Page 352 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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334      Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999

            Linotti’s ancient barn on Pleasant Hill Road outside Sebastopol in Sonoma

               May 21, 1979 (Monday): Mixing business with pleasure, I spent the
            afternoon balling with a man named Kurt Baron playing with his rack,
            hoists, and sling as a fun preparation to use his dungeon for a Drummer
            photo shoot. At twilight the White Night Riot erupted. Ten years after the
            Stonewall rebellion in New York, angry gays attacked San Francisco City
            Hall, and set twelve SFPD squad cars on fire protesting assassin Dan White’s
            light sentence based on his junk-food “Twinkie Defense.” In retaliation, the
            SFPD charged into the heart of the Castro clubbing their way down Castro
            Street, and beating gay and straight patrons inside the Elephant Walk bar
            at 18  and Castro. See my “Tough Shit” entry “Bloody ‘Marys’ at Elephant
            Walk” in Drummer 30 (June 1979), page 72. On May 23, 2005, The New
            Yorker, page 38, named 18  and Castro “perhaps the gayest address in the
            world.” Once again, the East Coast failed to understand the West Coast
            with too little too late. Even before 1990, 18  and Castro had turned into
            the postmodern, dirty, ugly debris field of the colorful “Titanic 1970s.” By
            Saint Valentine’s night, February 14, 2007, 18  and Castro had become its
            own private Bangkok diversified with attractive bar-hopping young Asian
            sex tourists trailing laughter and cologne and cigarette smoke, and with
            homeless Caucasian beggars—some of them ghosts of the “70s Past”—the
            last of an extinct species crying out its bird call for “Spare Change.”
               “To me this part of the city always seemed joyful/but now is just hor-
            ror and nothing more.” —Pier Paolo Pasolini, “The Search for a Home,”
            Roman Poems
               When  did  the  changing  Castro  neighborhood  become  the  Fourth
            World? The Fourth World is the entropy that comes after the fall of the
            First World, the Second World, and the Third World.

               May 22, 1979 (Tuesday): The 6 PM Castro Street party, originally
            announced to celebrate the birthday of Harvey Milk—then dead for six
            months, turned into a peaceful protest against the SFPD. Under the mar-
            quee of the Castro Theater, I, age 39, met Mark Hemry, 29, for the first time.
            In the year 2000, after twenty-one years together, we two marriage activists
            were joined in a civil union in Vermont. In 2003, we married in Canada.
            In 2004, we married on the grand staircase of San Francisco City Hall
            on Valentine’s weekend during Mayor Gavin Newsom’s “Winter of Love”
            named after San Francisco’s legendary 1967 “Summer of Love.” On June 20,
            2008, we were one of the 18,000 couples married legally in California before

              ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 03-16-2017
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