Page 439 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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Jack Fritscher              Chapter 17                       421


             keep gay male-identified literature from the margins of genre, niche, and
             ghetto. Frankly, I did not want my fourth book populating Alyson’s gay aisle
             because Some Dance to Remember, with its comic relief of straight characters,
             was a San Francisco book as much as it was a gay book. I liked Elizabeth’s
             maneuver to present my literature equally with straight books out on the
             main floor. Fans of gender-fucking, if not scholars of gender studies, may
             assay that Elizabeth and I seemed to be doing the liberated crossover thing
             for the “gay male gender” in an age when galloping feminist separatists and
             politically correct fundamentalists were highjacking gay publishing with no
             compunction about punishing masculine gay men for the perceived wrongs
             that straight males had done them in high school.
                Additionally, our Knights Press booth had a video monitor screen-
             ing a twenty-minute loop of Folsom Fair footage that Mark Hemry and
             I had shot, edited, and produced to present Some Dance while, behind the
             images, I read from passages from the book in a voice-over. Ours was a
             forward-thinking display that one-upped Alyson’s sideshow that had no
             mixed media. Indeed, if the Knights Press booth had not been out on the
             main floor, publishers from the straight Hastings House in New York would
             never have stopped by to chat, and, finding out about my relationship to the
             recently deceased Robert Mapplethorpe, and seeing my obituary for him in
             Drummer, would never have offered me a contract to write my pop-culture
             memoir Mapplethorpe: Assault with a Deadly Camera. The fact of an uppity
             West Coast author writing about a Manhattan photographer (presumably
             the property of Big Apple authors) chuffed the East Coast circle-jerk of New
             York writers blurbing, reviewing, and rewarding each other with literary
             prizes. Social class structure may be muted in the United States, but class
             and gender and race bullying is the soul of gay culture, and gay publishing
             is its high-school locker room.
                In 1995, nine years after Embry sold Drummer to Anthony DeBlase,
             Alyson sold his Alyson Publications to Liberation Publications, owner of
             the man-hating Advocate. It was a perfect fit of queens who deserved each
             other. The merger proved John Embry correct in his disdain for the politi-
             cally correct Advocate chauvinists. With the power of its press propaganda, it
             was David Goodstein’s Advocate with his Werner Erhard est-driven “Advocate
             Experience” that eroded the social cohesion that had existed for a moment
             in the 1970s among all the genders of being gay. To me, it seemed a tragedy
             that we had lost our Stonewall Moment. The divisive cultural Marxism of
             the effeminist-dominated media, proclaiming multi-cultural diversity, was
             neither universal nor intramural. It was not meant for men self-identified as
             masculine. The effeminati culture defining themselves as victims, rejected


               ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 03-14-2017
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