Page 163 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
P. 163

Jack Fritscher              Chapter 6                        145

             figured he could use Davolt to get his hands on even more archival mate-
             rial from the Drummer stash of files that he could recycle in his Super MR
             magazine in which he was regularly recycling my writing with my permis-
             sion from 1970s Drummer. Davolt, however, was too bright to be exploited.
             Seeking my imprimatur, Davolt wanted to run his generational eyewitness
             past my generational eyewitness and collect my endorsement because he
             vested me, as he had Embry and his credentials, with a certain authority and
             continuity insofar as I was so often listed on the masthead as a contribut-
             ing writer, and, more significantly, Embry had told him I had been a paid
             consultant to DeBlase. Even so, he and Stamps on their masthead misspelled
             “Fritscher” as “Fristcher” [sic]. Nevertheless, “over the cups, the marmalade,
             the tea” at Café Flore, I wanted to give Davolt what he wanted for his specific
             passion project while I protected the more inclusive institutional memory
             of Drummer.
                From the first issue in 1975 to the last in 1999, civil war raged inside
             Drummer. Stamps, with her evolving titles, was replaced in Drummer 209
             by Davolt himself who in his notes for his Drummer history explained about

                As a woman, she felt uncomfortable being the primary moving
                spirit behind an infamous men’s magazine, and she was uncon-
                nected to the local Leatherati. [She had no Drummer Salon.] She
                did not have the required commanding personality...nor did she
                have the sort of obsession that other editors had. Even as editor, she
                worked only part time.
                    Few of the employees were on speaking terms with each other.

             Davolt, who claimed himself the champion of diversity in Drummer, erred.
             Being a woman had not hurt Stamps. Unwittingly, she was yet one more
             textbook picture of the kind of well-intentioned, guileless, and inexperi-
             enced persons of all genders for whom, during the Great Dying of the 1980s
             and 1990s, it was a step up the old career ladder to walk into a legend-
             ary gay male publication depleted by the suffering and death of staff and
                With respect to many of the other women pro-active for years in leather
             culture and literature, Davolt’s reductive gender-profiling of Stamps revised
             reality so that leather history was fed his fable that she suffered because of
             gender issues rather than that she was, as she admitted, not really qualified
             professionally to handle the editorship nor the office politics. Wickie Stamps
             would be the first person to admit she was no Jeanne Barney when it came

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