Page 555 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
P. 555

Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                 535
                Joe Tiffenbach had lensed his shoot in the desert outside Palm
             Springs, and several were published, for instance, in Drummer 6 (May
             1976) to illustrate the serialized story, “Five in the Trainer’s Room,” by
             Scott Masters who was a frequent Drummer author also known as Ed
             Menerth aka Ed Franklin. Squeezing the nickels out of those photos was
             almost okay (See “Dune Body”), because I’d told John Embry when he
             hired me that I had lots of existing writing I could stick in Drummer and
             also that I did not mind backfilling with material to match photographs
             and writing already in the Drummer files.
                In the mid-70s before “Gay Lib” became “Gay Politics,” gay men
             knew a freedom unparalleled before or since in the window between peni-
             cillin and HIV.
                Bodies turned very muscular in gyms. Without pecs, you were dead.
                Steroids were, in fact, the most used drug in the 1970s.
                Masculinizing steroids were the secret designer drug of choice.
                During the French Revolution (1789-1799), the ideal was “Liberty,
             Equality, Brotherhood.” During the Enlightenment of the Gay Revolu-
             tion (1970-1982), “Masculinity” was added as inalienable goal and Pla-
             tonic Ideal; and it endures in the bear movement celebrating male second-
             ary sex characteristics, in the quintessential images of gay porn, and in the
             heart’s desire personal classifieds of the gay press. The words masculine
             or masculinity are used six times in my purposely assertive 8,000-word
             article written for gay popular culture way back in 1977.
                The minute steroids pumped up the testosterone, competition sports
             broke out. The gay male body changed and morphed into something new.
             Speed cut gay body fat to micro-percentages less than a long-distance run-
             ner. Gay T-shirts shrank three sizes too small. Body hair and moustaches
             bloomed with beards after the fashion of the nineteenth-century frontier
             of cowboys and gents. A fresh archetype of masculinity became instantly
             sexy even as its stereotype, the clone, became a joke. Homomasculine men
             left off dancing in discos and headed out to have fun in gyms and on the
             playing fields. Gay fitness was the rage that dragged aerobics out of the
             disco and led in 1981 to the gay-smart Jane Fonda’s fitness empire.
                In the San Francisco sports scene, the San Francisco Police Depart-
             ment challenged the gay softball team which gave the SFPD team a run
             for its money. I shot some Super-8 color film at the 1978 game — not
             of the action, but of the players, particularly every gay man’s favorite
             hunk, the young and handsome Officer Walter Scott who was the son of
             former Police Chief Donald Scott. He had the same universal appeal and
             mystique as Mike Dayton, the bodybuilder and karate champion, whose
             father was a cop. Dayton from the East Bay appeared frequently around
             San Francisco with his strongman show, bending bars, escaping shirtless

           ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
   550   551   552   553   554   555   556   557   558   559   560