Queen's Quarterly

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For Gay Guys who have no hangups

These two issues of Queen's Quarterly came out just before I did. I've been trying to decide if I ever saw the magazine. The cover art is familiar but Queen's Quarterly may not have been the artist's only venue. The covers wouldn't have seduced $2.00 from me. I think the minimum wage may have been $1.50 and I was often gainlessly unemployed.

Here we have that old queer stereotype of manly desirability, the construction worker. My what a thick - what, I'm not sure, candy bars weren't made the large back then, beef jerky - he has. An article on Andre Gide who I'd shortly be reading on the recommendation of the Savannah, GA Waldens Books manager when I came in looking for books about being gay (I wanted an instruction manual).

Queen's Quarterly 1971

Ah, seafood. Savannah billed itself as the Port City. There were foreign sailor boys about. I never knew anyone who made a fetish of them, though many straight people seem to think we all have nautical sexual fantasies. In this issue we have Mr. Fire Island. Don't hear much about Fire Island anymore. In those less open times it held a legendary a place in gay men's minds. Now there are similar spots all over the country, famous if only locally like North Carolina's Jordan Lake.

And an article on the "movie queens" gay men love. That is still with us. Though on many gay weblogs it seems to have been eclipsed by lists of the guys seen on TV the writer would most like to spend at least fifteen minutes with.

Queen's Quarterly 1971

Even if I'd seen Queen's QuarterlyI couldn't have known that one day it'd become part of a mostly forgotten American queer past. Even if I'd bought them I'd never have saved them.

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Queen’s Quarterly was an important pioneering magazine published in Manhattan as the Swinging 60s became the Titanic 70s. QQ’s art director was the artist, A. Jay, (Al Shapiro), who drew one of the first continuing gay comic strips, “Harry Chess” which debuted in QQ. When A. Jay migrated from Manhattan to marry Dick Kriegmont in San Francisco in the early 70s, we all became friends.

When Drummer magazine fled police harrassment in Los Angeles and moved to San Francisco, A. Jay became Drummer’s art director and I became Drummer’s founding San Francisco editor in chief.

Together A. Jay took his QQ’s experience, and I took my 20 years’ mag-editing experince and we levitated the phenomenon that became the legendary Drummer. We made Drummer the first homomasculine magazine which was 180 degree spin from QQ. But without QQ, and its solid profile of its audience, Drummer may have been less daring. What QQ did unabashedly for queens, Drummer dared do for masculine-identified queers—then neglected by gay media.

We left the stereotype of queens and,instead, developed the archetype of homomasculinity—not to deny queens, but to identify and empower gay men as masculine, because as long as straight culture thinks gay men are somehow female, gay men are more likely to be bashed. That abuse of women and gays is linked and must be stopped.

“Harry Chess” ran serialized in Drummer for years. A. Jay died May 30, 1987, and I went on to write for Drummer through 65 of its 200 issues.

Please read more about the wonderful pioneer artist and art director, A. Jay, at my site www.JackFritscher.com

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Thanks,
Richard

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