Monday, May 10, 2010

Yet Another One Bites the Dust

Dan Savage has a story at The Stranger (via) about the latest right-wing bigot to get caught with his tadpole in the dookie jar. (And the answer to his musical title question appears to be Yes. It's getting to the point where I think the proper response to any antigay bigot one encounters ought to be: "Why, Mr. X! I didn't know you were gay!") I'd already heard it about it elsewhere, can't remember where, but the story Savage quotes has lots of useful information:
Reached by New Times before a trip to Bermuda, Rekers said he learned Lucien was a prostitute only midway through their vacation. "I had surgery," Rekers said, "and I can't lift luggage. That's why I hired him." (Though medical problems didn't stop him from pushing the tottering baggage cart through MIA.) Yet Rekers wouldn't deny he met his slender, blond escort at—which features homepage images of men in bondage and grainy videos of crotch-rubbing twinks—and Lucien confirmed it.
In other words, Rekers can't claim that he was just a naive Christian man who mistook an escort site for a site where you might rent a young feller to carry your luggage. (Of course if that was all Rekers wanted, there was no need to take him along on the entire transatlantic vacation. That must have cost a pretty penny, between two round-trip tickets, "Lucien"'s rates, and the other expenses of a ten-day trip. The Family Research Council, which Rekers cofounded, ought to look carefully at its books. Or do I care?)

More important, though, is Savage's follow-up story, in which he reports that "Lucien", whose real name is Jo-Vanni Roman, "is in way over his head. Rekers made Roman sign a confidentiality agreement and he's threatening to lawyer up and sue anyone and everyone he can to restore his 'good' name. (Sorry, George, but it's too late for that.) Roman needs a lawyer and he needs one now."

Quoth Savage:
Let's hope that someone steps up? No, let's demand that one of the big gay orgs—HRC, Lambda Legal, NCLR—steps up and provides Roman with the lawyer and the advisors he needs. Let's not treat this kid, who is just 20, like he's done something wrong, or like he's an embarrassment to the gay rights movement because—gasp—he was doing sex work, as has been reported, to pay his college tuition. This kind of hypocrisy—Haggard's kind, Craig's kind, Rekers' kind—needs to be exposed. And it's likelier to be exposed if the people who bring it to light aren't treated like pariahs and are instead offered real and tangible support.
He's right. I need to write some e-mail, and this case would be a good one for one of Jon Schwarz's Five Dollar Fridays. (It's not, I admit, exactly the sort of thing he had in mind, but it's still a good cause.) Savage includes a link to a blogger who's organizing support for Roman. I'll look into that too. So should you. For that matter, Michael Lucas could help out.