Page 386 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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368      Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999

            guys with natural bodies and the authentic look of underpaid squaddies
            and bonafide guardsmen posing “gay for pay.” Making a fetish of non-nude
            manliness, its mix of uniform kit with corporal punishment hugely influ-
            enced my homomasculine concept of natural-born leathermen practicing
            S&M in Drummer.
               Goldstein’s article was a valuable warning to me because he was the
            first East Coast enemy of the leather life my friends and I and Michel
            Foucault and the artist Rex, whom he ridiculed, were happily leading in
            San Francisco. Can you imagine what it was like to fist Foucault on Folsom
            Street? Goldstein’s politically-correct 1975 article created prejudice, and
            played to the prejudice of, Manhattan vanillarinas suspicious of leather cul-
            ture, leather art, and leatherfolk. And, ultimately, against Drummer. By the
            end of the 1970s, prescriptively petulant New York gays, who had not even
            read the script of William Friedkin’s Cruising, demonstrated in the streets to
            stop the acclaimed director of The Boys in the Band from shooting his new
            leather-themed film on location in the Meatpacking District.
               It was not just New Yorkers. Worldwide, the straight and gay bourgeoisie
            agreed intellectually and esthetically on their mutual distrust of the S&M
            jamboree they could not separate from real-life sex abuse, mental illness,
            and low-class violence. To each other about leatherfolk they said, “NOCD.
            Not our class, darling.” A few years later, San Francisco Focus Magazine
            (November 1985) railed against leatherfolk and prematurely announced
            “The Death of Leather.” Focus was the magazine of the politically correct
            San Francisco PBS television station, KQED, which was also responsible for
            the wretched anti-male and discriminatory documentary, The Castro (1997).
            Its seemingly politically correct producer-writer-director and propagandist,
            David L. Stein, deleted virtually any representation of the formative male
            presence in the roots of Castro Street which was effectively created in the
            1970s by gay men, such as Harvey Milk, as a destination for any and all sex
            refugees still coming out in their own time across the country. He might bet-
            ter have tacked a specific feminist subtitle to his generic title which, by itself,
            The Castro, promised conceptually way more inclusion than he delivered
            in terms of representing the decades, genders, and populations he selected.
               Because of the army of leather haters, including the self-named “Red
            Queen” of Castro, Arthur Evans, who made the biggest mistake of his intel-
            lectual life identifying leather with patriarchy (See Drummer 134, October
            1989), I was thankful for the following magazines which I kept on file to
            guide my version of Drummer magazine.
               Decades before search engines such as Google existed, especially during
            the first decade of gay liberation in the 1970s,writers doing research had to

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