Page 277 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
P. 277

Jack Fritscher              Chapter 10                       259

             Into the void rode Marxist feminist academics of all genders, and vanilla gay
             institutions with mainstream misconceptions and stereotyped suspicions
             about outsider leather culture which they were all too happy to codify and
             label from their politically correct points of view, typically fingering men, in
             their fundamentalist chapter and verse, as patriarchal oppressors.
                Gay history, more oral tradition than written, had always existed sub
             rosa. With the official invention of Queer Studies and Queer Theory around
             1990, it became the “Gay History Business.” In earlier days, people had
             come to San Francisco to feast on sex. After Foucault partied himself to
             death on fists at the Slot and Barracks baths of Folsom Street in the late
             1970s and 1980s, academic carpetbaggers flocked into the City in the Queer
             1990s like Hitchcock’s The Birds to pick the bones of leather history which
             some of them, in their only S&M gesture, tied down to their preconceived
             Procrustean beds.
                Gay and leather history were new hooks for footloose or forlorn profes-
             sors needing to score academic tenure or grants, and for university libraries
             and archives to establish themselves, like churches promising everlasting life,
             by goading the dying at the height of the AIDS crisis, to donate their estates
             and their cash. Despite some intellectual abuse, gay history accommodated
             this expanding of legitimate political, academic, and gender agenda as well
             as new vocabulary by coopting words like queer.
                Professional homosexuals and lesbians, especially privileged academics
             and politically correct protectionists and fundamentalists of every gender,
             race, religion, and grievance, began announcing “new rules” for telling the
             past the way they saw it or wanted to slice it. By the early 1990s, they started
             to rewrite history both by commission and omission. It seemed leatherfolk
             were to be reeducated in a brave new world where a Marxist type of patricidal
             feminism, minus irony, tried to retrofit and trump male homosexuality.
                The towering babble of voices proved  that history  is indeed very
             Rashomon in all its points of view leading, hopefully as in a court trial, to the
             truth about the past from all the reasonable participants within that history.
                Revisionism, meaning incorrect “ideological information” rather than
             the input of new but unknown truth, is wrong. For instance, on the internet
             at dozens of hate sites is a Blacklist of fifty or so “American Jewish Leaders
             in the Degenerate Homosexual Movement.” Round up the usual suspects
             of Larry Kramer, Tony Kushner, Allen Ginsberg, Harvey Fierstein, Martin
             Duberman, Gayle Rubin, Richard Goldstein, and Jack Fritscher named as
             “the influential Jewish editor who took over Drummer in 1977.” This is
             grand ethnic company to keep, but it would be a newsflash to my Irish-
             Catholic mother and my Austrian-Catholic father. So much for the accuracy

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