Page 321 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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Jack Fritscher              Chapter 12                       303


                Et tu, Davolt?
                Trying to be all things to all men, he wrote:


                The judging panel [for Mr. Drummer] is another radical change.
                Drummer was the first international contest to include a leather
                woman as judge. In 1997, I invited the first transgendered leather-
                man to judge an international men’s contest. When you think about
                it, few men have to face and wrestle with issues of gender and mas-
                culinity... [He was wrong. Most gay men, from boyhood, have to
                fight for their masculinity to escape the heterosexual “bully box”
                which dismisses all gays as “sissies who want to be women.” Outing
                gay masculine identity was, of course, one of the essential purposes
                driving Drummer.]...to the extent that female and transgendered
                members of our community have, so I welcomed their opinion on
                the panel along with a majority of leathermen. I was refocusing
                Drummer as a men’s magazine for leathermen [sic!], but this was
                one opportunity to include the rest of our community and actually
                sharpen that focus.

                Davolt in his dashed-off internet writing-style miss-wrote what he clari-
             fied elsewhere. He lacked the finesse of Mark Thompson who, ten years
             before, had gathered all genders together in his anthology inclusively titled,
             Leatherfolk: Radical Sex, People, Politics, and Practice (1990).
                He also lacked the business sense of Embry who, instead of diluting
             the sexual identity of Drummer as did Davolt, would have jumped at the
             chance to clone yet another sibling magazine, perhaps titled Leatherwoman
             or Leathergender or even Leatherfolk. In fact, if Davolt had done his home-
             work by studying the contents of all the issues of  Drummer, he would
             have discovered that—while he was still a teenage undergraduate at the
             University of Missouri—Tony Deblase bought Drummer and immediately
             invited leatherfolk of all genders into the pages of Drummer during his six-
             year ownership from 1986 to 1992.
                To me as a Drummer editor, and as a person who sat next to Davolt more
             than once listening to him talk in private and in public about his messianic
             mission, his last sentence more accurately reflects his intent when edited
             this way:


                I was refocusing Drummer from being a men’s magazine for leather-
                men, and this was one opportunity to include the rest of the com-
                munity of leatherfolk and change Drummer’s focus.


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