Page 323 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
P. 323

Jack Fritscher              Chapter 12                       305

                In my analysis, Drummer was the first gay magazine to drop gay “youth”
             and “prettiness”—and Queen’s Quarterly attitude—and head toward the
             fresh “de-forming” queer edge where “leather” breaks the forms of “gay
             being” and “gay thinking” with its progressive ritual, discipline, and meta-
             phor. This “de-forming” leatherphobia has long caused the queenstream
             to disrespect and fear the cultural sensitivities of the leatherstream. That’s
             my sixty-year impression from reading, editing, and writing for gay media
             where the rather paranoid agenda of trashing masculinity is as shamefully
             common as gay media’s page after page of screaming heterophobia.
                Valerie  Solanas’  SCUM Manifesto  and her gunshots,  fired into the
             leather-friendly Warhol and the leatherman Amaya, caused me in my jour-
             nal notes to draft the kind of “Masculinist Manifesto” inherent in my every
             issue of Drummer 19-33 and in my contributions post-Embry. It also figured
             in the fictive subplot of gay civil wars over gender fascism among all genders
             as dramatized in Some Dance to Remember.
                Truly, it is disrespectful to see Lou Thomas’s homomasculine Target
             Studio photos reprinted anonymously and labeled “From the  Drummer
             Archives” as if those four words canceled his ownership of his own intellec-
             tual property by some overriding gay eminent domain. What that means is
             the editors and publisher in the End Days of 1990s Drummer failed profes-
             sionally in their responsibility to assign credit and copyright, and to return
             materials. Their appropriations certainly exceeded “fair use.”
                At our 1730 Divisadero Street office, the Drummer closets upstairs in
             that old Victorian where I worked were jammed floor to ceiling with art
             work and photos. When I asked Embry about hiring someone part-time to
             mail back the original goods to contributors, he used a couple phrases like
             “no return postage” and “no return addresses.”
                Where did all that treasure trove go with Embry’s move to Harriet
             Street, and every move of office thereafter?
                Ending up with mice and Davolt?
                And then sold privately, secretly, to Embry?


             In  the  1990s,  Embry  often  scorned  the  Leather  Archives  &  Museum
             because he hated any competition in collecting the art objects and ephem-
             era of leather history for which he figured he had first dibs by right of his
             one-time ownership of Drummer. He was always jealous of the older, wiser
             entrepreneur Chuck Renslow who, with his pioneer magazines, bars, and

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