This Leather Origin Story of investigative journalism is an eyewitness oral history about a soon-to-be-lost generation of a once-important subculture of gay pioneers. In our leather archetribe, Drummer helped create the very culture it reported on. Drummer was a revolutionary idea evolving in monthly motion. Drummer portrayed our desires to organize our thoughts to inform our practices to create our leather identity. In 214 issues from 1975 to 1999, Drummer was a first draft of leather history and the "magazine of record" for our BDSM species within generic LGBT history. Gay Pioneers continues the leather-heritage GPS mapping Fritscher began in his NLA-I award-winning book, Gay San Francisco. Curious how high we leatherfolk once flew? Fritscher based this book on the "black-box flight recorder" he recovered from the "take-off, cruising altitude, and crash" of Drummer. Young readers will get up to speed fast on the backstage fun and games of who did what to whom, and how Drummer shaped 20th-century leather for 21st-century leatherfolk. Grounded on evidence inside Drummer, and in eyewitness diaries, letters, and interviews, this fact-checked masterwork recalls the thrill it was for millions of readers to pick up their first issue of Drummer. For that a price was paid. Against all odds, Drummer survived 24 years of stress from cruel censorship, plague, and politics that got the Drummer staff arrested, causing Drummer to move from disaster in Los Angeles to destiny in San Francisco. Gay Pioneers is a living history of leatherfolk written in human blood tattooed on human skin.
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