Page 316 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
P. 316

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

                           Allen Ginsberg Slept with Thom Gunn.
                           Thom Gunn Slept with Jack Fritscher.
                       Jack Fritscher Slept with Robert Mapplethorpe.
                             Robert Mapplethorpe Slept with...

               To keep this oral history transparent, I must fold open my “Lap
               Map to Leather Heritage,” and disclose my own whereabouts
               within the GPS of this “Eyewitness Leather Timeline” showing
               how American civil rights culture, Stonewall, and leather liberation
               built up to Drummer.

            Many years before there was a John Embry or a Drummer, from 1968-1975,
            I carried on an S&M affair with my longtime friend, Lou Thomas, who
            photographed me with a 42  Street hustler for Target Studio (1968), and
            published my writing in his Target magazine as late as Target 3, Winter,
            1982. Leather priest Jim Kane, who was a fan of my manuscript  I Am
            Curious (Leather), introduced me to Lou who had publishing experience
            in New York. He started Colt Studio with Jim French before launching his
            own Target Studio. Lou, who was thirty-five, and I, who was twenty-nine,
            began corresponding in the early autumn of 1968, with Lou’s letter to me,
            dated September 20, 1968, discussing I Am Curious (Leather), and sched-
            uling our first sex meeting at his studio in New York, which I confirmed
            in a letter dated September 22, 1968. Because October in Manhattan is
            unspeakably beautiful, I had long made a habit to fly in for the Fall.
               That year, Lou Thomas and I met and played together for the first
            of many times on Thursday, October 20, the night of the day I arrived
            at JFK on a flight made memorable when, circling low over the towers of
            Manhattan, the captain came on the intercom and announced to us psy-
            chedelic jet-setters that Jackie Kennedy had just married Aristotle Onassis.
            Everyone gasped in shock. The captain added that the flight crew would be
            serving complimentary champagne.
               In the American soap opera that was the Swinging Sixties, Jacqueline
            Bouvier Kennedy reinvented herself as “Jackie O” less than five years after
            Jack Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas (November 22, 1963), nine months
            after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. (April 4, 1968), and less
            than four months after Bobby Kennedy’s assassination in Los Angeles (June
            5, 1968). The iconic Jackie Kennedy Onassis was escorted by gay men not
            only to Studio 54 but also to the leather bar, the Anvil. The gay urban legend
            of “Jackie at the Anvil” was confirmed by her escort, Jerry Torre, in The New
            Yorker, March 6, 2006, page 30.

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