Page 120 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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102      Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999

            Street West, the Black Pipe raid would be the rallying point of the Southern
            California gay community.”
               In that sentence, he signaled his model, his scheme, and his lust for a
            second, bigger, historical raid. This time on Drummer itself.
               Val Martin commented to Olaf Odegaard:

               Stonewall was different, but they have similarities. Stonewall was
               the greatest thing that happened to the community. In a way, thank
               God, this [Drummer Slave Auction] happened, too. We learned
               how to cope with it, fight back, stand up for our rights....There was
               more unity after people began to find out what was really going
               on; what the image of the leather person was. —Olaf Odegaard,
               in “Serving Two Masters, Or: The Great Slave Auction Bust: An
               Interview with Val Martin,,” Connection (October 10-24, 1984

               Jeanne Barney noted that the LAPD had confiscated all the gay cameras
            and film that night at the Mark IV Baths, leaving her with no photographs of
            the Slave Auction to publish. One of Embry’s purposes for the Slave Auction
            was to shoot cost-free photos of leathermen for future issues of Drummer.
            The droll Barney editorialized in Drummer 6 (May/June 1976), page 4:

               We had considered running their [the LAPD’s] version of what
               happened at the slave auction in place of our usual fiction section,
               for the finest writer in town could not begin to approach the fabri-
               cations of the LAPD. We had thought to reprint the Arrest Report
               in its entirety, faithfully retaining every misspelling, every gram-
               matical and factual error. We decided against this, however. Not
               because we fear retribution or continued harassment at the hands of
               Los Angeles’ Blue Meanies, but because we benevolently hesitate to
               make the ridiculous even more so. Instead, we have reported on the
               events of the evening and the days following. Sadly, we are unable
               to use photographs of the “slave auction.” The police [destroying
               gay culture] not only robbed us or our dignity but confiscated our
               film as well. We hope that they enjoy the pictures.

               Thirty years later she told me about film footage that should be pursued
            by an attorney for some Leather Heritage GLBT Society:

               At the same time our own photographs were taken by the LAPD,
               never to be seen again, there was a French television crew in LA

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