Page 454 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
P. 454

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

               •  Thirdly because the word in LA was that the bad PR around the
            nasty counter-culture of leather and its Slave Auction arrests—fanned by
            the conservative  Advocate—hurt  The Advocate’s mission of social engi-
            neering its scrubbed image of gay politics and the gay male demographic
            who were interested in fashion, hot clubs, celebrities, and sex; but that sex,
            because it was unscrubbed and a money-maker, Goodstein tucked away
            inside  The Advocate as the special “Pink Section” of personal ads titled
            “Trader Dick.” The Advocate was bourgeois and Drummer was bohemian.
            Knowing that The Advocate was based on politics, I made certain as editor
            that San Francisco Drummer was, like San Francisco itself, based on plea-
            sure. Both The Advocate and Drummer helped create the very cultures they
            reported on. In fact, in San Francisco, the joke was that local Castronauts
            and Folsomaniacs threw away The Advocate and kept “Trader Dick” as a
            guide to the men and escorts offering free sex or hustler sex.
               Confirming this Embry-Goodstein feud, Drummer editor Joseph W.
            Bean, a longtime insider eyewitness of leather culture, penned a wonderfully
            sardonic history about the Slave Auction, “L. A. Police Free Gay Slaves in
            1976” in Leather Times: News from the Leather Archives & Museum, Spring,
            2005. Bean wrote:

               I have personally met at least 75 of the forty (40) men arrested,
               just as we have all heard from hundreds of the several dozen people
               involved in the Stonewall Riots. Oh, well, this is a case that is pretty
               well documented, even if many of the facts published by Drummer
               [i.e.: Embry] are (let’s call it somewhat) inaccurate, and those pub-
               lished by nationally known news dailies are a shallow gloss, and
               even The Advocate’s coverage fails as good journalism. The truth
               can be sorted out, and should be, and might make someone rich as
               a movie script or Broadway play.

               “Goodstein  maintained,”  Jeanne  Barney  told  me,  “that  the  typical
            Advocate reader drove a foreign car, owned a house in the Hollywood Hills,
            and ordered his booze by brand in bars. Which prompted me [Barney] to
            ask, in print, ‘That’s swell; but what about the rest of us?’”
               In Gus Van Sant’s film Milk, screenwriter Dustin Lance Black who won
            an Academy Award for balancing historical drama and accuracy portrayed
            the elitist Goodstein as a righteous snob who so misunderstood real gay
            people that he opposed Harvey Milk’s populist politics. In truth, the only
            thing Goodstein liked about Harvey Milk was his assassination because
            the living Milk’s mere existence and election were Goodstein’s waking

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