Page 164 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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146      Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999

            to creating leather culture and leather politics, but her fortitude showed that
            diversity in leather culture was a general asset and not a problem.
               In 1983, I wrote a thought voiced by the cheeky narrator, Magnus
            Bishop, in Some Dance to Remember, pages 180-181:

               [Pat] Califia [before FTM transition] and [Camille] O’Grady...held
               an almost enshrined place in his Catholic heart. They seemed all
               the more fully women for having transcended radical feminism
               with the feminist humanism of their art. They were women who
               had performed the impossible the way Mary became a Madonna
               through virgin birth. Now that was the first truly, and maybe
               world’s only, feminist act.

               While she was editor, Stamps’ issues were so argued about by Drummer
            fans that it seemed timely and camp and punk-like to satirize her troubled
            tenure with an unforgivable pun when I wrote in a history of Drummer
            for Checkmate magazine (issues 19 and 20, May and August 1997) that
            “Drummer had become a wickless stamp of its former self.” Stamps, who
            is no weakling anymore than I am Dorothy Parker, sent me a typed note
            on Drummer letterhead emblazoned with the tag line “America’s Original
            Leather Magazine”—which is an odd choice of self-identity coming from
            a Dutch-owned magazine. Writing on September 9, 1997, she zinged back:
            “Jack, Congratulations on your piece in Checkmate. Keep up the good work.
            Sincerely, Wickless Stamps.”
               If satiric awards were given for the “Worst Issue of Drummer,” Editorial
            Director, Wickie Stamps, and Operations Manager, Robert Davolt, might
            be the unwitting winners for Drummer 201. Curious queer historians seek-
            ing internal evidence based on “form and content” might compare the
            arguably “Most Perfect Issue of Drummer,” Drummer 21 (March 1978),
            with John Embry’s reader-rejected Drummer 9 (October 1976) and Martijn
            Bakker’s commercial sellout, Drummer 201 (January 1997), which are tied
            for the “Worst Issue of Drummer.”
               Differences of esthetic opinion aside, Wickie Stamps was a good sport,
            and a valuable eyewitness of what working at Drummer was on her watch.
            Her initial response when I queried her about an interview on Facebook,
            January 5, 2011: “Ask away. Glad you are documenting Drummer.” We
            accomplished our professional accord when she and I conversed frankly by
            email on January 20, 2011. Her stylized observations are her own subjective
            point of view and are quoted verbatim, all lower case, minus conventional

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