Page 124 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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104                                     Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
               had a grudge against unsavory men in leather. In its coverage,
               The Advocate carefully never mentioned Embry or Drummer. The
               Drummer arrests, widely covered in the straight press, went un-
               championed in the gay press because the incident shattered “the
               received stereotype of gay oppression” with a new gay archetype:
               homomasculinity came out of the closet.
                   That night of April 10, 1976, everything  changed: it was
               homomasculine men who were abused by heteromasculine
               cops. Not a drag queen in sight. The mise en scene was  muscular
               Kabuki scripted by Mishima who had launched the leather decade
               of the 1970s with his manifesto and ritual suicide on November
               25, 1970. As if it were one of the initiation sacraments such as
               Baptism or Confirmation, the “Slave Auction” arrest was the act-
               ing out of one of the primal themes constant in Drummer: mas-
               culine gay men involved with masculine straight men.
                   Unto itself, that night was erotically brilliant, even though
               no one had then what few have now: the tropes or the chops
               to handle this newly uncloseted archetypal way to be a manly
                   Annie Proulx knew this.
                   She applied her insight to Brokeback Mountain.
                   Michael Bronski knew this.
                   He wrote his seminal article, “S/M: The New Romance,” Gay
               Community News (Boston), Volume 2, Number 30 (1984), examin-
               ing the emergence of the trope of courtly love in homomasculine
               romance in Sam Steward’s Phil Andros stories, in John Preston’s
               Mr. Benson (1979), and in Jack Fritscher’s Leather Blues (1969)
               and Corporal in Charge of Taking Care of Captain O’Malley (1984).
                   Drummer editor Joseph Bean knew this. In a recorded con-
               versation  in  June,  1997,  he  told  me  that  in  his  youth,  not  yet
               intuiting the possibility of homomasculinity, he had invested in
               effeminate gay culture because acting out “sissiness” was the
               only behavior he knew. Part of our chat exemplifies the two polar

                   Fritscher: I never went through that [an effeminate
                      coming out] because in Chicago in the 1960s
                      even before I knew fully the range of what homo-
                      sexuality was, I knew to go to the Gold Coast and
                      not one of the other bars, because I knew men
                      went to the Gold Coast.
                   Bean: That’s the difference between us in our youth.
                      You thought of yourself as a man . . .
                   Fritscher:  . . . liking other men. And I knew I’d find . . .
                   Bean: I thought of them as men, and thought they
                      wouldn’t want me around, because they’re men.
                      Why would they want me around?
          ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
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