Jeanne C. Barney was the co-founder (with John Embry) and the first editor-in-chief of the American gay male leather magazine Drummer, as well as writing for it. She served as its editor-in-chief for eleven issues.
Due to their work for Drummer the phones and homes of Jeanne Barney and John Embry were bugged.
Drummer was originally intended to be a publication for The Leather Fraternity, an organization founded by Embry, and ran advertisements for it. On April 10, 1976 The Leather Fraternity held a “slave auction” (meaning slave in the BDSM sense) for charity, which was raided by the police, resulting in eighty people being detained and forty of those being charged with breaking a law enacted in 1899 banning “white slavery.” Barney was one of those charged (and the only woman charged), and her house was also raided by the police, as she discovered when she returned home on bail. The charges against her were eventually dismissed.
Also in 1976, Barney was named “Humanitarian of the Year” by the Hawks of southern California, a gay group.
In 1977, after the cases from the slave auction raid were settled, Drummer was moved to San Francisco by Embry, while Barney stayed in Los Angeles and ceased being its editor-in-chief.
In 2008 Barney received the Lifetime Achievement Award as part of the Pantheon of Leather Awards.
In 2015 Barney was inducted into the Leather Hall of Fame.