A New Book Pays Tribute to “Pansy Beat,” the Original Gay Periodical

Written by | Books

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Photos courtesy Krimskrams Island

Clap yo’ hands and stomp yo’ feet, let’s get movin’ to the Pansy Beat! This collector’s edition book compiling Michael Economy’s short-lived publication features all five issues of what can be thought of as the proto-queer ‘zine, originally published from 1989-1990. In what Economy describes as an “accident,” the idea of Pansy Beat came about after he returned from a six-month trip in Tokyo, where he worked with a production company that basically paid him to party at night clubs.
pansy beat
While talking with his friends Endive and Donald Corken about Tokyo’s closeted gay scene and their future career plans, Economy, Endive and Corken came up with the idea for a periodical that was a “whimsical journey down a pansy strewn lane.” Even though it disappeared fairly quickly, “Pansy Beat” nevertheless delivered a new perspective on downtown gay New York nightlife. During times dominated by the AIDS epidemic and economic struggles, it showed the community still had plenty of life. Featuring the likes of Lady Bunny, Leigh Bowery and Quentin Crisp, the book brings back to life the silly, naughty, upbeat spirit of the ‘zine — when the original issues were distributed with a free condom. facebook.com/pansybeat

Last modified: May 28, 2018

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