Page 194 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
P. 194

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


               I know from Professor David Van Leer, author of  The Queening of
            America, that there are cum-stained issues of Drummer hidden under cer-
            tain New York authors’ beds.
               Tell me what you cum to and I’ll tell you who you really are.
               Provincial New York queens were chronicled extensively in Some Dance
            to Remember, Reel 4, Scene 2; this is but a sample:

                   It was a Ton of Attitude. The immigrant Manhattanite A-Group
               crashed San Francisco, intent on Manhattanizing “The City That
               Knows How.” They hosted huge, super-produced bashes...It was
               SFO gays versus El Lay gays versus Manhattan gays. The Great Gay
               Triangle of three cities turned positively Bermuda.

               Besides Scott McKenzie’s 1967 invitation to come to San Francisco
            wearing flowers in your hair, Embry had from Drummer’s earliest issues
            printed full-page open-call invitations to all writers, photographers, and art-
            ists: e.g., Drummer 2 (August 1975), page 16, and Drummer 6 (June 1976),
            inside back cover.
               As editor-in-chief, I threw open the windows of Drummer even further
            and actively queried, chased, and recruited talent in that first gay decade
            after Stonewall, because I thought liberation freed us to dare to create
            emerging “gay erotic art” featuring males, objectified as Platonic Ideals, in
            the same way as “straight art” showcasing females, but without the sexism.
               I meant for frank erotic writing to be regarded as a legitimate esthetic
            on the page the way the photographs of Mapplethorpe and George Dureau
            and the drawings of Rex and Tom of Finland are framed as legitimate gay
            art on the walls of galleries and museums.
               On February 16, 1978, I personally wrote to the Manhattan artist,
            Rex, to request five specific drawings to build into my Son of Drummer
            (September 1978): “Bath House,” “21 Tongues,” “Mad Doctors,” “Black
            Socks,” and his “Andrew-Wyeth” drawing, “Jack Off.”
               In a letter dated February 21, 1978, Rex responded from Manhattan,
            airing his smouldering resentment of the New York establishment misun-
            derstanding his art:


               Dear Jack: Thank you for your letter of the 16 . I am most grate-
                                                       th
               ful for any coverage I might get from your publication, especially
               at this transitional stage of my career. I’m enclosing the drawings
               you requested [with Rex’s inimitable comments about each]....I
               would very much like to see your viewpoint about my work, much


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