Page 101 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
P. 101

Jack Fritscher              Chapter 3                         83

                1978?]... The “gay media freaks’ had to  ‘get off the television and let
                our [straight] friends and allies speak to the non-gay issues.”

                Goodstein’s editorial promoting gay self-hate concluded:

                Constructively, we should assist in registering gay voters, stuffing
                envelopes in the campaign headquarters, and keeping out of sight of
                non-gay voters, except for persuading straight friends and relatives.
                Destructively, we can do a lot to assist John Briggs [Brigg’s political
                victory] by being visible and in any way stereotypical. [Italics added]

                Bitter rivals Embry and Goodstein both exploited the axiom: “The free-
             dom of the press belongs to those who own one.” Embry wanted gays to act
             up and Goodstein wanted gays to shut up. The wild political times turned
             both The Advocate and Drummer into important eyewitnesses as each rival
             magazine published in each issue its own first draft of the epic gay history
             exploding all around in that exciting first decade of gay liberation from
             Stonewall in 1969 to Harvey Milk’s murder in 1978 to the first cases of
             AIDS in 1981. Not to be dismissed as dated ephemera of gay pop culture,
             both  magazines  are immense repositories  of  descriptive  and  prescriptive
             grammars and primers of gay history told first hand by eyewitness writers,
             artists, and photographers.


             Embry, having read his First Amendment rights, seemed politically mas-
             ochistically self-destructive in his constant pushing of forbidden erotica to
             taunt the cops. Two months before he offered me to become, in his flatter-
             ing words, “the founding San Francisco editor of Drummer,” he wrote in
             Drummer 12 (January 1977), an ill-advised full-page ad for the upcoming
             extra issue, The Best and the Worst of Drummer (January 1977), bragging
             that the post-arrest issue would contain pages of writing, images, and “items
             we felt were too much even for Drummer.” To the relief of the LAPD desk
             sergeant assigned to read Drummer, the extra issue contained little that was
             new. As was Embry’s unpopular custom of selling the same text and pictures
             twice or thrice, nearly everything in The Best and the Worst of Drummer
             was a reprint of previous Drummer features. Readers so disliked re-runs,
             and wrote so many “Letters to the Editor” about Embry’s recycling, that I
             changed the course of Drummer by including only all-new materials in my
             first issues beginning with Drummer 19, including my special New York

               ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 03-14-2017
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