Page 422 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
P. 422

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

            even more butch faggots into the new leather bars that mystified the cops,
            who thought they owned masculinity.
               These “threatening” homomasculine gays were not the usual femme
            and drag stereotypes that homophobes love to hate because if they can
            define us as “men wanting to be women,” then they can abuse us the way
            they abuse women.


            When the LAPD arrested forty-two people at the Drummer Slave Auction
            at the Mark IV Health Club, only four were formally charged: Val Martin,
            John  Embry,  Jeanne  Barney,  and  Douglas  Holliday, an  accountant not
            directly connected to Drummer. Fred Halsted, as an auctioneer with Val
            Martin, was also arrested and thrown into the same holding tank as Embry.
               That was a Drummer reader’s fantasy: to be locked by angry cops into a
            cell with the S&M sex beast, Fred Halsted.
               Whereas Embry seemed traumatized in his raging anti-LAPD edito-
            rials, the more cerebral Halsted, who belonged to the Libertarian Party,
            wrote a coherent narrative of the arrest, of the wild media coverage, and
            of the gay community aftermath. In his editorial in Package 2 (September
            1976), Halsted rousted and roasted The Advocate 189 (May 5, 1976) and The
            Advocate 190 (May 19, 1976) for what he perceived as its non-supportive,
            shameful, bourgeois, anti-leather stance virtually siding with the LAPD.
            Halsted accused publisher David Goodstein and  The Advocate of using
            “Gestapo-like” pressure to make the wild gay leather community conform
            to the pretentious bourgeois standards of The Advocate.
               No wonder the cash-sniffing Embry hated the corporate-scented The
            Advocate. He disliked its anti-leather policy, but, worse, he envied David
            Goodstein for every penny The Advocate earned. Embry’s successor as pub-
            lisher, Anthony DeBlase, continued his own sparring in the ongoing feud
            with The Advocate over its anti-leather and anti-male policies. In Drummer
            126 (March 1989), page 4, DeBlase wrote an impassioned editorial against
            The Advocate for publishing its latest anti-leather propaganda, “Of Inhuman
            Bondage: Why I Left the World of Sadomasochism,” penned by a “Jake
            Drummond” whose very pornstar-sounding byline name also sounded like
            a queen’s backhand swipe at the Drummer name itself.


            When the cover of The Advocate 185, March 10, 1976, featured the coming

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