Hey Dan, Love the podcast, love the blog. I was just about to post this on here for you, but you beat me too it. I always love your opinions on these things. Keep 'em coming, hopefully someday people will start making the connection.
it's the long hair .
He's no Constance McMillen but he still deserves representation. I keep thinking about this everytime I hear his name:…

Dan you should be in contact with this guy. You'd be a very helpful advocate for him. You have lots of contacts in the gay community and could steer him in the right course. Yeck, let him stay with your family for a while to help sort things out. Take him under your wing for a while.
He's a bit braver than McMillen, at least to me. McMillen just is out in a condemning town. That's ballsy for sure. But, to gain national attention in the face of confidentiality agreement to bring down the leader of notorious groups, especially at the risk of notoriety and lifetime condemnation. That's amazing.
Let me know if there's a fund. I'll kick in a couple of $$.
GLAAD and Lambda would be the best organizations. HRC should not be allowed near this kid.

HRC is run by a pack of self-serving fuck-ups as demonstrated yet again this week by their diverting buses that were supposed to transport veterans at next week's DADT action from taking the vets from the Pentagon to Capitol Hill to taking a bunch of HRC's major donors to a fundraising party.

Then they lied about it. Pam Spaulding at Pam's House Blend broke the story and has the details:…

But back to the original point of this post -- yes, the GLBT community needs to step up and support JoVanni. First with media advice and a lawyer, then with tuition assistance so he can finish his education. We did it for Candace Miller when her high school kicked her out of the prom, we need to do it again.
Crap! Candace McMillen. Not Miller. D'oh!
Joe Jervis at JoeMyGod has had couple of phone calls with Jo-Vanni. I'd suggest he and his friend Father Tony in Fort Lauderdale (Jo-Vanni's hometown) be the contact's for coordinating the support effort already underway.

From JoeMyGod:
"In the meantime, I've got Father Tony working in Fort Lauderdale to put together a support team for Jo-Vanni. As I'm sure you all realize, there may be some pretty nasty people out to get him in some way or another. We've got a connection to one of South Florida's sharpest LGBT legal minds, but want to also make sure he's getting good advice on handling the deluge of media inquiries. And of course, the kid just needs some good old social support. None of us can be 100% confident we're getting the full story here, but until we know otherwise, we need to close ranks behind this kid and block any attempts by the Christian right to hurt him. South Florida readers, I welcome your emailed suggestions."

Dan, a coordinated effort by you, Andy Towle, Joe Jervis and Pam Spaulding can bring community pressure to bear on the national organizations and get them to step up. It might also be worth bringing in Seattle's Pride Foundation and/or Gill Foundation to figure out how to ensure Jo-Vanni has the funding to continue his education or even relocate, if that's necessary.
Legally, it sounds like he might have violated a contract but if he's working to earn money for college there isn't going to be a lot Rekers will get out of him. Is Rekers really going to go to court to air all the anal rubbing details and drag this on even longer?
@5, I don't think he's even close to understanding the possible and the unavoidable consequences as this plays out. It seems really hard to explain why. When I look back, I'm amazed at some of the conclusions I came to and the choices I made when I thought I was all grown up and knew how the world worked, and I'm not even talking about sex, but that too.
GLAAD is useless.

But, Lambda is the perfect group to help.

If anyone at Lambda is reading this, please note I'm contributor. If you don't help this kid, you will never see another penny from me.

Call that a threat if you like.
it didn't even occur to me that gay organizations would want to distance themselves from these young men for that reason. they're heroes. i really hope LL steps up, i wouldn't want to see this kid in jail or owing money.
How exactly, again, is it good for homosexuals when creeps like Haggard and Reker turn out to be homosexual?
It will never go to court. The lurid truth of their encounter, once aired in a courtroom, will seal his Rekers' coffin lid for good. The mere fact Rekers had him sign a confidentiality agreement compromises his credibility as the good christian he claims to be. What is it he's trying to hide?

And I'm sure this isn't the first time a confidentiality agreement was signed between him and a $ex worker...
I would hope HRC stays the hell out of this, and I expect they will, since their just the kind of people who would run, not walk, away from a 20 year old sex worker.

Otherwise of course this kid needs support. At minimum he should get legal support and enough money to make up for his lost escort income and enough for tuition should his family, who he was just forcibly outed to, cut him off.

Dan, can you let us know who we can "distract" ala Constance, to make this happen?
I think this young man sould get our unconditional support. The fact that he earned money as an escort is as irrelevant as the length of his hair. Diversity includes the fact that gay men are as likely to have long hair as anyone else. Last time I checked there was not a dress code to be gay.
@7: Who cares about DADT? It's a diversionary tactic.
"they're heroes."

Let's not get carried away. He didn't choose this, he was dragged into the spotlight by some blogger sleuthing.

But yes, he needs a good lawyer and people to watch his back. *cough*
@18 - Not sure why I'm bothering to respond to your inane comment, but there are tens of thousands of GLBT service members, their families and friends who care a hell of a lot about DADT. It's not a diversionary issue for them.
Oh and for any legal-minded people that might be on the thread a question: Does a confidentiality agreement around a prostitution deal still count. I seem to recall a professor telling me that you can't go to the police when, for instance, your client has refused to give you money for a drug deal, which is to say you can't claim legal damages for something that occurred in a transaction that's illegal in the first place. Would this count here?
@21, maybe this is a set of circumstances when the possible existence of the equivalent of the blue dress could prove useful to Jo-Vanni by proving that sex-for-pay occurred, if it did. The way Joe Jervis describes it, it may be that Rekers is actually repressed enough (though def gay) that no orgasms occurred when the two were actually together. If that's the case, massages during which only erections occur are not illegal. Non-disclosure agreements are pretty common among the wealthy and powerful for personal assistants, nannies, etc., and in spite of being more sophisticated than Rekers's apparently homebrew efforts, can still be difficult, expensive, and embarrassing to try to enforce.
We have...:

1- Closeted Lying Homosexual
2- Illegal Prostitute
3- Breaking a Privacy Agreememnt you freely signed....

Do all stories have Heroes?
After pondering my years of Law & Order viewing, I do not believe that a confidentiality agreement can legally cover a crime, in this case prostitution. So the confidentiality agreement is void. I think Roman is safe, because said prostitution happened in Europe, did it not? Can't prosecute that in the US.

Glad people are going to be watching out for him.
Prostitution is a crime and no confidentiality agreement will be honored in any court for covering up a crime. What Roman needs is an immunity deal with the DA's office so he can talk freely about this client without the fear of prosecution.
"Let's not treat this kid ... like he's done something wrong"

I guess that this might be an exercise in discussing the meaning of "wrong" (as opposed to "unethical" or "illegal") but is anyone disputing that he violated the the terms of a legal contract and engaged in prostitution?

You can't make someone promise not to report illegal activity and hold them to that promise in a court of law.
Maybe the commenters here can help me with a question I have:
What does HRC do, exactly? Seriously. From what I can see it exists to pull in tons of money to advance gay rights, and then uses the money ... to pull in more money to advance gay rights (lather, rinse, repeat), and then spends all of its time palling with politicians and telling gays to wait, wait, wait, wait...

Seriously, I am not joking. Do they do anything useful at all?
@28 they make nifty little stickers for people to stick on their cars... esp. if those people with cars are too chickenshit for a sticker that *anyone* could recognize as being of deh gay.
I was taught in my civics classes in high school that contracts for illegal acts or services were invalid. Prostitution is illegal in florida, therefore the confidentiality statement (a contract) is invalid. Lawyers, is that right?
This is so sad. Miami New Times staffers listening in on Jo-Vanni's getting advice from Rekers.…

'After some cross-talk, Rekers tried to calm Lucien down: "I've been through things like this in the past --"

Lucien cut him off: "Well I haven't! I'm 20 years old! If you've been through this, you shouldn't have gone to that website, you shouldn't have hired me -- why did you make so many choices [for me]?"'
This is a job for Larry Flynt.
Like commentator no. 6, I'll toss in a few bucks as well. This kid need help...and quickly.
Ahhhh, the $hit keeps hitting the fan (for Rekers that is)...

2nd Rent Boy speaks out-…
I feel sorry for Jo-Vani. Nothing good can come of being outed as a sex worker. If the gay community really wanted to help him, they should've kept his identity a secret. I think it's disingenuous for Joe Jervis to try rallying a support group for him now. Joe's tone regarding Jo-Vani has been rather mocking. He even linked to a rant Jo-Vani posted on his myspace about being unable to find a nice guy. Why try to humiliate the kid any further? I really hope I'm wrong and Jo-Vani makes it out okay, but I think this whole ordeal is going to set him back.

By the way, whatever did happen to Mike Jones?
I wrote something on another website yesterday calling this incident "the height of hypocrisy".....however three days into this thing...something smells "fishy"....
Would a confidentiality agreement even apply to what is technically illegal activity?
The kid seems decent. And yes, he deserves some serious legal help -- good instincts there, Dan.

Finally, while I might chew on him a bit, I definitely would not spit him out. I would swallow.
"Would a confidentiality agreement even apply to what is technically illegal activity? "

No, but it is not clear there was any illegal activity (nude massage is legal) .

There is always an implicit contract that a professional escort will not talk about his clients. We all want to get Reckers, but I think "Lucien" should not have spilled the beans. I would certainly not trust him as an escort.
It would seem that Ricky Martin, who in addition to being out (now) shares Jo-Vanni's Puerto Rican background, would be in an excellent position to step up.
39: all bets are off when you're dealing with scum like Rekers, "escort code of silence" or no. And really, is Rekers going to risk even more damage to his reputation by taking Lucien to court over this alleged contract? And if he did, and if he won--doubtful, particularly given that at least one other prostitute claims to have done the same things with Rekers--what would the punishment be? A fine? Bring it on; between Dan, Joe My God and Towleroad it wouldn't take long to drum up enough donations to cover it.
"Gay organizations and groups treated Jones like he was radioactive because—gasp—the man was a sex worker. Jones was left feeling bitter and broke after he did gays and lesbians everywhere a huge service stepping forward and outing/truthing Haggard. By exposing Haggard, Jones did real and lasting damage to the credibility of anti-gay ranters everywhere."

I agree totally. With the exception of NGLTF, no other major glbt organization that I know of did anything to assist Jones. I remember Jones said that HCR refused to even return his phone calls. Because I happened to know board members of two other major organizations, either of which would have been capable of offering advice, legal support, contacts, etc to Jones; I asked them whether they might help Jones - both people immediately told me their organizations "couldn't" help, because it "isn't our job to do that", which offended me because I think Jones could easily have said it "wasn't HIS job" to out Haggard, but he saw the injustice and hypocrisy and so he acted for the benefit of ALL of us. I hope these organizations now realize that they need to learn from their mistakes in not helping Jones -- they now have a second chance to do the right thing.
Just as an alternate strategy, how about just let Rekers sue the fuck out of him. 20-yr old college kid declares bankruptcy and Rekers doesn't even get his legal fees back.

By the time he's done with college, his record is clear of the bankruptcy. In the meantime, pass the collection plate for his college fund. A few thousand dollars sure buys more tuition than it buys lawyer face time.
I think we should give some thought to future occurrences.

I have seen whistleblowers in many fields (medicine, business, government, the media) pay huge prices for their important acts, which makes it very discouraging to future would-be whistleblowers. Interestingly, it is often the people in their own fields who trash the whistleblower. I think we should show that we are a better community than that.

SO, let's do what we can now, for Roman. But, taking what we've learned so far, I'd like to see a foundation or task force set up specifically to assist people (whistleblowers) who either out dangerous anti-glbt people themselves (like Jones did) or who get innocently caught up in an outing (like Roman did). I have a feeling that now the ball is rolling, there's a lot of other anti-glbt scum hiding their own gay dalliances, who are more likely to be outed if the outer knows that they will be supported (and not trashed) by "the community". Media and Legal advice, "safe-house" if needed, social support, assistance finding employment/school, etc.
Not that I've ever wanted it enforced before, but there's a law against soliciting a prostitute, and it makes a confidentiality agreement between hustler and client unenforceable. Rather than see the kid victimized by a litigious hypocrite, I'd be happy to see the litigious hypocrite tried for the original crime AND for the confidentiality agreement itself (criminal conspiracy).
Mike Jones is bitter/broke? Hmmm, ya know Mike Jones published a pretty good book about his affair with Ted Haggard. Perhaps, even though it's a bit late, it's a good time to review/promote/discuss Mike's book? I doubt it sold many copies but it's a lot better book that you might expect and I don't remember _any_ reviews or discussions of it.
Oh, I forgot to mention that Mike Jones book is titled I Had To Say Something. Amazingly enough, the first review--a rather negative but amusing review--on Amazon is by none other than Ted Haggard (apparently, the real Ted Haggard). He accuses Jones of lying but, having read the book and listened closely to Haggard's defense, I'd say that Haggard is lying.
It wouldn't appear that a confidentiality agreement will stand considering it would require the sex worker to lie about the commission of a crime - prostitution. You can't legally bind someone from talking about a criminal act. The sex worker must admit to the crime, of course, but then he can't be held to a contract to withhold information about the commission of that crime.

It's unfortunate that anything that happens between two consenting adults in private is anyone's business but theirs - whether it involves money or not. However, in almost every jurisdiction in the country exchanging sex for money is a crime. It seems likely that law enforcement will take action given the national attention this story - and it's accompanying follow-on frenzy from special interest groups - has had.

That's probably good news for this young man as it will protect him from any civil prosecution in relation to the confidentiality agreement. Prostitution is usually a minor offense without stiff penalties. A civil win for Rekers would be far more devastating financially and would only let Rekers deny anything happened at all.

It's also good news in that if the sex worker is convicted, then Rekers will be convicted. It will be a twofer for the cops and prosecution - make the case once and net two convictions. One imagines a DA somewhere drooling over the media attention they'll get personally for this. Look for a rabid right-wingnut type who want to "get the gays" anyway they can to fill this role.

I feel sorry for this young man. The forces that are going to come into play over this are fierce. It's likely he'll suffer just from the media attention let alone any civil or criminal penalties he may be facing. But, let's not make a martyr out of him either. It's plain from his sex-for-sale advertisement that he went very willingly on the trip, accepted money for sex and then violated a contract to which he had readily agreed. Indeed, his motivations for changing direction from being a willing accomplice to whistleblower need inspection.

I don't have a problem with prostitution. I'd be supportive of legalizing it for consenting adults. But prostitution isn't a cause that I really want my community groups to be supporting. I'm not going to drop by my local jail and bail out one of the ladies of the evening and I don't want organization to which I donate to bail out this escort just because he's a gay prostitute who got caught with someone we hate like Rekers.
I think it most curious that he had to sign a non-disclosure agreement. As the Right is so fond of pointing out, if you aren't guilty of anything, you shouldn't mind the brown shirts reading your email, surveilling your phone conversations, following you or raking through your trash. What does Rekers have to hide Hmmmmm?
The guy adopted a sixteen year old boy a few years ago? Is he married or anything? If not, I hope his adoption reason wasn't connected with his lust for young guys. There might be an even worse story here. IF he really is capable of damaging and hurting millions of young gay people through his professional career, he's capable of being the worst kind of sexual predator as well. It's just a short walk from Catholic priest territory to where this man is.
Rekers' surgery left him so weak he had to hire someone to lift his legs.
Let's see. So a hooker has sordid sex with some public figure and the media practically falls over themselves to pay her for the juicy details. Big time lawyers line up to represent her in court if need be but a male does the same thing and is radioactive. Hearing about lurid straight sex is fine but not gay sex- which Dan has pointed out so many times isn't much different.

Wow, what a double standard. This guys desires support for uncovering hyposcrisy but maybe that's the ultimate reason society would just as soon forget this guy.Tsk, tsk.
Lamda Legal is an impact litigation outfit, as I understand it, acting to establish new legal principles. It is not a legal services organization, nor a political organization like HRC. So no one should be looking to Lambda on this matter, which doesn't need the bounds of legal principle pushed. Ask NGLTF maybe. But don't threaten Lambda over a matter that is outside its mission.
I'm not a lawyer, but I believe that if you have someone sign a confidentiality agreement to cover up illegal activity, it's not enforceable in court.

Rekers is complete scum. It's sad to think that any young man would have to spend even a fraction of his youth performing "the long stroke" or any other sexual act that he didn't want to do, but to each his own. As long as they aren't doing it in the street and scaring the horses, what do I care?

What kills me about this is that these right wing scum spout all sorts of lies to vilify us and they expect people to believe them just because they say that they are true. Then when they inevitably get caught in one seedy scandal or another, they start spouting off lies with the same abandon, and then expect people to buy that line of bull shit.

Ted Haggard. I bought meth but never used it. We never had sex.
Larry Craig. I have a wide stance. I didn't know what I was doing when I pleaded guilty
This POS: He was there to carry my luggage but nothing sexual happened.

I've been lied to in the past, but even my most egregious exes wouldn't have tried any of these stunts.
Rekers used the excuse that Jesus hung out with prostitutes. True, but I don't recall him saying "Go, and sin no more...but hey, while you're here, how about a little...y'know...down there...?" Evidently that's how Rekers evangelizes folks. Dan, I was thinking you could do something a la Santorum with this guy but really...Re(e)kers... So how about turning the word "evangelize" into a synonym for cumming on a rentboy's hand? As in, "He stroked and stroked, till I evangelized all over his smooth, delicate fingers."
Lucien is a whore and his life is a mess, who cares. It's HIS choice to do these things and not get help, which is your typical "woe is me" sob professional victim story of prostitutes both male and female.

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