Page 112 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
P. 112

92                                      Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
            ing that men can self-fashion their own identity as legitimately as can
            women. (I may be a bit apostolic, but a prophet?)
               On April 18, 1991, Pat Califia sent me the final draft of her essay
            for the Mark Thompson Leatherfolk anthology which also included my
            Drummer article on Folsom Street’s “Artist Chuck Arnett.” Her piece
            was titled “Mr. Benson Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,” and she thought I
            might like to see the pre-pub copy because, she wrote, I “was one of the
            few people who will know what I’m talking about.” (I had done the final
            “polish edit,” and had serialized, Mr. Benson in Drummer.)
               In an earlier Drummer connection, on May 16, 1979, Pat Califia
            had written personally to me, at my home address, as editor in chief of
            Drummer regarding “the dimensions of gay male fantasies about women
            [in Drummer]” in her proposed story about “a female top fist-fucking a
            male bottom” with what I dubbed the “O. Henry twist” in that at the end
            the bottom discovers the top’s gender. She also thanked me for addressing
            her concerns over my inclusive “Society of Janus” feature in Drummer
            27 (February 1979), and she included some of her S&M poetry and her
            lesbian-masochist story, “Jessie,” for my consideration.
               At the same moment vis a vis women and Drummer, I was confer-
            ring with Society of Janus founder Cynthia Slater, who was dating my
            straight brother, about her straight-female BDSM story, “Discovery,”
            which she dedicated to our mutual pals, the Catholic leather priest, Jim
            Kane, and his lover, the former pro-football player, Ike Barnes, and to
            John Pfleiderer, the S&M male escort, who was her straight top.
               Unfortunately, in the autumn of 1979 during San Francisco’s ner-
            vous breakdown over anti-gay assassination at City Hall, gay riot in the
            streets, and gay murder South of Market, Drummer itself was in chaos;
            the publisher had been ill and AWOL with cancer; I was not being paid;
            and I began withdrawing my authorial input prior to my editorial exit on
            December 31, 1979.
               The upshot was that, having been the first author and editor to men-
            tion women inside Drummer, I was unable to continue my experimental
            evolution toward a gender-blind magazine because in the office chaos I
            could not fight the publisher who, perhaps because he had hired a woman
            to be the first LA editor of Drummer, seemed, well, perhaps reactionary
            in his keeping Drummer for men only. (He denounced that first strong
            female editor in Drummer 30, June 1979, page 38.) That, I think was one
            of his (not Drummer’s) missteps, because, as the names of women here
            entwined exhibits, there existed, at least before the tsunami of feminist-
            driven separatism, a huge talent pool and demographic that Drummer
            might have tapped.



          ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
               HOW TO LEGALLY QUOTE FROM THIS BOOK
   107   108   109   110   111   112   113   114   115   116   117