Page 140 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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122      Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999


            133 (September 1989) which was one month before the disastrous 6.9 Loma
            Prieta Earthquake on October 17.
               Eleven days earlier, on October 6, the SFPD added to San Francisco’s
            AIDS misery of that year, and that decade, with a police riot that swept the
            Castro, beating anyone marching among ACT UP signs reading “Living
            with AIDS & Fighting Back.” Bullhorns announced the “news” that the
            street and sidewalks from Market Street to 18  Street were suddenly an ille-
                                                  th
            gal assembly area, and the cop attack, worthy of Fascists worldwide, began.
            Fighting back, marchers switched the chant from demanding AIDS funding
            to the hail-and-call Jody chants resisting the cops’ brutal street censorship
            of free speech: “First Amendment under attack!/What do we do?/Act up!/
            Fight back!”
               Nevertheless, in a fine moment in leather history, Drummer rode to
            the defense of Toushin in the persons who did testify: Drummer publisher
            DeBlase and his partner and co-publisher, the psychiatrist, Dr. Andrew
            Charles; Drummer columnist and psychotherapist, Guy Baldwin; Drummer
            editor, John Rowberry; Drummer writer and biochemist, Dr. Geoff Mains
            (author of Urban Aboriginals who died of AIDS June 21, 1989); as well as
            Drummer contributor and anthropologist, Dr. Gayle Rubin, and Jim Ward,
            founder of the Gauntlet piercing company featured in Drummer, and Barry
            Douglas from the Gay Men’s S&M Association (GMSMA).
               That August 1989, Toushin was sentenced to five-years’ probation and
            fined $500,000. The Adult Video News awards immediately bestowed on
            him the “Reuben Sturman Award for Legal Battles on Behalf of the Adult
            Industry” at the same moment the legendary Sturman, a true pioneer of
            the adult industry who died in prison, was convicted of tax evasion as the
            government’s way to censor his porn empire. Sturman, who had Mafia con-
            nections, became connected to Drummer in 1980 when John Embry bought
            the back-alley property at 15 Harriet Street to house Drummer and then,
            very quickly because of his shaky finances, rented extra office and storage
            space to Stars Magazine and its publisher Glenn Turner who was funded by
            Sturman.
               That emotion-packed year of AIDS, earthquake, and censorship battles
            in court and on the streets made the idea of escaping to shoot erotic films
            on location in Europe all the more attractive.
               That beautiful summer of 1989 was remarkable. The population of
            West Berlin was locked down by the Russians: no American could enter
            unless one American exited. As uptight as it was, no one sensed it was to
            be the last summer that West Berlin existed. No one knew the Berlin Wall
            would come down ninety days later. Casting severe, real-life German sadists


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