Page 182 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
P. 182

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

               What gays won’t do in the search for the transcendent erotic experi-
            ences that have come to be known as “gay spirituality”! This was before
            Marxist queers and right-wing Christians attacked the gay village, sucked
            eros out of Hellenic Christianity, and created a far-left backlash against
            Christianity within the gay culture of feeling and intellect. Soon enough in
            the 1980s, gay culture itself, brought to its knees by AIDS, grew virulently
            anti-Christian with the rise of the radical gender Marxism imported with
            the politically correct fundamentalism and separatist feminism that tried to
            whip the disease-stricken gay male culture into politically correct subservi-
            ence. The Marxist coup in the gay community allowed Christianity to be
            trashed in a way that Judaism couldn’t be, and that Islam, popular with
            cross-dressing whirling dervishes performing afternoons on carpets in front
            of the Hibernia Bank at 18  and Castro Street, dared not be.
               I’m no Catholic apologist, and I had no problem skewering Christianity
            in my 1965 novel What They Did to the Kid: Confessions of an Altar Boy or
            satirizing the New Testament in my 1960s activist poetry. My little “Jesus
            D’Pressed” poem was a double homage: First, to the Catholic Andy Warhol
            as the publisher of Interview magazine as well as for his Velvet Underground
            with their “shiny boots of leather, whiplash girl child,” and, second, to Satanic
            Magus Kenneth Anger who created the first gay leather-biker-piss-orgy blas-
            phemy film, Scorpio Rising (1964). Anger’s iconic film marked me forever
            the night I attended the 1966 Chicago premiere at the Illinois Institute of
            Technology in the company of pioneer leathermen: Chuck Renslow, Dom
            Orejudos, Sam Steward, Cliff Raven, Bob Maddox, and a gang from the
            Gold Coast. In his consistency, Embry, scoffing at the zero degrees of con-
            nection and loyalty within the Drummer Salon, also refused to allow me to
            review or feature the leather films and photographs of the magus blasphemer,
            Kenneth Anger, who was a friend of my friend, Sam Steward. Embry also
            interdicted my publishing anything Satanic, including the reprint of my
            juicy 1971 interview of my friend, Anton LaVey, the founding High Priest
            of the Church of Satan in San Francisco.
               Because since 1969, as a literature professor traveling to London, I had
            become a longtime, and—sometimes intimate—friend with the British
            leather poet, Thom Gunn, I was well aware that in England in 1976, his
            friend, the gay poet James Kirkup had seen his publisher prosecuted and
            fined for blasphemy for printing Kirkup’s tender and infamous poem, “The
            Love That Dares to Speak Its Name.” Kirkup wrote of a “still-warm” dead
            Jesus taken down from the cross by a Roman centurion who strips off his
            uniform to hold the dead God in his strong arms, “the tip of that great
            cock, the instrument of our salvation,” concluding that Jesus’ crucifixion

              ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 03-16-2017
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