Page 133 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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Jack Fritscher              Chapter 5                        115

             colleague in the Drummer Salon, Mikal Bales (1939-2011), who soon after
             reinvented himself as “Daddy Zeus,” founding owner and director of the
             masculine Zeus Studio, whose steamy underground videos fleshed out the
             kind of man-on-man whipping, bondage, and torture scenes Hollywood
             action movies only dared suggest. Robert Opel’s campy, but unsuitable,
             “Cycle Sluts” photo is winner of the “Worst Drummer Cover Ever” because it
             missed the marching beat of Drummer. Its “drag queen camp” is 180 degrees
             from readers’ personals ads seeking that keyword masculinity, emphatically
             followed by a repeated separatist mantra of “no fats, no fems, no phonies.”
             A personal classified in Drummer 1, page 14, threw down the gauntlet of
             authentic gender identification: “No fags playing butch.”
                Because Drummer was at that time the only magazine aimed at mas-
             culine men, readers became justifiably anxious about any invasion by privi-
             leged drag queens favored by and featured in all the other vanilla magazines
             that excluded leathermen. In the “Letters to the Editor,” after the Cycle
             Sluts’ gooey “thank-you” note, there was a letter complaining:

                The Cycle Sluts cover picture and the associated article you used in
                your latest issue, Drummer 9, disgusted me beyond words. I thought
                when you started out, that this was to be a unique magazine—for
                men—not for campy bar queens. I was wrong. The Cycle Sluts have
                no place in my lifestyle or that of my friends. If I want to read that
                kind of trash, I will subscribe to After Dark or The Advocate.... —
                Bruce, Seattle (Drummer 11).

                That tell-tale reader response rang true enough to be reprinted con brio
             and in full in Drummer 188 (June 1995), the 20th Anniversary Issue, page
             6. In 1997, twenty-one years after the dragazine of Drummer 9, Embry
             dedicated the  “Parting Shot” page (98) in his Manifest Reader 33 to a frontal
             nude photograph of the bearded transman Loren Cameron. Embry being
             Embry announced this portrait on his Contents page with his reductive
             gender-insensitive line: “Loren Cameron. A bodybuilder complete with
             pussy? Who says it can’t be done.” His photo caption read: “Loren Cameron,
             author/photographer of Body Alchemy shows off his/her accomplished male
             physique and fully female attributes.”


             Multiple photos were shot and articles written by frequent  Drummer

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