Page 182 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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162                                     Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
            priestly vestments, swathed in clouds of incense, and holding bell, book,
            and candle, as well as in a woods petting an adoring dog, and, of course,
            in a plaid bathrobe, and in Speedos sunk neck-deep in a rippling swim-
            ming pool that rendered his body surreal. I made the shoot so like a manly
            recruiting commercial for the priesthood, everyone involved let me get
            away with everything. The photos illustrated the long poem I wrote for
            the text. It was gay Catholic soft-core pornography. I can’t imagine they
            didn’t know what I was doing. The interaction was so eye-opening to me
            that seven months later I left the seminary to dedicate myself to turning
            such subliminals into overt homosexual text and photographs.
               In 1969 and 1970, the Roman Catholic priest James Kane, who
            was also my longtime sex partner known as the leather priest Jim Kane,
            began publishing my socially progressive feature column in his monthly
            newspaper, Dateline Colorado. Also, in 1970, I noticed that Kevin Axe,
            one of my schoolmates from our eleven years at the Pontifical College
            Josephinum, had become editor of Today magazine that had published
            my Julie Christie and Dirk Bogarde “Darling” feature in 1966. I pitched
            him the idea of my writing solo an entire issue aimed at high-school kids
            needing to know how to interpret TV images and archetypes critically in
            a media-saturated age. He paid me $500 for the book-length Television
            Today, Volume 26, No. 2, February 1971. My source for my article on
            the literary interpretation of soap operas was Frank Olson, the New York
            lighting director who took me onto the set of The Secret Storm where he
            had a long and distinguished career. In the zero degrees of separation, I
            had known Olson for years because he was the longtime domestic lover
            of my longtime sex partner, Don Morrison, and together they were part-
            ners in the Anvil leather bar and were longstanding friends of my other
            Manhattan sex pal, Lou Thomas, the co-founder of Colt Studio and the
            founder of Target Studio.
               This was the leather salon, and how it worked, long before I brought
            these guys into my Drummer salon.
               While all my writing in Drummer and in my novels and short fiction
            is “Catholic” in the way that Woody Allen’s films are “Jewish,” my career
            as a Catholic author peaked with my 1965 novel, What They Did to the
            Kid: Confessions of an Altar Boy, which on its reprint in 2002 won an Indie
            Publishing Award as best novel of the year, and CNN named it “One of
            the 100 Novels You Are Reading.”
               It  is my  eyewitness observation,  based on internal evidence, that
            Drummer was a kind of “Catholic” magazine in its strict observance of
            S&M borne out of western civilization’s ingestion of the S&M of the Old
            and New Testaments, of The Roman Martyrology, and of the history of
            sculpture and painting representing great themes of Greek and Roman

          ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
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