Homomasculinity: Framing Keywords of Queer Popular Culture

Tags: homomasculinity, homosexuality, Drummer, Tennessee Williams, pop culture, Raymond Williams, California Action Guide, civil rights, Bear magazine, Los Angeles, gay men, Jack Fritscher, Martin Luther King, Chuck Renslow, Peace Movement, literature, Kenneth Marlowe, Faculty of Arts Fellow, New York Post, Gloria Steinem, Charles Manson, School of English, Ron Hubbard, Judy Garland, Walt Whitman, Valerie Solanas, gay marriage, Chicago Bears, Andrew Sullivan, California Action, word bear, revealed religion, American Psychiatric Association, Bear Book, masculinity, Piccadilly Circus, President Abraham Lincoln, Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society, Richard Bulger, George Rousseau, Virginia Woolf, American Popular Culture Association, George W. Henry, Alyson Publications, Princeton University Press, gay communities, Chelsea Green Publishing, M. Christian, Patricia Nell Warren, Drummer Magazine, straight men, masculine gay men, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Arthur Evans, University of Wisconsin Press, erotic fiction, gay literature, neologisms, Hunter Thompson, Susan Sontag, Andy Warhol, San Francisco, Pontifical College Josephinum, Cardinal Bernard Law, Robert Mapplethorpe, American Popular Culture, GLBT Historical Society, prose style, Robert Frost, Norman Mailer, New York
Content: HOW TO LEGALLY QUOTE THIS MATERIAL www.JackFritscher.com/Drummer/Research%20Note.html Queer Keyword Conference, April 15, 2005 School of English, University of College Dublin, Ireland Michael O'Rourke, Faculty of Arts Fellow, UCD, Moderator
Homomasculinity:
©Framing KeywJaocrkdsFroitfscQheur,ePehr.DP.opular Culture www.JackFritscher.com J "Good authors who once knew better words a now only use four-letter words writing prose. Anything goes!" --Cole Porter, 1934 c Note: This paper enjoins the "Queer Keywords" invitation to activist coiners of various homo-words to reflect anecdotally on k their neologisms, their cultural and societal significance, origin, contexts, and agendas vis a vis the impulse to conceptualize, name, and label particularly in the mass media of gay popular culture. The author as journalist and novelist participated in 1960s F civil rights, and chronicled 1970s gay pop culture in emerging magazines, with ties to the American Popular Culture Association, while writing books variously on the gender history of witchcraft, the interpretation of television, and Tennessee Williams. r I. Introduction: it The Mise en Scene of Pop Culture, the 1960s, s and Keystones in the Arch of the Stonewall; A Survey of One Writer's Linguistic Journey c through the Grotesque Odds of Publishing up to the Post-Factual Age of Bush
he "In or around December 1910," Virginia Woolf famously wrote in 1924, "human charac- r ter changed." The Bloomsbury Group re-keyed . itself. In 1945, Raymond Williams returned from c the war to Cambridge and found life had changed. "We no longer spoke the same language," he wrote o in Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society m (1982). Even as each 20th-century decade more or
selling Mr. Madam, and Susan Sontag's "Notes on `Camp'" sounded the charge of the gay-keyword stampede out of Polari and into the streets. In the revolutionary spring of 1968, after Martin Luther King was assassinated in April and protest riots of resistance broke out in sixty American cities, Robert Kennedy was killed in June, two days after Andy Warhol was shot by genderist
less accommodated homosexuality, the 1960s blew
Valerie Solanas. Word-slinger Mart Crowley's The
in on Stonewall by offering a perfect storm of
Boys in the Band opened April 14 in New York and
liberation as elements converged through the
accurately outed fluent gay badinage into pop
media of popular culture wherein everything
culture media. In August, when the Chicago po-
changed, if one applies Warhol, every fifteen min-
lice rioted with clubs beating activists at the Dem-
utes. In 1964, the trifecta of the Free Speech
ocratic Convention, the victims--surrounded in
Movement at Berkeley, Kenneth Marlowe's best-
the streets--resisted and changed the politics of
In London, on May 14, 1969, in a very cruisy movie theater in Piccadilly Circus, I asked a very hot sailor, "Are you `top' or `bottom'? And he said, "You Americans. You label everything."
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dominance by chanting to invoke the power of
teach-in to make straight pop-culture bilingual. Just
the international television cameras: "The whole
as in the early 1960s the Peace Movement and
world is watching."
civil rights movement debated their differences,
In spring 1969, Gloria Steinem wrote her first
then joined together for political strength, the best
feminist article, "After Black Power, Women's Lib-
drag that queers ever did was cloaking gay libera-
eration," the taboo-breaking Midnight Cowboy pre-
tion in the keywords of the civil rights movement.
miered May 25, and on the very "out" date of June 9, 1969, once-a-century "6/9/69 parties" were celebrated throughout the free world-- ©which inaugurated the 1970s orgy fad. Driven by this tidal surge, eighteen days later, at the Stonewall Inn, as June 28 became June 29, the love that J dare not speak its name began to shout under- ground vocabulary to the media, like some wild a burlesque Berlitz teaching gay speak as a foreign c language. Reporting the Stonewall uprising six hours k after the first stone was cast, a reticent New York Times in ten short-shrift paragraphs used the word F homosexual once and "young men" twice. The New York Post in five paragraphs used homosexual only r once but actually dared quote the framing chant i of "gay power." The New York Daily News tried to t disarm the mutiny with the mocking, nelly, campy s "Homo Nest Raided, Queen Bees Stinging Mad." c In its Independence Day issue (July 3, 1969), The Village Voice nailed the gay gravitas with the head- h line feature "Gay Power Comes to Sheridan Square." On November 5, activists successfully e picketed the Los Angeles Times for refusing to print the word homosexual in advertisements. By June r 1970, thousands of gay militants--veterans of . civil rights, women's lib, and peace movements-- c marched past news media cameras with signs read- ing "Gay Pride" and "Gay Power" at the Christo- o pher Street Liberation Day in Central Park. In my m journal, which during the next twelve years grew
Revolutionary change drove the mood-swings during that "Stonewall summer" of America landing a man on the moon, of Charles Manson, of Easy Rider, of the Tet counteroffensive in Vietnam, and of Woodstock. Five years before Stonewall, at the same instant that Sontag unleashed "Camp," Life magazine, (June 26, 1964) framed the lifestyle of masculine-identified gay liberation in the feature article, "Homosexuality in America," with the lead lines: "A secret world grows open and bolder. Society is forced to look at it--and try to understand it." It was like sending an engraved invitation to San Francisco and started the migration of the gay nation west to the Left Coast. When Judy Garland, the ventriloquist of gay code whose funeral ignited the passions of Stonewall, sang "San Francisco" for the live concert Judy at Carnegie Hall, there can be heard--recorded for the first time, April 23, 1961--the group-cheering of gay men's voices. Like baby's first word, there was something so thrilling and uncloseted in that outshout "finding the gay voice" that the quintessential framing poet of gay synonyms, Walt Whitman, would have recognized the united gay roar as part of his glorious "barbaric yawp." "Coming out of the closet" is an act of immigration. First, the person coming out is forced to learn a new language of sex and identity. Second, coming out is fraught with all the framing/ keying problems common to every other "immi-
into my love-letter book of the first Gay Renais-
grant versus host society" trying to establish a dis-
sance, Some Dance to Remember: A Memoir-Novel of
course. Both immigrant and host require path-
San Francisco 1970-1982, I noted: gay character
breaking keywords each can accept. In a way, the
changed.
acid-inflected morning after Stonewall was like the
first dawn in Eden when Adam's task was to name
"Bliss was it that dawn to be alive,
everything in sight.
but to be young was heaven."
In its whole history, San Francisco had never
--William Wordsworth, "The Prelude"
let "a stranger wait outside its Golden Gate," and
especially not outside its Golden Gate YMCA. In
These events, outing gay speak, began the
the 1970s, San Francisco was suddenly teeming
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with thousands of gay refugees fleeing sexual,
"not in most people's frames of reference....Who
religious, and legal persecution. Other thousands
would suspect that the homosexual sub-culture
arrived to carry on the 1960s hippie party of sex,
language contains over 12,000 terms used by ho-
drugs, and rock. Immigration's linguistic issues are
mosexuals to identify themselves and their needs."
often difficult, but, in the case of homosexuals,
Noebel fails to credit the value of his source, The
how were media to frame "sexual outlaws"? Even
Queen's Vernacular, even as he spins that jolly glos-
as San Francisco became gay Mecca, when the Ritch Street Baths caught fire very late one night in 1972, the morning Chronicle tapped code about ©the safe evacuation of hundreds of "slender young men in towels," because gay and homosexual were not fully "out" from the penumbra of libel. JSex itself made the gay migration different from previous immigrants whose identity was a keyed in race, nationality, and language. Sex and c law and morality collided around labeling gay im- migrants in ways that other immigrants, say, Irish k or Jewish, defused alienation with cooking, mu- sic, and universal images of burgeoning pregnant F family life--a trope now become a latter-day es- sential in the gay marriage crusade. r Language also relates, if anything can, the i black experience with the gay experience. Queer t speak is as essential to gay identity as rap is to s black culture. Aside from all the controversies over c "Ebonics" and Polari, the bilingual truth is that blacks and gays both understand standard Amer- h ican English while speaking their own dialects not reciprocally understood by standard Americans. e Actually, straight readers of gay fiction and non- fiction frequently mention that gay speak so eludes r them they need a glossary or a gay interpreter . named Bruce. Farther afield, fundamentalists see c gays not as immigrants, but as colonists, whom they further reframe as terrorists, threatening their o "family values" and their revenue source in the m tax base for income and inheritance skewed against
sary against itself as if it were some evil Masonic incantation. Fundamentalists obsessing over Bible words also obsess over gay language and judge, for instance, the triumphant word pride in "Gay Pride" as the "signature queer sin" among the seven deadly sins; for pride is vanity, the sin from which all other sins arise. ("Gay Pride/Power" is a riff, of course, on "Black Pride/Power.") Ten years after Stonewall, on the night of May 21, 1979, thousands of San Francisco gays rushed on City Hall, attacked two squads of police, and set nine police cars afire. The "White Night Riot" ignited because a jury, believing the coinage "Twinkie Defense," gave a slap on the wrist to the assassin of Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone. The May 22 Chronicle went beyond "slender young men"with the headline: "Gay Plea for Calm." These were no longer the amusing "friends of Dorothy." The 1950s and 1960s codes of self-defense had given way to 1970s rhetoric that the best defense is a good offense. As 1970s "gay liberation" rekeyed itself into 1980s "gay politics," fag tags turned linguistic helixes around 1) the politicalization represented in the rise of gay-and-lesbian studies and 2) the medicalization of terms around GRID (the specific blood libel of Gay-Related Immune Deficiency) and then around HIV which was the iceberg that struck the Titanic 1970s as the festive party was cruising on. By 1983, AIDS vocabulary, particularly in the
unmarried people. 1
popular straight mind, virtually returned homo-
In the American Culture war, eschatological
sexuality--after only a decade off for good be-
TV preacher Jerry Falwell on September 14, 2001,
havior--to its definition as a "disease" albeit not
blamed the events of 9/11 on his key litany of
the "mental disorder" which had been abandoned
"homosexuals, abortionists, and the ACLU." (But,
by the American Psychiatric Association in 1973.
of course! Gays had practiced by destroying Sod-
The politically correct made a huge mistake in
om and Gomorrah, even as they gentrify all other
medicalizing 1970s behavior as the cause of AIDS.
cities.) In 1977, fundamentalist David A. Noebel
That is a post-hoc-ergo-propter-hoc fallacy. Truth be
wrote the book, The Homosexual Revolution: End-
told: Some who felt left out of or who missed the
Time Abomination, which describes gay speak as
1970s celebration were simply jealous. It may have
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been cute to blame bell bottoms, disco, and bath
tive men and women aback, causing mainstream
houses, but a virus caused AIDS which was passed
magazines to run cover stories rethinking the na-
more by the sharing of needles among the A-List
ture of masculinity: e.g., "Masculinity: 60 Points
than by A-List sex acts. If HIV had never been
of View," Harper's Magazine, July 1975.
invented, and if Marxist keywords had never been
The mantra of power is embedded in the book
injected into the gay bloodstream, the 70s would
title of George Lakoff 's Don't Think of an Ele-
be fondly remembered as a Gay Renaissance, the Golden Age of the First Decade of Gay Liberation, because the 70s were to sex what the en- ©lightenment was to reason. "Whoever did not live in the years Jneighboring the revolution does not know what athe pleasure of living means." c --Charles Maurice de Talleyrand k The1990s exploded academically around queer, but queer differentiation and revolt in pop culture F predates even 1978 when a tagger spray-painted the ruined Falstaff Brewery in San Francisco with r the armageddon graffiti, "Queers against Gays."2 i The minute that Bruce Rodgers published his t 1973 thesaurus, The Queens' Vernacular: A Gay Lexs icon, many masculine-identified gays judged his c book a rather dangerous little dictionary of op- pression because they were, as was Sontag, both h drawn to camp and offended by it. In the straight- stream media, Time magazine dared two very "out" e latchkey covers: the gay-soldier shocker "I Am a Homosexual," September 8, 1975, featuring the r sentence, "Like most subcultures, the homosexu. al world has its own language," and "How Gay Is c Gay?" on April 23, 1979. The June 25, 1979, cov- er of New York magazine declared the headline o promise "The Meaning of Gay." m The article "How Gay Is Gay" foreshadowed
phant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate, The Essential Guide for Progressives. Hi-jacking language is as easy as reframing ego as self-esteem. The Religious Right has reframed its off-center puritan fundamentalism by dropping the adjective religious for faith-based, and by grabbing hold of keywords like family, values, and marriage in coined phrases such as "heterosexuals hold the `patent' on the word marriage."3 Just so, because the American Psychiatric Association reframed homosexuality, and because gay activists reframed gay lib into the gay politics of civil rights, and because queers have extended--not narrowed--the definition of family, so might homosexuality reframe itself as a worldwide, "intuitive religion" predating the revealed religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, in order to gain the protection that the United States Constitution extends to all religions. If Ron Hubbard got away with declaring Scientology a religion, why should homosexuality be any less sacred? Or any more taxed? Verbally, the Stone Age literature of the Bible, which has an opinion about absolutely everything, was apparently made speechless by homosexuality which like feminism's primary goal separates sex from procreation. Sodomite seems geographical, and ignores Gomorrah, and has left law books confused about the definition of sodomy. "A man lying with another man as with a woman" is awkward in the way the German Fehrnseeapparat, "the far-seeing-apparatus," means a TV set.
by twenty years President Clinton's re-framing
The Bible is hardly a dictionary, but its binary
oral/anal sex by declaring, "It all depends on what
thumpers use it like the New Oxford even though
the definition of is is." The Southern Baptist Clin-
Scripture's procreational chauvinism indicates that
ton, perhaps influenced by the Old Testament
one half of a gay couple plays the woman which
stricture against one saying the name of "G-d,"
in truth would never enter the minds of two ho-
was also the defining censor of "g-y" and "ho-
momasculine men going at each other celebrat-
mos-xuality" authoring "Don't Ask. Don't Tell."
ing male essence and harvesting "manjuices."
Because masculinity in queer men is even more
When two homomasculine men are fucking, nei-
vexing than effeminacy in queer men, the rise of
ther is thinking about women anymore than two
masculine-identified gay men took heteronorma-
homofeminine women fucking on the L Word are
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thinking about men. Are there any keywords in
identity. ("I'm hairy, fat, and bald; I'm a bear.")
Anglo-Saxon orgasm besides, shit, fuck, and Oh,
Coined for Popular Witchcraft, the word and con-
God ?
cept homochristianity was also explicitly dramatized
Most evangelicals--some of whom actually
in Some Dance to Remember where an erotic act of
buy gay porno and gather in groups to study gay
S&M crucifixion soars up the body, up the erec-
sins--have never actually seen gay sex except in
tions, and up out of the mouth of the protago-
DVDs that ape procreational sex insertion for the one reason that straight distributors insist gay producers include the heteronormative act of pene- ©tration in each feature. Actually, independent gay movies--not financed by straight mafias of whatever kind--fairly much reveal that sex for most Jgay men is less about anal penetration than it is about frottage, cocksucking, priapic worship, and a mutual masturbation. c It does not require a degree in linguistics to figure out that the Bible, a misanthropic morass k of ambiguity, has four thousand years of on-go- ing translation issues that invalidate every single F word in it. (The word homosexuality did not appear in the Bible until the Revised Standard Version r of 1946.) Too bad the Bible text--which has had i more massages than Hugh Hefner--is a "moral t identity document" to people who have mostly s never read any other book and who believe in c private interpretation of the Scripture, but not in university classes teaching Literary Interpretation h 101. Actually, Christianity, in its original form as e Catholicism and its reformed version as Protes- tantism, is a "revealed religion" that has really lit- r tle or no business interpreting the intuitive psy. chology of homosexuality which--and here is c where queer culture can take Lakoff 's Elephant advice and reframe the debate to gain constitu- o tional freedom--is a "natural religion" more anm cient than pagans and Druids. Gays worshiped at
nist who finds words for the essence of homosexual body worship based on the main image of western art: a heroic, muscular, nearly naked Jesus spreadeagled in bondage on the cross. What boy born gay does not feel Eros squeezing Christ's priapic body into erotica? After the Greeks, the Jews, the Christians, Aquinas, and Shakespeare, why did it take till 1869 for the homomasculine (or maybe just anti-effete) Austrian Karoly Kertbeny, championing "the rights of man," to coin homosexuality in "love letters" to his unrequited "boyfriend" Karl Ulrichs? If the sacred Walt Whitman, the best linguist ever at coining gay synonyms in his pansexual "bible" Leaves of Grass, had framed a specific word for his "Calamus" emotions, perhaps President Abraham Lincoln in the mid-1800s might have had a word for his "sleeping" in the same bed with the captain of his guards, and other men. Lacking any label, Lincoln's White House homosexuality simply evaporated. Tennessee Williams often coded homosexuality for Broadway blue-hairs as "something unspoken"--kind of "show-don't-tell"; e.g.: Neither Brick nor Maggie dares say homosexual in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. In fact, Williams, America's greatest poetic dramatist, warned of the damaging psychology of keeping homosex unspoken in his perfectly hysterical fag aria, Suddenly Last Summer. The Kinsey Report (1948) introducing sex to the mainstream media proved that once a secret word
Stonehenge eons before Stonewall. Revealed re-
becomes public it loses some of its private mean-
ligions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) and intuitive
ing. Familiarity subtracts fear, for instance, in the
religions (nature-based like wicca, or homosexu-
way that Queer as Folk and the deballed Queer Eye
ality wherein erotic dreams conjure and envision
for the Straight Guy re-coin queer into soap opera
true nature) don't speak the same language. Words
and consumerism.
also can be "natural" or "revealed."
George Rousseau has stated the necessity of
This is key: In the revealed theocracy of Chris-
naming because there is a reality to words and
tianity the "word becomes flesh"; in the intuitive
things, and, to elaborate on Rousseau, there is a
religion of homosexuality, "flesh becomes words."
magical, religious, transformative potency in ver-
Queers squeeze flesh till it screams its name, its
bal conjuration from Hoc est enim corpus meum to
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hocus pocus to"Who's your daddy?" Keywords such as
ner, the keeper of the keywords of cult and in-
homomasculinity are conjured as a kind of queer
cantation, advised that grimoires stay handwritten
abracadabra that by coming into being identify the
and hidden so their pages, words, and spells could
previously "unspeakable unspoken." My libera-
be set afire by oneself--if need be--before the
tionist idea of Drummer was to use words to se-
neighbors with pitchforks and torches reached
duce readers into daring to realize that, by the very
one's house.
trans-magical act of jerking off to the erotic contents of Drummer, they became informed and empowered to dare exit their masturbatory solitude ©and seek interaction with real live men. The great- est act of magic is the power of words to make a reader think, grin, imagine, and cum. JGay literature is a body-driven genre in which keywords are invented in one palm-driving hand a while the other hand types. Gay literature has alc ways been as flammable as faggots themselves. Up to the night of Stonewall, gay erotic fiction k was a genre typed on feathery light onion-skin paper with one or two carbons beneath so that F the one-handed typist, who also interpreted and changed the story (the way medieval monks r "scratched out" the Bible), might send the copies i (two to eight pages posted for three cents) on to t friends who would themselves in a heightened s sexual state retype, interpolate, and mail this chain c of secret literature where gay plot, gay character, and especially primal gay language evolved in the h hands and imaginations of its primary users. These onion-skin stories are in a sense collective gay jour- e nals that are the roots of the public autobiogra- phy of gay men which first broke from the demi- r monde in the hectographed kitchen-table 'zines . of the mid-twentieth century and then in the libc erated gay magazines of the 1970s.4 The parallel to gay literature is the literature o of witchcraft existing subrosa from ancient prem pagan times. Sexual outlaws, like witches, tend not
Hay, himself the brilliant resurrectionist of what I call the "Old Religion of Gay Faerie," was less cautious about brandishing words. He dared publish more boldly; so he personally suffered as a gay man in 1954 at the hand of Senator Joseph McCarthy's House Un-American Activities' witch hunt run by the United States Senate. Thirty-five years later in a gay panic the same puritan Senate attacked photographer Robert Mapplethorpe as the synonymously "homosexual, sadist, satanist, and child pornographer" whose guilt was proved by his portraits of liberated women like Susan Sarandon. In 1969, gay pressure brought in a civil court suit from two very masculine-identified publishers, Chuck Renslow of Kris Studio in Chicago with support from Bob Mizer of Athletic Model Guild in Los Angeles, caused the U. S. Post Office to legalize full-frontal nudity. This single ruling regarding posting photographs through the mail ended censorship and made gay magazines-- and thus "full-frontal gay vocabulary"--possible because while one picture was worth a thousand words, a thousand words quickly followed to amplify the photos. Beginning in 1946, Bob Mizer (1922-1992), a reductive linguist with a fifty-year publishing career, had a very infamous keyword list of codes in his hugely popular magazine Physique Pictorial. His secret short hand of chicken-scratch primitive symbols told the sexuality of his models to his
to publish their ideas and identities. In 1978, Mex-
subscribers who had to request Mizer's "transla-
ican-American John Rechy shape-shifted language
tion list" for deciphering the almost Lascaux sym-
with his Sexual Outlaw; however, thirty years be-
bols into words. In short, like the witchcraft gri-
fore, when British expatriate Harry Hay was
moires before, the gay grimoires dared come for-
founding the occult-named Mattachine Society
ward from the subterra of underground outlaw
with its neologue newsletter in Los Angeles in
culture into the straightstream of American pop
November 1950, British activist Gerald Gardner,
culture.
arguing that witchcraft itself was the Old Reli-
gion, persuaded Britain to legalize witchcraft on
June 22, 1951. Even on the cusp of victory, Gard-
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II. Porno Ergo Sum
sex, and gender, I immediately, as a charter mem-
ber, penned gay-themed articles for the Journal of
Neologisms, Their Need, Genesis,
Popular Culture (The Boys in the Band) and wrote
and Guide to the Past:
Popular Witchcraft (begun 1969; published 1972),
Homomasculinity, Leather, and Bear
one of the first books for the Popular Culture
with Attendant Cloned Words
University Press. Back then I was stuck with words
Out of journalistic necessity, I coined the word homomasculinity © so I could write about the geography of men at the existential `XYY-Point' Jwhere our male latitude crosses our gay longitude. ac Stonewall was to gay liberation what talking pictures were to Hollywood. Suddenly in the 70s, k gay magazines spoke! Gay culture found its voice. Gay mags were the first medium word-smithing F uncoded gay popular culture--and, in a huge in- tellectual mistake, have been largely neglected by r scholars. (Gay film was silent cinema until video i cameras appeared in 1982; gay book publishers t hardly appeared before the mid-to-late 1980s.) s Coming out of a text-free tradition heretofore c disguised coyly as physique photo booklets for "artists who cannot afford models," gay maga- h zines such as the pioneer Drummer (first issue June 20, 1975) proclaimed something new: frontal nu- e dity plus sexy captions, sex-narrative news arti- cles, gonzo feature articles and interviews, and r erotic fiction openly inviting masturbation. . To write is to conceptualize topic words for c topic sentences to collapse huge concepts into one syllable for use by the writer and reader of aca- o demic and pop culture. In this instance, the unm closeting of butch queers was a striking reveal of
like homophile and invert even as the 1968 pop-culture mandate was to examine culture as it happened rather than wait fifty years for historians to comment. Thus stuck as the Titanic 70s began, it was necessary to name, label, and conceptualize words that organized identity, sexuality, and politics. In terms of how on-the-spot coinages help us rethink the past, the GLBT Historical Society, San Francisco, kindly assessed that my writing "pioneering since the late sixties has helped document the gay world and the changes it has undergone." In my 1968 novel, I Am Curious (Leather), written while I was a tenured University Professor, an experienced biker teaches a young man (and therefore the pre-Stonewall reader, and then, when serialized in 1978, the Drummer reader) a list of primer words which clue him into S&M sex and define his innate behavior as a masculine man. Because the neologisms and sex-narrative news features worked, the Bar Area Reporter observed that my 1970s "writing created the leather prose style and its magazines" meaning directly Man2Man Quarterly, the California Action Guide, and Drummer whose "groundbreaking editor," so mentioned PlanetOut.com, I had the good luck to be. (The "leather prose style" was my introducing, by spinning off Hunter Thompson, an erotic participatory element into journalistic news stories as well as Joycean wordplay and stream of conscious-
homosexuality's most invisible population: the
ness into erotic fiction to make it "literary." Micha-
masculine-identified. Driving Drummer, I toyed
el Bronski wrote that my participatory eye-wit-
with words on an abacus wire to make neologisms
ness style from the 1970s was about "ideas" and
add up to something intelligent and hot--coin-
represented the then new wave of "masculine
ing words that start in the reader's head and work
romance.")5
their way down. I was a writer/editor/photogra-
As gonzo eyewitness in sex and art, particu-
pher into "the scene."
larly with my lover, Robert Mapplethorpe, all I
When the American Popular Culture Associ-
knew was that our gay history would have no more
ation (founded 1968) changed the character of
memory than the remembrance we give it. Op-
American Studies by introducing diversity, race,
posite the maxim that "Christ is the Word Made
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Flesh," my sex credo is: "Flesh becomes words."
for penis, sperm, and orgasm because all neologisms
Robert Frost in his poem about building a stone-
had to be interactively surprising enough to keep
wall says that we learn from our hands to our
the magazine reader cuming, and coming back; a
heads. The conundrum is that homosexuality is a
new 1972 definition of S&M as "sensuality and
hologram. You see it, but when you reach out to
mutuality" which led to mutualist; plus attempts at
touch it, your physical hand closes empty around
a gay style guide to standardize, according to the
what you think is tangibly there. That very disconnect between head and hand invites coinage not only in pop culture but in men's studies which ©ought to approach males and masculinities paral- lel to feminist approaches to women, female identity, and femininities. JOver forty-five years, from Stonewall to the fin de siecle, at the ends of my fingers, experimental a words appeared early on in the starting-gate books c What They Did to the Kid (1965), Love and Death in Tennessee Williams (1967), the aforementioned I Am k Curious (Leather) (1968), and Popular Witchcraft: Straight from the Witch's Mouth (1972; new edition F April 1, 2005). Some words were one-off poetic spontaneities: e.g., cumshine. Others were carefully r crafted for repeated use: homomasculinity. Perhaps i some future student of gay literature or queer thet ory (or whatever gay studies are called next s generation)can sort through my kama sutra short c stories and novels and biographies and academic essays to separate words that are merely stylisti- h cally buoyant from words that actually designed a concept and moved the gay conversation forward e to a perspective helpful to rethinking the past. By 1977 in Drummer and in the 1970-1982 jour- r nal drafts of Some Dance to Remember (memoir-novel . completed 1984), my job entailed coining: homoc masculinity, homomasculine, homomuscular, as well as the reciprocal homofemininity, heteromasculinity, and o slam-dunk spinoffs such as heterophobia (this unm spoken virus infecting gay newspapers and blogs
Anglo-Saxon rather than the French-Norman, the slippery erotic spellings of hardon, cum/cuming, etc. When the once bright young thing Norman Mailer, who had spelled fuck as fug in his huge bestseller The Naked and the Dead (1948), was being lionized at a New York party, he was introduced to the diva Tallullah Bankhead who hissed, "Oh, darling! You're the young man who can't spell fuck." In "Naming the Neologism," homomasculinity, born out of a re-conception of courtly love, was carefully designed to deflect from the word sex in the center of homosexuality, because that "neon centrality" reduced gays to sexual acts, so much so that straights (always uncomfortable with the word sex buried in any word) rather immediately preferred the alternative gay which scared neither the horses nor their children, because gay does not imply sex. In addition, gay is three letters brief--a keyword perfectly sized for headlines. Nevertheless, homosexuality as a construct suggested a classic utility worth building on, even if homo was often a pop epithet equal to fag and queer. (It is a gay linguistic theorem that epithets can be unhorsed and co-opted.) Homo is a root to cling to. After the fashion of Raymond Williams' Keywords, homomasculinity might be analyzed in the following genesis. During my eleven years at the Pontifical College Josephinum where I was a schoolmate of Cardinal Bernard Law who became a media scan-
is never mentioned at self-defined "inclusive"
dal in Boston for covering up molestation by his
queer conferences, is rarely admitted or studied,
priests, my eight years of Greek and Latin studies
and deserves its own conference or issue of some
caused my lifting of homo as a prefix from the
academic journal), perversatility (a positive quality;
Greek meaning "the same" and not from the Lat-
from perverse + versatility), the prefix man (eg.
in noun meaning "man." Homomasculinity, there-
mansex), the suffix stream (e.g. gaystream, leatherstream,
fore, is as Williams mentions of the words he ex-
bearstream), homochristianity, recreational sex, man2man,
amined, one of those words that forces itself on
straight queens (e.g., TV's Frasier), and the first use
our attention, because the problems of its mean-
of the eponymous bear which like leather no one
ing seem "inextricably bound up with the prob-
person invented per se; a gazillion new synonyms
lems it was being used to discuss." This linguistic
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bondage of meaning and problem is the "good cho-
ied masculine realities of gay men keyed to how
lesterol" and the "bad cholesterol" of keywords.
male bodies have emerged within homosexuali-
Homomasculinity and its sibling words leather and
ty--our bodies, our selves, our destiny--to cele-
bear (which are categories more than synonyms)
brate (that is, fetishize) male secondary sex charac-
were detached from macho and butch even before
teristics of body-hair patterns, moustache, beard,
macho went straight and butch went lesbian. In the
bone mass, weight, musculature, and voice as well
pop-culture genesis and use of homomasculinity, the word is an apolitical identity category of non-hegemonic masculinity that allows men's bodies to ©shape esthetic, erotic, and social vocabulary, delv- ing behind the "Number One Keyword" used in gay personals ads to apply to the advertiser and to Jhis quarry: straight-acting. Like it or not, the statisti- cal truth--revealed by marketing and personals a ads that do not lie--is that straight-acting is the main c unit of erotic measure for many millions of gay men. k Homomasculinity, leather, and bear (all of which led to the Instamatic flash coinages of daddy and F boy in Drummer) actually "flesh out" the mascu- line-identified diversity behind this enormous gay r demand for "straight-acting" and "straight-appeari ing." Not to pull back the Wizard's emerald curt tain, but it might be a revelation to point out that s most bears are middle-class gay men who travel c in packs to conventions and resorts, and that their middle-class "bear lust" romanticizing blue-col- h lar working men is the same as the lust that the upper-crust has always had for working-class sex- e uality. (See the T. S. Eliot drawings of homomas- culine artists Domino and Rex who celebrate r "restless nights in one-night cheap hotels," toi. lets, and filling stations.) c Homomasculinity seeks the pure heart of the archetypal best that males do, not the stereotypi- o cal worst. Homomasculinity taken to extremes is hym per-masculinity. Once embodied in right-wing Hol-
as ageing (on into andropause and seniority), in a vocabulary of in-corpor-ated identity markers psychologically antidotal to the ever-young androgyne as well as effeminate conventions, stereotypes, and fears. Secondly, these words, fixed at the time of their coining, provided the muscular vocabulary gay men needed as they rejected society's subjugation and dismissal that classified them as feminine, because as long as people think gays "want to be women," people will, using that key phrase, bash and abuse gays the way they victimize women, which is why gays' and women's causes are so similar, and can be linked to such mutual benefit. In 1978, at age 39, I looked at the futurity of gay men in a feature interview with the 37-yearold pornstar legend Richard Locke (Drummer 24, September 1978), and I wrote, conscious of our future history, "Years from now when you read this and you will read this, remember the way we were in 1978." The need for homomasculinity arose because Peter Pan cannot stop growing thicker, hairier, and older. So I thought to make a virtue of necessity--literally, virtue, from the Latin, vir, meaning male. Inspired by the then new Spanish film, In Praise of Older Women (1978), I introduced the nouvelle but reader-friendly phrase "In Praise of Older Men" into "Upcoming at Drummer" which became the special unnumbered issue Drummer Daddies, "In Search of Older Men." In that same Drummer 24, with its famous Mapplethorpe cover deconstructing the cliche of
lywood cowboy John Wayne, that hyper-mascu-
kveeny male beauty, my editorial, "Let Us Praise
line exaggeration of an actual cowboy is the af-
Fucking with Authentic Men," amplified the text
fected bowlegged walk, sneering southern drawl,
and photos of grown men doing their dad's act
and fetish gear of George W. Bush cloned like a
not their mum's.
"Gay Bill Doll" action figure in cowboy hats and
In 1969, my friend Al Shapiro (the artist A.
flight suits on the deck of an aircraft carrier with
Jay) had become art director of the self-defining
his keywords "Mission Accomplished" painted on
Queen's Quarterly; by the mid-70s, he turned 180
a banner three stories tall.
degrees of separation from QQ and we began cre-
Homomasculinity, leather, and bear, firstly, are apo-
ating Drummer as a pro-active lifestyle magazine
litical and archetypal expressions of the embod-
for masculine-identified guys. Thus ignited by my
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original coinages and high concepts in these early
the word bear on a magazine cover (the same CAG,
issues, Drummer then built--for the next twenty
11/82), under the banner headline, "Beyond Gay:
years of its existence--entire issues on homomas-
Homasculinity for the 80s! Why You're Not Gay
culine fetishes and themes of "dads" and "sons/
Anymore!" with "Bears: Hair-Fetish Ranch" to
boys" and "bears" and finally on "mountainmen."
announce the feature "Hair-Balling: Hair Fetish
That word I introduced from my own buck-skin-
Confidential." The text directly connected bear and
ning re-enactment experience as a new fetish category in the huge "Bear Issue" of Drummer 119 (August 1988). I make a tiny nod to Richard ©Amory's pastoral Song of the Loon (book 1966; film 1970), his Fenimore Cooper leatherman, and his Native-American named "Bear-Who-Dreams." J Amory, however, who spent too much time mak- ing a pseudo-sexy pen-name, blew the coming tide a because he did bother to fetishize the word bear. c So bear lay ignored, mostly because gay conscious- ness was too young and too skinny to need bear's k interpretive dance titled "The Old Man's Boy Grows Older." (Paging Matthew Bourne!) F Linguistic history is Rashomon, and editing and writing Drummer positioned me in the center flow r of the leatherstream of diversified homomascui linity. In Drummer 20, January 1978, I widened the t magazine with the first "gay sports" feature artis cle, and in Drummer 23, July 1978, added the key c line to the masthead: "The American Journal of Gay Popular Culture," and in that landmark Drum- h mer 24, September 1978, wrote a homomasculin- ist editorial celebrating "male authenticity." For e the twenty-five years of Drummer's existence, in 62 of its 200 issues, as Drummer's most continu- r ous contributor, I was dedicated to keeping the . magazine both verite and "reader reflexive." For c instance, no one person invented the word bear which was in common American straight use for o "a non-threatening hairy, burly, jovial, blue-collar m man's man" as well as in the name of the football
homomasculinity in the first paragraph. Five years later, Richard Bulger founded Bear magazine (1987), and stated that my 'zine Man2Man Quarterly (1979-1982; registered as a Fictitious Business, San Francisco, July 24, 1979) had been his 'zine's model even as he wrote about his publishing mission, "There's another side to gay media: the side which Drummer, RFD, and the Leather Journal...capture. You can feel the homomasculinity in these publications, and I like that." (Bulger, Bear Magazine, Volume 2 #6, 1988, page 23). When the photocopied small-format 'zine Bear was one year old, I had publicized its bearstream in the glossy large-format pages of leatherstream Drummer 119, the aforementioned issue of August 1988, in what was the first bear feature article in Drummer: "How to Hunt BuckskinLeather Mountain Men and Live among the Bears." In those five years from my introducing bear to Bulger's creation of Bear magazine, as the gay look changed with the emaciation of AIDS, bear widened its original definition of "hairy body and/ or beard" to include avoirdupois because, I think, weight seemed a marker of virus-free health. Again, flesh becomes word. Time magazine writer, Andrew Sullivan, declared himself a bear August 1, 2003, on salon.com. In writing about the keyword bear, Sullivan rather much repeats Williams "inextricable" syndrome: "Every time I try and write a semi-serious sociological assessment
team, the Chicago Bears, who fairly much sum
of the bear phenomenon, I find myself erasing
up the heteromasculine blue-collar bear body type.
large amounts of text." That's because bear is a
As writer and editor, I helped turn the word bear
huge, receptive, inclusive, wonderful, humorous
specifically gay--that is, into a fetish item which
blank. In my "Foreword" to Les Wright's Bear Book
means into a category of desire--insofar as I
II (2001), my definition of the incredible light-
wrote the first ever feature article on bears, actu-
ness of being bear had been: "The concept of
ally using bear as a keyword denoting category,
bear is blank enough to absorb countless male
identity, and commodity in the California Action
identities and fantasies." In Ron Suresha's Bears
Guide, November 1982. Pumping this first feature
on Bears: Interviews and Discussions (2002), I speci-
article about bears, I was also the first editor to put
fied: "Bear is a concept so receptively blank that
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as a label it welcomes and absorbs all masculine
(I added a special column to publish readers' self-
fantasies, fetishes, identities, and body types. Bear
pictures titled "Tough Customers" beginning
is all inclusive."6
Drummer 25, December 1978; that key phrase fi-
When publisher Anthony F. DeBlase, PhD.,
nally became its own magazine in the 1990s un-
bought Drummer, he wrote an editorial in Drum-
der editor Joseph W. Bean.) The predilection for
mer 100, October 1986, acknowledging that my
these "action-hero key frames" arises partly from
1970s Drummer focused on masculinity and then on the subcategories of leather, western, and fetishes. Leather was the keyword for masculine bonding ©beginning in California with motorcycle-riding ex- soldiers after 1945 up through Marlon Brando's subversive hetero-seeming masculinity in A Street- Jcar Named Desire (1951) and homo-seeming mas- culinity in The Wild One (1953) which James Dean a queered in his homoerotic coming-out film Rebel c without a Cause (1955) and occult magus Kenneth Anger made startlingly homomasculine in his k Christ-queering religious epic of gay leather ritu- al, Scorpio Rising (1963); this homo Christ worship F became central sex act in Some Dance to Remember. Leather defines a masculine way of being ho- r mosexual as in Larry Townsend's pioneering book, i The Leatherman's Handbook (1972) for which I wrote t an introduction: "By the time of the rip-roaring s counter-culture of the 60s, the specific word leather, c transcending literal meaning as clothing, surfaced from the underground subculture redefined to h mean a specific psycho-drama sex-style. Leather, along with 60s peace, love, sex, drugs, and rock- e n-roll, arrived to name a way of being and be- coming, of ritualizing and actualizing, of creation r and recreation, of politicizing and . marketing....Leather--barbaric, medieval, indusc trial--is the flesh become word. Leather is the conjure amulet....the fetish to which a certain erotic o drive attaches itself and through which a certain m erotic desire commands its visible
the linguistic and erotic fact that most of the 1960s-1970s gay lib generation were all "war babies," impressionable children who learned the gaydar of specific gender-tight language during World War II--while acutely aware of heroic absent daddies hypermasculinized in uniform and of "mannish" women doing "men's jobs" in factories and of "girly, womanly, female, feminine dames" (South Pacific) sexing up blue-collar male working gear. (I define gaydar as the 69th sense of multi-sensual queers.) While I was editor, Drummer's press run, according to publisher John Embry, was 42,000 monthly, with another 42,000 pass-along. Twelve issues in twelve months times 84,000 equals over one million readers per year which, in pop culture where mass box-office numbers mean something, shows how embedded the need for a widely inclusive homomasculine identity actually was. (Drummer's 200+ issues from 1975-1999 reached a virtual infinity of international readers; those 1970s issues sell for $150-$450 per collector's copy in New York.) In filling each issue with homomasculine buzzwords to keep the pages fresh, Drummer was a lifestyle teaching device. If I introduced cigar as a fetish word (Drummer 22, May 1978), thirty days later, men appeared smoking cigars in bars. So homomasculinity first appeared as an attitude in late 70s use in Drummer, then as a word in Man2Man Quarterly (1979), and then in the California Action Guide (1982). Mark Hemry was my part-
incarnation....Foucault twisted S&M leather rec-
ner in founding the 'zine Man2Man Quarterly and
reational sex into...endgame....Leather liberated
the tabloid California Action Guide --both designed
masculine love...and helped define masculine-iden-
to go deeper than Drummer into the then emerg-
tified homosexuality."7
ing homomasculine culture of totems and taboos.
Leather, with its gear and BDSM rituals pro-
Fifteen Warhol minutes after Man2Man came for-
vided grist and gristle for great copy and hot pho-
ward as a trademarked title, long before numerals
tos, but still seemed a bit specific and not inclu-
became common in gangsta and punk spelling,
sive of the wide market for Drummer which con-
the phrase "man-to-man"--so internally defining
tinued adding fetishized words such as jock, mus-
and reciprocal--suddenly became a very vogue
cleman, cowboy, blue-collar, chub, bear, cop, and uniform.
catch-phrase in gay magazines which had never
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before tried the breakthrough concept of mar-
identities, and femininities furthered "homomas-
keting to men as men. Both Drummer and Bear
culinities" by studying "gay men identifying as men
tagged their personals ads as "man-to-man."
more than as gay" at his Nashoba Institute re-
Gays spin everything for camp. I'll be the first
search site (bearhistory.com) and in his Bear Book:
to say the world is full of male impersonators of
Readings in the History and Evolution of a Gay Male
every kind. If satire of a concept is proof of its
Subculture (1997), and Bear Book II: Further Read-
existence, I gladly point out homomasculinity's confirmation in the comic camp of the disco group, "The Village People" who staged a com- ©mercial stereotype of the archetype singing "Ma- cho Man," "In the Navy," and "YMCA." "The Village People" leatherman, Glenn Hughes, of- J tentimes partied with our Drummer salon who were also--late nights at the Slot Hotel and the Bar- a racks bath on Folsom Street--fisting and fucking c Foucault. During the 1980s, I tub-thumped homomascu- k linity, importing it with my leatherstream fiction and nonfiction to the original Bear magazine as F well as to the Mavety Corporation's younger, blonder magazines (Uncut, Inches, Skinflicks, Just r Men) and Brush Creek Media magazines such as i the new Bear magazine, Powerplay, and Leatherman t which acknowledged in issue two that its title was s taken from the name of a fictional magazine in c Some Dance to Remember; after my artificially insem- inating their pages with these seed words, the h magazines themselves began to use the terms as did the readers in writing their personals ads. The e true test of a word becoming key is when the read- ers start writing it in their personals ads. It also r appeared as the specifically mentioned main theme . in books such as Some Dance to Remember (1990, c new edition Autumn 2005); Corporal in Charge of Taking Care of Captain O'Malley (1978; 1984; re- o published for its specific gay-speak as the homom masculinist one-act drama in the Lammy winning
ings (2001) with a time-line "Foreword" explaining how the word bear became a homomasculine construct; homomasculinity and gaystream were both adopted by documentarian Ron Suresha in his Bears on Bears which included his Q&A titled "Bearness's Beautiful Big Blank: Tracing the Genome of Ursomasculinity--An Interview with Jack Fritscher"; homomasculinity appeared in The Advocate, the "gay journal of record" in the article "Daring to Be Bears," August 20, 2002; also debuted in the benchmark Village Voice (June 22, 2004) describing the life's work of the legendary international artist Tom of Finland as the "artist whose drawings defined homomasculinity and S&M for the century"; Mary Louise Rasmussen and editor Eric Rofes--who is bearish and once of San Francisco's leather community--introduced homomasculinity to a new generation in the anthology, Youth and Sexuality, 2004. Homomasculinity is a coinage easily illustrated in the manner of dictionaries where "one picture is worth a thousand words." I have written about and published the homomasculine photographs of Robert Mapplethorpe (whose first ever magazine cover, previously mentioned, I commissioned, designed, and cast for the distinctly homomasculine "Biker for Hire" cover, Drummer 24, September 1978) and of Arthur Tress (Drummer 30, June 1979), Jim French (Colt Studio), Lou Thomas (Target Studio), Chuck Renslow (Kris Studio), Bob Mizer (AMG), and the man-defining films of the
Gay Roots, Winston Leyland, 1991); Titanic: Forbid-
Gage Brothers, as well as the drawings of Tom
den Stories Hollywood Forgot (1999); Chasing Danny
of Finland, Rex, the Hun, and Domino. As a ca-
Boy: Powerful Stories of Celtic Eros, with Neil Jordan
reer photographer and videographer, I have shot
(1999); and Tales from the Bear Cult: Bearotica for Your
and printed specific images of my interpretation
Inner Goldilocks (2001).
of homomasculinity in magazine covers, centerfolds,
By 1990, homomasculinity had jumped into gen-
and photo spreads as well as in my more than 160
der studies' use within the bear movement in
feature-length homomasculine videos shot for
which Ron Suresha coined ursomasculinity; Les
Palm Drive Video since 1982 with box office at
Wright, PhD., pioneering men's studies in ways
250,000 units sold only in blue states. Doing the
similar to feminist approaches to women, female
math: if four guys watched each unit sold.... Palm
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Drive Video's tag line is "Masculine Videos for
member when the "Masculinist Manifesto," inject-
Men Who Like Men Masculine."
ed as a plot-pushing device to pinpoint the in-
art critic Edward Lucie-Smith discussed the
flammatory sexual politics of the late 70s, causes
graphics of homomasculinity in his "Introduction"
curbside magazine racks selling the "Manifesto"
to the fifty-five photos he chose from my portfo-
to be set afire. One reviewer, who was not bilin-
lio for the coffee-table book titled Jack Fritscher's
gual around "male stough" (stuff + tough), ranted
American Men (Aubrey Walter, Gay Men's Press, London, 1994). Lucie-Smith wrote: "In these photographs, Fritscher focuses on what he calls `ho- ©momasculinity'--less the act of sex, itself, more a complete state of being. [These are] ritualized totems of the potent American Dream, taken Jfrom his own dream visions, as well as the dreams of the intense cult following whose tastes he has a recorded and reflected for many years on page c and screen.... He believes that, just as some wom- en now legitimately investigate their own gender, k so too, many men have become increasingly curi- ous about their own gender identification. In his F view, true homomasculinity, far from cancelling out the female principle, offers the valid gender r balance of male animus that the female anima i demands and deserves....his images may t be...threatening to a certain type of gay Puris tan....."8 c Frankly, homomasculinity, which was coined as a "Platonic blank of self-reliant male archetype," h can be spun by bias against the concept. American Men, which makes absolutely no reference to wom- e en was judged "misogynistic" by one very binary American gay reviewer. Sexist himself, his reac- r tionary "key" did not fit the "lock" these icono. clastic images had on ur-masculinity. Because c masculinity is as valid a unit of identity as femi- ninity, it should not be vilified by anyone confus- o ing the Platonic ideal of homomasculinity with m the "sins of patriarchy" as defined by those who
under his headline, "The Rise and Fall of Butch," reviewing his own gender issues but not the book. The fictional "Masculinist Manifesto" is a simple "declaration of masculine independence" that in the course of the narrative becomes politicized by reactionaries the way masculinity was politicized by the anti-patriarchist Arthur Evans, the self-proclaimed "Red Queen," whose broadside, pasted on Castro Street lampposts, I took up from the street and published as a very camp "editorial" in Drummer 25, December 1978, with his title, "Afraid You're Not Butch Enough?" In truth, homomasculinity is no more patriarchal than the role playing of daddies and boys. Building the homo-word-hoard was a clear necessity in the 1970s' gay civil war over terminology as "gays" fought "queens" fought "clones" fought "men who happened to be gay." For historians who want to know how a keyword helps understand the past, there, recorded on the Rosetta Stone of Some Dance to Remember is, as written on the first page, the beginning of the 1970s "civil war between women and men and men"-- a very uncivil civil war over keywords as gay lib morphed into gay politics. Truth be told, in a world of sliding gender, homomasculinity and bear actually have grown to include women: e.g., "Lesbears and Transbears: Dykes and FTMs as Bears."9 Psychologically, homomasculinity--and its attendant words from leather to bear--was needed as antidote to the self-hatred pushed at masculine-
would be matriarchs: real or drag. This exact cul-
identified gay men whom other-identified gays
tural fear of masculine-identified gay men led gays
considered part of straight masculine hegemo-
and straights alike into censorship of Robert Map-
ny--particularly by queens ruling at the top of
plethorpe's homomasculine photography, and kept
the hierarchy dominating early gay communities.
Patricia Nell Warren's homomasculine love story,
(In 2005, sissy is now transforming as gay sites and
The Front Runner (1974), from ever being filmed.
publications use it--qualified--as in "`self-pro-
Homomasculinity, especially when made to
claimed sissy' Bill Porter's one-man Broadway
sound political with an ism as in homomasculinism (a
show.") It is ironic when masculine gay men are
term I have never used), can incite male and fe-
blamed for the sins of straight men given that gay
male politicos as dramatized in Some Dance to Re-
men get no "bump" from anyone for "being gay,"
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and then are bashed by straight men "because they
is also legitimate emotionally, sexually, and politi-
are gay" and then--double indemnity--cursed by
cally on the human level. Masculinism and femi-
politically correct abusers because they are "male."
nism both pale beside humanism which includes
What's good for the goose is good for the gan-
them both. That is why the first sentence of the
der: if a woman wants to transgender into the
masculine-identified Some Dance to Remember is very
Platonic ideal of a man, why criticize a man who
pointedly the tender homohumanism of "In the
want the same ideal? My driving Drummer, and my cautionary tale Some Dance to Remember, with its fictitiously coded ©Drummer magazine, Maneuvers, was about finding the apt projection of that part of one's self that will control and discipline the self the way only J self can. Therefore, only on the literal surface is a homomasculinity about disciplinarian bikers and "Perversatility coaches; in truth, it is about identifying self disci- c pline. Masculine-identified gay men have had to is the ultimate become positively self-reliant after the fashion of k Ralph Waldo Emerson whose self-reliant person homomasculinist in mass media is the Marlboro cowboy. That can- F do erotic American cowboy image--reeking of talent." homoerotic fraternity--I very specifically coopt- r ed off TV and billboards as the key subliminal i behind every homomasculine face/body/attitude t in every page, paragraph, and picture in Drummer. s This iconic genesis out of the gay-friendly Emerc son--by way of Walt Whitman's blue-collar lust for working men--is no stretch, really, because h the very title of Drummer comes from Emerson's pal Henry David Thoreau who is quoted on the e masthead of every issue of Drummer: "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps r it is because he hears a different drummer. Let . him step to the music he hears, however measured c or far away." That non-aggressive Transcendentalist self- o reliance is at the very heart of self-disciplined hom momasculinity. Just as the Marlboro ads never
end, he could not deny his human heart." © 2005 www.JackFritscher.com --Some Dance to Remember
reference women, homomasculinity is a Whitmanian
he-festival, a moment out of time, place, and pol-
itics that allows men to consider their essence and
identity as males in terms of themselves and oth-
er men, before they dare even consider themselves
ready or worthy to approach females and family.
Philosophically, homomasculinity is a meditational
helix very like Thomas Aquinas' consideration of
ens qua ens, being as being, masculinity as masculinity,
queer as queer--a defensible intellectual exercise that
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HOW TO LEGALLY QUOTE THIS MATERIAL www.JackFritscher.com/Drummer/Research%20Note.html BIBLIOGRAPHY Blake, Roger. The American Dictionary of Adult Sexual Terms, Century Publishing Company, 1964 Jung, C. G. Aspects of the Masculine, R. F. C. Hull, translator, Bollingen Series, Princeton University Press, 1989 Lakoff, George. Don't Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate--The Essential Guide for Progressives, White River Junstion VT: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2004 Legman, Gershon. "The Language of Homosexuality: An American Glossary " in George W. Henry, editor, Sex Variants: A Study of Homosexual Patterns, New York: Hoeber, 1941 Leyland, Winston, editor. Gay Roots: Twenty Years of Gay Sunshine--An Anthology of Gay History, Sex, Politics & Culture, San Francisco: Gay Sunshine Press, 1991 Suresha, Ron, editor. Bears on Bears: Interviews and Discussions, Los Angeles: Alyson Books, 2002 Thompson, Mark, editor. Leatherfolk: Radical Sex, People, Politics, and Practice, Boston: Alyson Publications, 1991 ©Townsend, Larry. Leatherman's Handbook, Silver Jubilee Edition, Los Angeles: L. T. Publications, 1997 Trimble, John. 5000 Adult Sex Words, Brandon House, 1966 JVan Leer, David. The Queening of America: Gay Culture in Straight Society, New York: Routledge, 1995 Wright, Les, editor. Bear Book II: Further Readings in the History and Evolution of a Gay Male Subculture, Binghamton NY: The a Haworth Press, 2001 Also: Fritscher, Jack, Mapplethorpe: Assault with a Deadly Camera, Mamaroneck NY: Hastings House, 1994 c ___. Popular Witchcraft: Straight from the Witch's Mouth, Madison WI: University of Wisconsin Press, April 2005 k ___. Some Dance to Remember: A Memoir-Novel of San Francisco 1970-1982, Binghamton NY: The Haworth Press, September 2005 F ___. Jack Fritscher's American Men, Photographs Selected by and with an Introduction by Edward Lucie-Smith, London: Editions Aubrey Walter, Gay Men's Publishers Ltd., 1995 ___. "Porno Ergo Sum: The Incredible Lightness of Being Male," in M. Christian, editor, The Burning Pen: Sex Writers on r Sex Writing, Los Angeles: Alyson Publications, 2001 i ___. Love and Death in Tennessee Williams, Ph. D. Disertation, Loyola University of Chicago, 1968; on line at t www.JackFritscher.com s ___. Eyewitness Drummer: A Memoir of the Gay History, Pop Culture, and Literary Roots of Drummer Magazine, Original Maga- zine Texts with Annotations, Original Art and Photos at www.JackFritscher.com ch ENDNOTES 1Breeding and taxes: "Two groups opposed to gay marriage rights...argued that the state has a legitimate interest in e restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples as a way of encouraging procreation." --Associated Press, FoxNews, 14 March 2005; "Connecticut could lose nearly $1 million a year because of decreased inheritance tax revenue if the r state allows civil unions of same-sex couples." --Associated Press, 365Gay.com, 13 March 2005. . 2Jack Fritscher. Some Dance to Remember: A Memoir-Novel of San Francisco 1970-1982, Stamford CT: Knights Press, 1990, p. 185. c 3Associated Press, 25 April 2005. o 4For years, I have noted the failure of queer studies in regard to gay magazines' editorial and advertising contents, and applaud Paul Baker's latter-day efforts in "No Fats, Femmes or Flamers: Changing Constructions of Identity and the m Object of Desire in Gay Men's Magazines," B. Benwell and T. Edwards (eds), Masculinity and Men's Lifestyle Magazines, 2004, which, nevertheless, overall, does not excavate the gay magazine roots of the 60s and 70s, particularly Drummer, which quickly grew hugely influential as International Drummer. 5Michael Bronski. "S/M Fiction: Isn't It Romantic?" Gay Community News (Boston), Volume 12 #30, February 16, 1985, pp. 8-11; "Review: Some Dance to Remember," The Guide (Boston), July 1990, p. 7; "Review: Some Dance to Remember," First Hand, October 1990, p. 23. 6Ron Suresha, editor. Bears on Bears: Interviews and Discussions, Los Angeles: Alyson Books, 2002, p. 22. 7Jack Fritscher. "Introduction: I Am Curious (Leather)--Leather Dolce Vita, Pop Culture, and the Prime of Mr. Larry Townsend," Larry Townsend, Leatherman's Handbook Silver Anniversary Edition, Los Angeles: L. T. Publications, 1997, pp. 9-22. 8Edward Lucie Smith. "Introduction," Jack Fritscher's American Men, London: Editions Aubrey Walter, Gay Men's Publishers Ltd., 1995, p. 5. 9Suresha, editor. op. cit., pp. 77-96. www.JackFritscher.com

File: homomasculinity-framing-keywords-of-queer-popular-culture.pdf
Title: Queer Words
Author: Mark
Subject: Queer Words
Published: Tue Apr 5 19:08:45 2005
Pages: 15
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