Hurrray! Dandy Dicks is born! As a newborn, there are a lot of things we have to learn in this world. Luckily, granddandies are eager to share their experiences: they were already once young. So I made the effort to dig up the very first magazine gay magazine for Dicks. It is not that I had to leave Berlin, my place of residence, but I dug deeper than I thought I had to do. The first ever gay magazine was born in the German capital, an impressive 119 years ago.
Here and then, journalist and publisher Adolf Brand established the quarterly Der Eigene. (The Ego), with the subtitle A magazine for masculine culture. That title was picked for a reason. It was based on The Ego and its Own (1845), a masterwork from the anarchist philosopher Max Stirner. His individualist critique on society went through a revival in the 1890s. Add some of Nietzsche's cultural critique – and you basically had the philosophical cocktail that Adolf Brand drank. On The Ego's first page of its very first issue in 1896, Adolf Brand stated that The Ego was for “them, the ego's who (…) destroy all chains, who don't endure any violence over them, don't adjust to any norms, for who autocracy comes first of all!”
By postulating such a message in the German Empire, it was only a matter of time before the authorities would spoil the fun. Understandable that, despite its liberated pretension, the quarterly played safe. In its first days, The Ego was basically a literary magazine – which had a definite coming-out after one year. And contrary to what I would expect from anything with an anarchist Godfather, The Ego often gave evidence to a reactionary worldview. Central to the magazine, was its tribute to Ancient Greece – which was also a trend among German nationalists those days. Taking the Greeks as an example, The Ego thought that good-old pederasty should replace the alleged 'Rule of Women'. Adolf Brand and his editors pleaded that homosexuality proved... male superiority.
Besides offending half of world’s population with phantasies of masculine superiority, The Ego provoked laughter as well. In 1903, the authorities banged on Adolf Brand's door. A poem named The Friendship was too much for the censors. The accusation however was soon retracted. The poem turned out to be from Friedrich Schiller – the cultural genius whose contribution to German language was well respected by the Kaiser. So it took another few years before Adolf Brand was finally imprisoned: for actually stating that the Imperial Chancellor was a homosexual. Adolf Brand sat for 1½ years in prison. Simply put, this was representative for the rest of The Ego's career. The magazine kept going but with ongoing interference due to office raids and jail-time.
The Ego ceased to exist in 1932, the year before Nazis took power. The magazine's editors, who had a few certain sympathies for the Nazis, were disappointed. The new Imperial Chancellor ('the other Adolf') was not someone to be mocked. In name of heterosexual normativity, Adolf Brand had to abandon his activities claiming the homosexual superiority.
We Dandy Dicks have a lot to learn from the mistakes of our great-granddandy. However – I never intended to ruin the newborn's precious concept of (wo)mankind. And luckily, The Ego's reactionary worldviews were heavily debated by its contemporaries as well. I'll introduce you to these folks in my next column!
And who the hell am I? If you’ve been following the blog at all, you may have wondered out of which horny hole this perverted punk has stepped. I won’t reveal too much – a bit of mystery is sexy, right? But a few things may be in order.
First, I was born in that part of the world that most people think is actually Canada, but it’s not. I was born in Alaska. Who would have thought that place could produce more than oil and Sarah Palin – two decidedly unsexy things.
Second, I’m no stranger to sex on screen. I appeared in two arty porn films with DVD releases: one in San Francisco and one here in Berlin. There may be other footage of me out there, but if so, I don’t know where. And yup, I moved to Berlin from gay ol’ San Francisco, where I learned to be a proper fag and how to be a writer all at the same time.
There’s more from San Francisco coming your way via Dandy Dicks, so stay tuned.
But I left San Francisco. And took my heart with me. Five years now in Berlin and I can’t think of a better place to be. I’ve been making it here as a writer ever since and I’m happy to report there’s no going back.
I think I’ve given you enough of the basics. More you’ll just have to find out either through this blog or a little Google. But I hope with that you stick around Dandy Dicks – for this blog and of course, the boys!