Page 398 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
P. 398

380      Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999

               Drummer, like leather culture itself, stayed below the radar, never accept-
            able to bourgeois homosexuality. This corporate apartheid of talent, from
            artists to writers to photographers continues to this day in a literary circle
            jerk that remains a constant conversation running in the background about
            concerns of fair play and the literary canon of gay publishing. The East
            Coast literary establishment, famous for books reviewed by The Advocate,
            often “wins” Lammy Awards from the East-Coast-originated Lambda
            Literary Foundation corporately sponsored by the Los Angeles  Advocate
            which owned frequent award winner, Alyson Books, from 1995-2008.
               Drummer  is symbolic of the West Coast literary establishment of
            “erotica” which the Lammy Awards, founded in 1989, did not recognize,
            according to iconic book reviewer Richard Labonte, as a “literary award”
            category until a dozen years later, as if the previous century of GLBT liter-
            ary erotica was embarrassing. One needs to follow the DNA of the incest
            in literature, gay and straight, to see who’s fucking, publishing, reviewing,
            awarding whom and who’s jerking each other off. I can be an eyewitness
            analyst and historian of literary texts, but someone more objective needs to
            see why back in the 1970s, the Red Queen Arthur Evans, who after found-
            ing the Gay Activists Alliance and forming the Faerie Circle, took such a
            dislike to Drummer and to The Advocate where he soon enough sold out and
            became a contributor.
               I introduced Evans “Butch Enough” poster with a thumbnail about the
            mysterious Red Queen in 1978. His glossary: “ Zombie Works” is the gym
            the “Muscle Works”; “All-American Clone” is the popular clothing store,
            “All-American Boy,” which was at that time considered both a sexy and
            political thing to be; the “Avocado Experience” is the expensive “Advocate
            Experience” that Advocate publisher “David Goodsteal” (David Goodstein)
            pushed on all Advocate employees to increase their “sensitivity,” which, of
            course, turned into “political correctness.” “The Advocate Experience” was
            a joke in San Francisco from the first day any of us heard about it.
               As a result of the rivalry between Embry and Goodstein, the middle-class
            Advocate for years mostly hated leather and manliness and Mapplethorpe,
            rather much continuing Richard Goldstein’s nasty East Coast take on
            leather, “S&M: The Dark Side of Gay Liberation,” in The Village Voice,
            July 7, 1975.
               That  Village Voice  essay,  published when  Drummer  was less  than a
            month old, shows how misunderstood S&M was in New York by Goldstein,
            about the same time as S&M was being misunderstood in Los Angeles by

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