Drum (American magazine)

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DRUM issue 27, October 1967
Editor Clark Polak
Categories News, Erotica
Frequency Monthly
Circulation 10,000
Publisher Janus Society
First issue 1964
Final issue 1967
Country USA
Based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Language English

Drum (corporately styled DRUM) was an American LGBT-interest magazine based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Published monthly beginning in 1964 by the homophile activist group the Janus Society and edited by Clark Polak, Drum took its title from a quote by Henry David Thoreau: "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears the beat of a different drummer."[1]

Drum differed from earlier homophile magazines in that it included a combination of news and erotica. In December 1965, Drum published the first full-frontal male nude pictorial in an American magazine.[2] DRUM also took a more militant editorial and political stance than other publications of the day. This combination quickly led to a monthly circulation of 10,000, the largest circulation to date for any magazine of its kind.[3]

In 1967, a federal grand jury indicted Drum editor Polak on 18 counts of publishing and distributing obscene material. In exchange for avoiding a prison sentence, Polak agreed to cease publishing Drum and relocate from Philadelphia to Los Angeles.[4]


  1. ^ Streitmater, p. 60
  2. ^ Kranz and Cusick, p. 72
  3. ^ Gross, p. 33
  4. ^ Streitmatter, p. 112


  • Gross, Larry (2001). Up from Invisibility: Lesbians, Gay Men, and the Media in America. New York, Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-11953-4
  • Kranz, Rachel and Tim Cusick (2005). Gay Rights (3rd ed.). Infobase Publishing. ISBN 0-8160-5810-5
  • Streitmatter, Rodger (1995). Unspeakable: The Rise of the Gay and Lesbian Press in America. Boston, Faber and Faber. ISBN 0-571-19873-2

See also[edit]