Page 285 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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Jack Fritscher              Chapter 10                       267

                Johnson had been Mavety’s packager, scrambling to fill the hungry
             monthly magazines, and I had been his writer. Rowberry, who never met
             Johnson, was as mixed-happy-sad as Rowberry ever got that he and I had
             inherited each other. Because I had learned ways to handle his passive-aggres-
             sive personality, we were both content to work together at long distance.
             Within his own office, the snappish Rowberry added another disgruntled
             former Drummer employee, Steven Saylor/Aaron Travis, to help fill Johnson’s
             list  of  magazines.  Unlike,  my  friend,  the  sweet  cocaine-addict  Johnson,
             Rowberry stayed sober, and, unlike Johnson and Embry, paid the talent.
                When describing sex writing, Rowberry sent me a handwritten note in
             summer 1986: “Jack, Remember I love [his italics] detailed descriptions of
             the characters’ genitals. —JWR”

                    Historical Principle: Editor  Rowberry in  the  1980s  focused
                Drummer on genitals. His godfather, Embry, focused on leather con-
                testants. Rowberry and Embry both missed the mirroring essence of
                what made my 1977-1979 Drummer have verite appeal in a decade
                self-fashioning gay-male identity: faces, fetishes, fiction, and fea-
                tures reflecting grass-roots readers.
                     A Drummer reader emailed about my writing: “You differenti-
                ate masculinity, sexuality, genitality, and the physical experience of
                leather and S&M as a constellation of foci that, as now, can, but
                need not be, joined.”
                    My Drummer was not about penis, and not about beauty con-
                tests. It was about homomasculinity as a concept of emerging gen-
                der identity for men who like men masculine.
                    I replaced prescriptive LA attitude with descriptive San Francisco

                When it came to sex impacting publishing, Rowberry was no pedo-
             phile. But as we worked together on Studflix, he so exclusively reviewed
             videos of blond chickens who were legally eighteen but not looking it, and
             he was so wrongly prejudiced against the emerging sunami of daddies and
             bears in magazines and video, that I told him, “If sperm could act, you’d
             give it a good review.”
                Nevertheless, Rowberry often published my photographs of grown
             men, and reviewed my homomasculine Palm Drive Video titles. Wrapping
             his review text around three of my bodybuilder photographs (pages 12-13),
             he wrote in Studflix, February 1987:

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