JACK FRITSCHER          

DRUMMER MAGAZINE

“I've never worried about whether my writing was too in your face. The whole point of my writing is to be in your face because you can't write erotica if you're not in people's faces and also in their pants.”

Jack Fritscher is an ex-seminarian who introduced cigars as a pop-culture fetish into the leather press. Jack was educated by Jesuits, the Marines of the Catholic Church, for 11 years. He maintained that Marine mentality and fought in the front lines of LGBTQ rights his entire career. Jack is an author, activist, writer, scholar, photographer, director and professor. 

After his time with the Jesuits, Jack was the catalyst for Drummer Magazine (1975–1999). Drummer Magazine focused on gay leather culture, broke several influential gay artists and was crucial to exploring and documenting the “Daddy” and “Bear” gay groups. Hands down, Drummer remains the most successful and influential gay leather magazine. Jack was the first person to publish the word “Bear” on a magazine cover. 

In 1968, Jack was a founding member of the Popular Culture Association (PCA) for whom he wrote a book on witchcraft and several gay articles before Stonewall. He insisted there be a gay plank in the PCA platform.

 

In 1984, Jack started Palm Drive Video where he directed more than 150 porn videos. 

It seems Jack’s academic articles often predicted the future. When this was pointed out, he responded, “I am a pop culture scholar, you know, that's sort of the job, predicting shit.” 

JACK FRITSCHER: DRUMMER CIGAR FETISH,  Gus Bernadicou, August Bernadicou
JACK FRITSCHER: CIGAR FETISH
JACK FRITSCHER: AUTHOR, JESUIT, LEATHER BLUES

"Nature and nurture determine if you're going to be a masculine-identified homosexual or a female-identified homosexual. You don't have any choice about what desires you have or what turns you on. I've often said this to people, if you don't know what your sexuality is, tell me your dreams and if you're having gay dreams, you're gay, if you're having straight dreams, your straight. It's that easy. 

Homosexuality itself is a magical act. You can do it a thousand times and it won't make you straight, but a straight guy can do it once and people say he's gay. It doesn't go the other way. You could be a homosexual and have straight sex a thousand times and they’ll never say that you're straight. There's an inequity there. 

People are born to be who they are and then nurture comes in on top of that. For instance, men in my generation were greatly influenced by World War II. We were surrounded by women who were desperate, trying to be brave and missing the men who were gone, who were in uniform, who were as butch as you could possibly be, who all came back strong and smelling of barracks, cigarettes and aftershave. They picked us up in their arms and threw us up in the air, because we were what they were fighting for, until they looked at us and saw that we were gay. Then we had to fight them. 

The big problem in homosexuality was that nobody expected that there were homomasculine identified gay men because masculine-identified gay men are like a good toupee, you can't see them. 

The greatest threat to homomasculinity is people who do not understand what homomasculinity means in terms of what masculinity in America means. The hardest thing to be in the world today is a man because of the marching forward of people who have formerly been oppressed by men who are resentful and carry that resentment toward existing men today who may or may not be doing what has been done in the past. By that I mean, I grew up as a white male who was gay and put upon by bullies and straight people because I was gay. Now that that's all been settled and they don't pick on us anymore, the only people that pick on masculine-identified gay men are basically other people on the rainbow spectrum.

Certainly, by now, in the 21st century, the lavender scares, the homosexual persecutions of the early to mid-century are, in a sense, over, but those things will never stop because evil will always be present. By acting up and acting out, homosexuality has stood up for itself and gained a certain kind of respect that causes people to keep their hands off of it except for the people who make money selling homophobia as a religious career or a political career device.

What the gay press did after Stonewall was repackage homosexuality. The United States postal laws were changed in the late sixties and that made gay magazines possible because they could be sent through the mail to subscribers, meaning they could be sent nationwide. The gay press, magazines and the book publishers that rose up in the 70s, and all that thinking, all that analysis, all that logic, all that beauty, helped construct a new face of homosexuality that was more diverse than before. That caused the persecutors of homosexuality to go after a kind of à la carte menu. They don't go after the male homosexuals as much anymore as they do the transgender folks. 

One of the things in the 1970s that was a major problem in Los Angeles, and was typical of the entire country, was that Ed Davis, LAPD Police Chief, was freaked out by the fact that there were leather bars with men who looked like what he thought a man looked like and men who dressed in uniforms. These men turned out better than his own LAPD officers. That frightened him because we were no longer the heterosexual stereotype: all gay men are effeminate and can be bullied. Here were men who are oftentimes physically and psychically more powerful than the cops and than the establishment itself. They were not going to beat us up anymore. They moved over to more effeminate and transgender victims."