Page 297 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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Jack Fritscher              Chapter 11                       279


             a week for food...[while admitting he] was technically homeless” because he
             lived on a cot inside the Drummer office.
                I could only shake my head and be thankful that for the nearly three
             years that I edited Drummer by night and on weekends, I also had a “day
             job,” a real career managing the publications and marketing departments
             at Kaiser Engineers, Inc., in Oakland. Never dependent on Drummer for
             my livelihood, I felt free to experiment and push the gonzo journalism of
             our editorial content just to see what grass-roots power lay latent in the very
             concept of Drummer as a formative voice in the leather community it was
             helping create.
                Surrounded by the Great Dying during the 1990s, Davolt seemed to
             me, loving, sympathetic, and understandably a bit panicked by his illnesses
             during his tour of duty at Drummer.
                However, had he slowed down from the distractions of his S&M trav-
             els, leather contests, and blogs, and had he thoroughly studied back issues
             of Drummer, he could have examined the primary evidence of Drummer
             culture. He could then have put a gyroscope under Embry’s spinning oral
             history, and under his own redesign of the magazine thwarted by the sabo-
             tage of Dutch wooden shoes thrown into the machine.
                At the Leather Archives & Museum, on whose Board Davolt once sat,
             the keepers of the “Leather Timeline,” who have the patience of monks
             illuminating manuscripts, also know the benefit from an accurate hands-on
             turning of the Drummer pages in search of the telltale heart of the leather
             timeline beating within Drummer.

             GAYLE RUBIN STUDIES DRUMMER,
             A FIRST DRAFT OF LEATHER HISTORY


             The Michigan anthropologist, Gayle S. Rubin, PhD, who emerged in her
             teen years in the 1960s as a feminist in the Midwest, was a woman in the
             1980s daring to write San Francisco men’s history, the reverse spin of which
             no man would dare do. Earning her doctorate, she set good academic exam-
             ple in San Francisco. She studied Drummer, San Francisco’s longest-run-
             ning LGBT magazine, as a primary source of men’s leather history, and she
             wrote for Drummer. Her essay, “The Catacombs: A Temple of the Butthole,”
             appeared in Drummer 139 (May 1990), twelve years after I wrote the first
             feature on the Catacombs with my documentary photographs in Drummer
             23 (July 1978).
                As a fellow academic who also once taught university in Michigan,
             I was professionally interested in how my leather colleague, as a feminist


               ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 03-14-2017
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