Page 270 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
P. 270

250                                     Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
            dance titled “The Old Man’s Boy Grows Older.” (Paging Matthew
               Linguistic history is Rashomon, and editing and writing Drummer
            positioned me in the center flow of the leatherstream of diversified homo-
            masculinity. In Drummer 20 (January 1978), I immediately widened the
            magazine with the first “gay sports” feature article, and in Drummer 23
            (July 1978), added the key line to the masthead: “The American Review
            of Gay Popular Culture,” and in that landmark Drummer 24 (September
            1978), wrote a homomasculinist editorial celebrating “male authentic-
            ity” cited as important historically by Joseph W. Bean in Leather Times
            #1 (2007), the magazine of the Leather Archives and Museum. For
            the twenty-five years of Drummer’s existence, in 64 of its 214 issues, as
            Drummer’s most continuous contributor, I was dedicated to keeping the
            magazine both verite and “reader reflexive.” For instance, no one person
            invented the word bear which was in common American straight use for
            “a non-threatening hairy, burly, jovial, blue-collar man’s man” as well as
            in the name of the football team, the Chicago Bears, who fairly much sum
            up the heteromasculine blue-collar bear body type. As writer and editor,
            I helped turn the word bear specifically gay — that is, into a fetish item
            which means into a category of desire — insofar as I wrote the first ever
            feature article on bears, actually using bear as a keyword denoting cat-
            egory, identity, and commodity in the California Action Guide (November
            1982). Pumping this first feature article about bears, I was also the first
            editor to put the word bear on a magazine cover (the same CAG, 11/82),
            under the banner headline, “Beyond Gay: Homomasculinity for the 80s!
            Why You’re Not Gay Anymore!” with “Bears: Hair-Fetish Ranch” to
            announce the feature “Hair-Balling: Hair Fetish Confidential.” The text
            directly connected bear and homomasculinity in the first paragraph.
               Five years later, Richard Bulger founded Bear magazine (1987), and
            stated that my ’zine Man2Man Quarterly (1979-1982) had been his ’zine’s
            model even as he wrote about his publishing mission, “There’s another
            side to gay media: the side which Drummer, RFD, and the Leather Jour-
            nal . . . capture. You can feel the homomasculinity in these publications,
            and I like that.” (Bulger, Bear Magazine, Volume 2 #6, 1988, page 23.)
            When the photocopied small-format ’zine Bear was one year old, I had
            publicized its bearstream in the glossy large-format pages of leatherstream
            Drummer 119, the aforementioned issue of August 1988, in my essay that
            was the first bear feature article in Drummer: “How to Hunt Buckskin-
            Leather Mountain Men and Live among the Bears.”
               In those five years from my introducing bear to the moment Bulger
            created  Bear  magazine, as the gay look changed with the emaciation
            of AIDS,  bear  widened its original definition of “hairy body and/or

          ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
   265   266   267   268   269   270   271   272   273   274   275