Page 43 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
P. 43

Jack Fritscher              Chapter 1                         25

                Andy Charles remained grateful to the day he died because of a chilling
             tale of a true-life capture-and-revenge story of a rapist-sadist who in 1969
             held Charles, long before he met DeBlase, captive in bondage in Charles’
             high-end designer apartment on the North Shore. Working one hand free,
             Andy Charles reached his bedside telephone and called for rescue from his
             friends Dan Baus, my lover David Sparrow, and me who, because Chicago
             police were the enemy, had to break into the apartment and like gay vigilan-
             tes subdue the rapist and hold him until Andy Charles’ then-lover returned
             from a business trip to take care of the situation.
                But that’s another outlaw story in the Drummer salon.


             Embry was two people in one. So with whom was I, a Gemini, dealing?
             Embry had legitimate right to his gay pseudonym “Robert Payne,” but
             Embry could not have picked a more dangerous legal moment to market,
             in a mail-order sex business, what the LAPD had reason and prejudice to
             suspect was his “criminal alias.”
                Over time, as Embry alienated people with his Blacklist, as did David
             Goodstein with his Blacklist at The Advocate, I’ve noticed that through
             arrest, scandal, legal battles, bad reviews, collapsed creative relationships,
             cash problems, catastrophic illness, personal brickbats, erotic abandonment,
             and death, John Embry always relied on his alter-ego: Robert Payne.
                Pseudonyms are a part of the split-case identities in gay life caused by
             homophobia. Because of onward-marching Christian soldiers, many gay
             folk have traditionally altered their names for privacy and safety against
             Inquisitions. In my first meeting as editor-in-chief with first-time Drummer
             author, John Preston, I advised him against using “Jack Prescott” for erotica
             such as his one-off novel Mr. Benson. I wonder if New Englander Preston,
             because of his sexual interest in domination, actively or subliminally chose
             the name because he was mesmerized by its closeness to his own as well as
             to the vertiginous power of New England politician Prescott Bush, father of
             President George Bush and grandfather of President George W. Bush? Other
             pseudonyms that seem real are: Larry Townsend, Aaron Travis, and Phil
             Andros; “Pat Califia” is a pseudonym that became the second pseudonym
             “Patrick Califia”; “Anne Rice” is also pseudonymous for “Howard Allen
             Frances Rice née O’Brien” as is “A. N. Roquelaure” who, despite urban
             legend, never wrote for Drummer, although her work was excerpted.
                I make note that for all the bravado of the first two issues of Drummer,
             the closeted staff was so circumspect that, while they were bylined, they

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