Page 393 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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Jack Fritscher              Chapter 15                       375


             Marxist-Communist?—gender voice free exposure. At that time, I had
             already opened Drummer up, in my “Leather Christmas” feature in Drummer
             19 (December 1977), to the first mentions of authentic female leather play-
             ers such as Cynthia Slater, co-founder of the Society of Janus and author of
             first-person feminist S&M fiction like “Discovery” in Drummer 125. I also
             published one of the first press-releases from Samois, the first lesbian S&M
             group, founded by the transman Patrick Califia and the feminist Gayle
             Rubin in 1978. Samois disbanded in 1983 allegedly because of infighting,
             somewhat like Drummer itself. Those intramural spats reflected the very
             essence of the passions and politics being parsed about fixed and fluid gen-
             der identity in the leather community.
                I openly tub-thumped an emergent defining theme of a populist homo-
             masculine “authenticity” which actually did exist among Drummer readers
             as revealed in our confessional Leather Fraternity personals ads where mas-
             culinity and masculine were the two most repeated words. Homomasculine
             identity was the key ingredient leading to Drummer’s success because no
             one had anticipated, or affirmed, the unexpected news that masculine-
             identified gay men had to come out of the closet just like all the other gay
             identities.
                By “authenticity” I meant something as authentic as a Platonic Ideal: a
             gay man in a police uniform, for instance, with his fetish act together and
             his head together, may be more “authentic” than an actual, credentialed,
             straight cop in uniform, because the gay man has the feeling and soul to
             plunge to the heart of, and understand and act out the quintessence of
             “copness” which the cop may not understand because to him his job’s just
             a paycheck.
                By “authenticity” I mean the heart of the archetypal best that males do,
             not the stereotypical worst. Perhaps that should be repeated for the blind-
             and-deaf politically correct fundamentalists. In her essay, “The Fiction
             Writer and His Country,” Flannery O”Connor, the great Catholic novelist
             of the American South, wrote: “To the hard of hearing you shout, and for the
             almost-blind you draw large and startling figures.” Latter-day critics should
             not misread Drummer, which they are only perceiving in their rear-view
             mirror, when we, back then, were looking forward through the windshield
             of Drummer which was about on-coming, large, and startling archetypes,
             not stereotypes.
                I was coincidentally predisposed to a sibling kinship with my peer,
             Arthur Evans, who was diametrically opposite  Drummer. Early on, we
             both were graduate students majoring in philosophy, and working toward
             our doctorates: Evans at Columbia University, and I at Loyola University,


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