Page 49 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                 29
             masculine games and leather psychology, it is likely that none of these
             monthly chronicles about leather S&M would have happened, and nei-
             ther DeBlase’s Dungeonmaster or our Checkmate would have ever existed.
                Fritscher’s  Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer history is written
             in typical full-frontal Fritscher format: pull no punches, evade no prob-
             lems, and take no prisoners. No one should think that some of what he
             has written about Drummer’s history simply represents the squabblings of
             a dysfunctional family of perverts trying against all odds to put out the
             world’s first leather magazine.
                It is my professional observation, as a university history professor,
             that Gay San Francisco is the history of a period of masculine sexual lib-
             eration in which there was a seminal change in the manner in which
             males dealt with questions of their own new identities and their sexual
             relationships with other men for which new rules had to be defined and
             new games played.
                Nearly a hundred years previously, when slaves were emancipated
             after the Civil War and given the vote, Blacks, led by Stephen Douglass,
             opposed the granting of civil rights to women, presumably because they
             feared that more rights for women would mean fewer rights for them.
             When Victoria Woodhull Claflin became the first woman to run for
             president in 1872 and battled against the anti-obscenity laws of the day,
             she was strongly opposed by more conservative women who considered
             her advocacy of free love to be immoral.
                Every leader in a moment of drastic change will encounter those who
             can’t lead, won’t follow, and don’t get out of the way. Fritscher was never
                He is one of the last original activist writers of the culture war that
             began in the 1970s. His intimate Drummer history — a kind of autobiog-
             raphy of all of us in leather — should be read by anyone who seeks a deeper
             understanding of the masculine-identified sexual revolution.
                There were, of course, hundreds of great people who contributed to
             Drummer, but Fritscher drove Drummer. He wrote Drummer. He coached
             Drummer. He chronicled Drummer. He outlasted every other editor and
             owner and publisher. As editor, writer, and photographer, he was Drum-
             mer’s main contributor through nearly seventy issues of the magazine’s
             twenty-four year run.
                What would our leather community be like today if he had contin-
             ued, not just as a contributor, but as editor in chief of Drummer after New
             Year’s Eve 1979 became the 1980s.
             Harold Cox is professor of history at Wilkes University and the eminence
             gris of S&M who is the founding editor and owner of Checkmate maga-

           ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
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