Page 25 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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Jack Fritscher             Introduction                        7

             cultural conversation with words like homomasculinity with its complement
                Starting with Jeanne Barney, the founding Los Angeles editor-in-chief,
             Drummer began as a men’s magazine, but it was never separatist. Even as our
             core subscribers identified themselves in the Personals ads as masculine men
             whose point of desire was masculinity itself, Drummer continued to evolve
             editorially to include in its innate reader-responsiveness leatherwomen and
             leatherfolk of diverse gender-fluid identities in our leather archetribe. Of
             its two founding activist editors, Barney showcased gender-bender drag in
             Drummer 9, and I authored the first article on women in Drummer in my
             feature essay on Society of Janus founder Cynthia Slater in Drummer 27.
                In fact, much of Drummer’s early tone came from the generous heart
             and inventive mind of Jeanne Barney (issues 1-11) whose brave eyewitness
             testimony in this book is essential and brilliantly honest. Barney envisioned
             the Los Angeles infant Drummer as a kind of Evergreen Review. I thought
             of the San Francisco teenaged Drummer as the gay love child of the New
             Journalism in Esquire and the straight pulp S&M of men’s mid-century
             adventure magazines featuring bondage, kink, and sex, like Argosy, Saga,
             Soldier of Fortune, and True: The Men’s Magazine.
                Barney, whose relation to Embry caused her to want to quit during pro-
             duction of issue two, edited only those first eleven issues before she split from
             the contentious publisher whose personal Drummer Blacklist bullied con-
             tributors, destroyed reputations, and triggered shameful partisan infighting
             that, to this day, causes covetous and abusive separatist elites to continue to
             duke out what leather persons or leather groups own leather culture which
             is too diverse to be claimed by anyone.
                Even so, for many years, Pat Califia, who transitioned into Patrick
             Califia, was an associate editor and wrote a popular and educational monthly
             pan-sexual advice column. Cynthia Slater, co-founder of the female-piloted
             Society of Janus, was often consulted, interviewed, and reported on impor-
             tantly. Anne Rice, who, despite feminist fantasy, never wrote for Drummer,
             was represented three times with brief excerpts from her novels. Frequent
             contributor Judy Tallwing McCarthy, International Ms. Leather 1987, wrote
             about the politics of gender in the landmark issue, Drummer 100, and her
             “Gay Birds” S&M cartoons ran for more than a year. The second female
             managing editor and editorial director was gothic novelist and filmmaker
             Wickie Stamps who bravely fashioned Drummer issues 183 to 208 against
             all odds during its crash in the 1990s.
                Susie Bright, founding editor of the lesbian magazine On Our Backs,
             wrote, “The gay men who edited Drummer were our mentors in many ways:

                 ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—post: 03-14-17
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