Page 132 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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114      Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999

               In 1984 when Embry was secretly looking to sell Drummer, he tried
            to up its capital value by cashing in on the popularity of masculinity as an
            emerging gender identity. He published Drummer 82 with the monetiz-
            ing tag line printed with big red letters: “Manhood Rituals Issue.” The
            subhead read: “This Issue Is Devoted to the Ordeals of Becoming a Man!”
            The issue featured a lead article, “Manhood Rituals”; an anti-Fascist screed,
            “Naked Threats,” written by the tempestuous video director T. R. Witomski
            against the radical feminist censor, Andrea Dworkin; and page after page of
            prose in praise of male secondary sex characteristics that are the basis of sex
            appeal. Working that theme, he also included masculine-fetish news about
            a shaving newsletter out of Reno titled Stubble; and he repeated my early
            homomasculine concept, “Drummer Daddies,” which he tagged with my
            original line: “In Praise of Older Men.” In his opening editorial, he wrote
            ingenuously: “This issue of Drummer is devoted to ‘Manhood Rituals,’ a
            subject dear to my heart....”
               In fact, at this time, he was already preparing and expanding his pub-
            lishing empire to create some career to retreat to after he dumped Drummer
            on some unsuspecting buyer, as he did eighteen months later, in 1986,
            when he sold it to Anthony DeBlase. There was a seeding purpose inside
            that “Manhood Ritual” theme of Drummer 82 that was another one of his
            business schemes. Like a Trojan Horse inside Drummer, he was introduc-
            ing the names of his new clones of Drummer which were, quelle surprise,
            the magazines, Manhood Rituals and Manifest Reader, which he combined
            into a third title, Super MR Magazine. In those post-Drummer doppelgän-
            gers  he frequently published features and stories using my coinage, homo-
            masculinity. Most often the articles were written by his longtime Alternate
            Publishing staffer, Rick Leathers aka Dane Leathers aka Mike Leathers who,
            despite openly loathing Embry, understood him and kept his office enter-
            prises afloat for eleven years so he could collect a regular paycheck. See Rick
            Leather’s essay in Manifest Reader 23, “Bullwhips, Bullshit, & Ballot Boxes.”
               From the first issue of  Drummer  to the last, such considerations of
            masculinity and gender freaked out LAPD Chief Ed Davis who till then
            thought gay men were sissies who wanted to be women, not authentic men
            who enjoyed being male, and not just male, but macho and rugged as a way
            to italicize their natural-born masculine identity.

            12. GENDER-FUCK

            The Cycle Sluts gender-fuck cover photo (Drummer 9) and interviews of
            leathermen gussied up in glitter like The Rocky Horror Show, included my

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