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Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                 581
             York art” issue featuring the leather debut of Robert Mapplethorpe was
             three-times gutted by the iron-fist of the fundamentalist printer. Who
             knew then, or knows now historically, about the uphill battle in the 1970s
             against all the straight religious tradespeople who, before the rise of gay
             businesses, called the shots on what Drummer could publish? “Not that
             cover! Not that photo! Not that article!” Talk about the censor’s fist up the
             sock-puppet of gay publishing! In the 1970s, the censors were hypocritical
             printers who would print porno for cheap after midnight and go back to
             printing Bibles by day.
                It was because they were cheap that Embry hired them. And it was a
             miracle that I got away with illustrating my “Pissing in the Wind” with
             four photographs from the Gage Brothers’ film, El Paso Wrecking Corp.
                Those 1970s straight fundamentalist printers on the right were the
             model for the 1980s politically-correct censors on the GLBT left.
                Because of the pioneering times, nearly every topic I could get past
             all the censors — even the daring subject of “piss” — was a “first” in gay
             culture, not because of any particular brilliance, but because I was in the
             right place at the right time, and I dared move real gay behavior and gay
             linguistics forward into print. Drummer wasn’t Queen’s Quarterly with
             its queen’s vernacular. We needed new words to describe the new way we
                For more on the “outing of language” in Drummer, see “Homomas-
             culinity: Framing Keywords of Queer Popular Culture in Drummer Mag-
             azine” from the Queer Keyword Conference, University College Dublin,
             Ireland, April 2005. It may be worth noting that I purposely headlined a
             feature on the cover of my Drummer 24 (September 1978) with the forbid-
             den word fag as in “We Abuse Fags!” Vis-a-vis the S&M keywords words
             slave and boy, which are also racist words, confer Drummer 174, page 5, for
             the editorial, “The Slavery of Words,” by Graylin Thornton who happens
             to be both Mr. Drummer 1993 and African-American.
                The first post-Stonewall decade was as wild as an uncloseted preach-
             er’s kid. The nights of the 1970s, everywhere for adventurers, were wilder
             than the Roaring 20s — or so I was told by Sam Steward who came out in
             the 1920s, and who in the 1930s made the obligatory pilgrimage of artists
             and homos sexing their way through Gertrude Stein’s pre-war Paris, Ish-
             erwood’s Berlin, and Mussolini’s Rome, pressing on into the international
             zone of Tangier where he and Cecil Beaton danced on barracks tables with
             young Moroccan soldiers.
                Time is relative. The past is the past, and I don’t live there. I tasted
             a madeleine and found it to be a cookie. Long ago on a May afternoon
             in 1995, while I was sitting on the stones next to Proust’s tomb in Pere
             Lachaise, Mark Hemry shot a candid photograph of what looks like me

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