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102                                     Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.

                            Compton’s Cafeteria, Stonewall,
                           and the Drummer “Slave Auction”

                   When revisionists writing their “new histories” come to his-
               toric moments of gay riots and gay resistance such as the Comp-
               ton’s Cafeteria rebellion (San Francisco, 1966) or the Stonewall
               riot (New York, 1969), the tradition of “gay urban legend” is to
               fantasize that drag queens and hustlers and transgenders led the
               charge the way that some people insist that witches historically
               were feminist leaders rather than victims caught in a trap. (See
               Popular Witchcraft: Straight from the Witch’s Mouth.) What is con-
               sistent in these GLBT urban legends is that masculine-identified
               gay men are deleted.
                   The suspects who create this revisionist slant are most often
               the journalists who need a hook, or at least a hooker, to give their
               stories flamboyant local color in the way that Priscilla, Queen of
               the Desert would be a generic road-trip movie were it not about
               drag queens.
                   Masculine-identified gay men are as difficult to dramatize
               emotionally as are heteromasculine straight  men.  Ask Oliver
               Stone who stumbled with his homomasculine love story Alexan-
               der (2004). In The Advocate (February 28, 2007), Stone said his
               premise  for  the  love  between  Alexander  and  Hephaistion and
               Bogaos was that “With the passing of sperm was the passing of
               wisdom, literally, so that’s why the older man always took on the
               young man, to pass on his wisdom.” In Drummer 132 (August
               1989), Mark C. Blazek’s story “To Show That I’m a Man” began
               with a quote of secret wisdom from Aldous Huxley’s Brave New
                   “Do you mean to say that you wanted to be hit with that
                   whip?”   . . . the  young man  made  a  sign  of  affirmation.
                   “For the sake of the pueblo — and to make the rain come
                   and the corn grow. And to please Pookong and Jesus.
                   And to show that I can bear pain . . . Yes,” and his voice
                   took on a new resonance . . . .  “To show that I’m a man.”

                   Most journalists and most novelists, overly perplexed in a
               feminist-acute culture, reduce masculine men to villainous abus-
               ers, romantic ciphers, and action figures. Or worse, they make
               them invisible as Tennessee Williams’ absent father in The Glass
               Menagerie: he worked for the phone company and fell in love with
               long distance.
                   This is why Annie Proulx, Diana Ossana, and Larry McMurtry
               were so brilliant with Brokeback Mountain. Actors Heath Ledger
               and Jake Gyllenhaal played masculine men with nary a hint of
          ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
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