Page 320 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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302      Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999

            a gender self-hatred more primordial than hating oneself for being gay?
               Hatred of masculinity causes hatred of the symbols and metaphors of
            masculinity, such as leather.
               Some fundamentalist, conservative, and Marxist gays in their feminism,
            and others in their separatist masculinism, have turned against the tradition
            of liberated humanism in homosexuality. Their solipsistic agenda of jaded dis-
            missal can be crushing to genuine human identity. Their radical gender poli-
            tics becomes their total identity. Their politically correct rhetoric has become
            entrenched social bigotry not just in their heterophobia against straight men,
            but also their homophobia against masculine-identified gay men whom they
            exclude, vilify, and bully with their sad, discriminatory, separatist epithet,
            cisgender, and wrongly blame as scapegoats—born this way—for the mistakes
            of straight men. Reducing a man to his dick is as sick, vulgar, and immoral
            as reducing a woman to her parts.
               The Drummer I edited and wrote in San Francisco strove to echo Walt
            Whitman singing words celebrating homomasculine men without trashing
            other genders. In modern gay history, Drummer was the first mass-media
            magazine to report empathetically on gay male behavior and desires. This
            was true in the editorial copy of fiction and feature articles, as well as in the
            grass-roots voices in the personals ads where “men seeking men” statistically
            used the word masculine more than any other word. In Drummer, leather
            pilgrims sought the holy grail of a masculinity that straights denied them,
            and a homomasculinity that politically correct gays trashed as oppressive.
               In the interview (2000) when Robert Davolt claimed
            he wanted to focus his late 1990s Drummer on gender diversity rather than
            on leathermen, he was a revisionist revising his own leather history. He
            defied Drummer columnist, Guy Baldwin, who bravely championed the
            premise that erotica is not politically correct nor inclusive. Growing desper-
            ate to be “beloved” in the GLBT community, Davolt bragged he was doing
            something “diverse” even if the buzzword meant internally betraying the
            Drummer demographic who paid his salary. When he wrote he intended
            “radical changes within the magazine and within the contest” at www.leath-
  , he ignited yet another battle in the gay civil war
            over gender.
               That civil war, first fictionalized in  Some Dance to Remember: A
            Memoir-Novel of San Francisco 1970-1982, has been fought inside leather-
            heritage groups as varied as Chuck Renslow’s International Mr. Leather
            Contest (which was won in an historic first by female-to-male transman
            Tyler McCormick in 2010); as well as Peter Fiske’s The 15 Association;
            Harold Cox’s Delta Run; and Inferno’s annual raucous caucus.

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