) occupied much of the same market.

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