Page 384 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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366      Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999


            between genders, I wrote a reflexive novel on that very theme: Some Dance to
            Remember: A Memoir-Novel of San Francisco 1970-1982. At Drummer, there
            was a vivid consciousness that the onward marching bourgeois enemies of
            leather culture were dangerous propagandists ranging from the Village Voice
            to the anti-leather Advocate. Most villainously, the enemy, pathologizing
            leather behavior, was most often not straight. It was our Enemy Within.
            With the rise of separatist feminism—not humanist feminism—into the
            community of genuine same-sex homosexuality rolled the Trojan Horse of
            politically correct and prescriptive gay “terrorists” using masculine-identi-
            fied gay men for target practice.
               Their prejudicial presumption was that masculine gay men are some-
            how simply an intramural bully version of the intermural straight male
            oppressors who frightened them in high school, and, therefore, deserve to
            be marginalized in LGBT culture. Ain’t it a wonderful life? Every time gays
            disrespect each other another gay is burnt at the stake.
               In the Voodoo Politics of gay apartheid, any and all gender separatists
            who think themselves superior activists are in truth hardly more than reac-
            tionaries whose separatism is the ugly social crime of segregation within the
            already divisively sorted alphabet soup of the LGBT community.
               Masculinity, in short, was suspect—as if a good man was hard to find.
            In general, masculine gay men, having suffered as gay boys, embrace not the
            worst of straight male stereotypes, but the best of the Jungian male archetype
            balanced off the best of the Jungian female archetype. Homomasculinity
            for gay men, like homofemininity for lesbians, aims at the quintessential
            purity at the heart of the two gender norms that bookend the diversity of all
            other genders on the Kinsey scale. Noting such pecking order, the psycho-
            therapist leatherman Guy Baldwin wrote in his “Ties That Bind” column
            in Drummer 127: “Social rules say that straight is better than gay. The rules
            also say that vanilla is better than kinky. So there is hiding. And a part of
            us is cut off from ourselves.”
               Richard Goldstein, who had not yet heard of Drummer, titled his leather
            smear-campaign manifesto, “S&M: The Dark Side of Gay Liberation.”
            While his essay was interesting for his eyewitness reporting on the New
            York leather scene that I loved, his vanilla prejudices and Manhattitude
            spoiled his testimony. Trolling our bars to sample our culture, was he an
            immature sex tourist? Unsophisticated? Kidding? Was he dog-paddling in
            his own pool of “morality”? Was he swamped by the sudden popularity of
            S&M in liberated females, fashion, and films favored by leather players?
            Had he been unable to handle esthetically, intellectually, and morally the
            1970s new wave of women directors featuring Nazi brutality and sexuality


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