Gay Rights Groups Do The Right Thing

Comments

1
Who is lining up behind the other guy? I'd like to know who backs men that hire male hookers? Family Research Council?
2
Dan, I personally deduced this with HRC a dozen years ago. You're massively better connected than I could ever be with folks in places and are certainly the mover-shaker type.

Surely you're not as naïve as you speak here — or else you're just trying to stir a rise ion readers (1 * success!). All this time and lo, now you're putting it all together? Silly you are.

I guess when it hits home it suddenly makes more sense, eh?
3
hey dan-

would you mind looking at this comment, and the comment below it on the JMG blog:

"The laughter on the late night shows is not about a fallen right winger. Its about how stupid fags are. All fags. We should stand together or we will fall separately, while we eat our own. I find this whole thing opportunistic and disgusting."

and below it is:

"I agree. Is Lucien's massage all that disgusting and is Rekers' sex life as miserable and pathetic as Rachel Maddow's smirk of disgust suggests? We should not use the rhetoric of homophobia to fight homophobia. And Lucien would do well to say, A plague on both your houses!"

what do you think of these? i haven't thought of that angle on this before, and think it might be interesting to look at it that way.

4
I only watched the Craig Ferguson episode. The laughs were definitely directed at the right-wing. He "gets" it, beyond a shadow of a doubt, and is really funny. He makes me wish I were young enough to stay up that late.
5
Even though we're all gay men, there's probably only a handful of things -- and that might be a high estimate -- that Dan, Andrew Sullivan, and I agree on. The uselessness of the HRC is one of them. Thanks for continuing to beat this particular drum, even though others get tired of it.
6
Why to go...Lambda Legal.

Sorry, I threatened you in an earlier post.

7
Dan, I was pretty active in the discussion on JoeMyGod about developing some kind of support network for Jo-Vanni. The one thing everyone agreed on was to keep HRC out of the mix, so it's no surprise they aren't included -- they weren't invited.

Thanks to you, Joe Jervis, and Pam Spaulding for speaking out on the need to support Jo-Vanni. It's the right thing to do.
8
@3 So... you're saying that all fags should stand together in supporting closeted fags like Rekers who are trying to tear us apart?

The people who are tearing us apart aren't open homos like Maddows and Savage; They're asswipes like Rekers who use every opportunity to undermine their own self interests out of internalized homophobia. These people are given every chance to reform, but instead choose to propagate their internalized homophobia to future generations- as such, they are a cancer on the gay movement, and they need to be identified and cut off if we want any chance of survival.
9
@7 So HRC is remaining silent because they weren't "invited"? How convenient for them... glad to hear it's not because they wouldn't be caught dead supporting a male prostitute, which would be seen as politically risky to the politicians to whom they're constantly kissing ass.
10
So kids, maybe we are in need of new, active, not-so-uncle tomish organizations...
11
"pro bono" hmmmm . . .
12
You forgot to mention GLAD, the legal organizaton that has the strongest track record of actually delivering for gay rights.
13
I'm sorry, but I can't go along with this lionization of Lucien/Roman/Joe Vanni (what's yer real fuckin' name, ya little shit?). Yes, it's good that he spoke up, and yes, I hope someone gets him some legal assistance. But the kid's a whore. My gay heroes aren't whores. My gay heroes are guys like Mark Bingham. And Harvey Milk. And Frank Kammeny. And Constance McMillen and the boy in Georgia. Not pretty boys who sell their body.
14
Oh, and if I hear the term "sex worker" one more time I'll puke. What a bullshit euphemism.
15
We're all selling either our talents, thoughts or bodies (ie. I sell my talent as a teacher, Dan sells his thoughts, and this kid sold his body)

No need to be such an uptight ass about it!

Whore is such a ridiculous word
16
@13 So you're faulting him because he's pretty and a sex worker, aka a "filthy whore"?

Sure he's far from sainthood, but make no mistake this kid put is neck out for the greater good. Had he wanted to, he could have denied the whole thing... in fact, I suspect MOST people would have done that, since the alternative is to be faced with possible arrest for prostitution and the wraith of the Christian Right.

Instead, this kid stood up and helped out a vile closet case, ultimately ending Reker's homophobic crusade and saving untold gay youth in the process. And for that, I'm grateful... Even if he is a prostitute.
17
"Uptight"? Me? Excuse me, but I unashamedly and joyously sucked three different guys' cocks this past weekend. And I never paid a cent.

As for your first point, anyone (be they a whore or a Madison Ave ad guy) who furthers the commodification of sex is not worthy of my respect.
18
I don't think Harvey had a problem with sex workers, and he wouldn't have shit all over this kid for being one.

I'm not saying this kid is a hero. I'm saying he needs help and direction and assistance at this time. Can you appreciate the difference?
19
@ 16 - "So you're faulting him because he's pretty and a sex worker, aka a "filthy whore"?"

Yes I am. And it sounds like you are, too:

"And for that, I'm grateful... Even if he is a prostitute.
20
13, 14: Nobody's arguing that he's a hero. They're arguing that he should have his legal representation taken care of so that we don't give people like him a disincentive to out anti-gay activist closet cases in the future. You don't have to regard him as a hero to send him some legal fund money so that he does not end up in jail for slander (or whatever they're charging him with). Hero or not, outing harmful anti-gay closet cases is important, and oftentimes it's only whores that can do it, and they're not going to if doing so means getting sued for slander and winding up in debt or prison. So if you like the fact that Ted Haggard et al are no longer taken seriously enough to contribute their activism to anti-gay causes, then you should agree here. Even if he's no hero to you.

Also, the reason people use "sex worker" is because it's a more general term: it encompasses hookers, strippers, dominatrices, nude maids, phone sex operators, and whatever else you can imagine. It's a little useless here (but not enough to get passionate about), but only because we're talking about one specific sex worker doing one very specific kind of sex work. It's useful when talking about something more general (like "sex worker rights") that's going to involve ALL the different categories, which are too many to name.
21
@19 For the record, I have no problem with prostitutes, or even sluts who give it away for free.
22
@ 18 - Dan, you and many here are certainly implying that he's a hero. And good on him for exposing Rekers. But he's not a hero. This is one of those stories where there is no hero.

Let me explain my attitude towards prostitution: people can do whatever they want as far as how they pay their expenses(as long as they're not stealing from me). But let's say you're in a similar position to JoVanni Musk for Men: you're a college student whose funding might be drying up, and you gotta make some money to stay in school. Fine, GET A JOB! Yes, working 4 hrs a day and going to school is tough as hell. But that's life. Sure, maybe it's easier to suck cock for a half hour a night, and then get to your homework, but it's the easy way out. And that, people feeling free to take the easy way out, not a liberlization of sexual attitudes or the destigmatization of homosexuality, WILL be the downfall of our society.

When you take the easy way out, you get no respect from me.
23
@22 Too harsh. I don't look down my nose at prostitutes. They serve a purpose.
24
"Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution." -- Clay Shirky
25
@22 what is your problem? People have to do everything just like you, or seek out the most difficult solution to their problems, in order to win your approval?

Who gives a shit what you think? You sound like a pissy little cub scout, mad cuz someone else got a merit badge.
26
Dan and other commentors:

I am having my wedding this year, and wanted to add a gay rights group on my registry so that people can donate money to them rather than giving me a toaster or something. Which group (I just want 1, so it's easier for people) would be the absolute best to have? I was thinking Lambda Legal or the ACLU, but is there a beter group that deserves recognition/money?
27
22: Um, you do know that there is a finite number of legal jobs out there, right? And that many of those jobs prefer non-students over college students because of the greater hour flexibility of the student? So "getting a job" isn't something you can just automatically do, like they're hanging off of trees in the backyard and not having one during school is a simple matter of laziness. It drives me nuts when people just lazily dismiss social issues with the argument that everyone should just reach out and grab a job, ignoring the very real fact that (especially now) there are fewer jobs than there are people, and that not every job (shitty pay and shitty work conditions and all) is a viable solution to anything.

Don't get me wrong: I worked my way through undergrad at shitty service jobs, and would be doing so through grad school if I didn't get a nice stipend that we hard science folks get (thank you, NSF!). So I'm not saying that everybody should be pampered all the way through college.

But what's wrong with filling a niche, one that harms nobody else? Some get jobs and sacrifice sleep, some take out loans and go into debt, and some go into SEX WORK and sacrifice the respect of self-righteous "bootstrap" nuts. Just because it isn't the very hardest option; just because it isn't going to inspire any great "Grapes-of-Wrath-like" novels about the romance of struggling towards the American dream, just because it's not an old fashioned dime-store job that his ol' grandpappy can be right proud of, doesn't make it wrong. It works, it harms nobody, it gets him through school.

So other than the fact that it isn't as admirably difficult as working shit jobs for shit pay (where your boss and customers treat you like a hooker ANYWAY), what is actively WRONG with safe prostitution? That he managed to find an "easy out" where he can work flexible hours doing something he enjoys for pretty good money? You say that this makes him unworthy of your respect because it doesn't make him miserable enough. I say GOOD FOR HIM and fuck your respect. An easy out is only reprehensible when its "ease" comes from the victimization of others (robbery, sub-prime mortgage swaps, layoffs, etc).

And don't cite any bullshit about the conditions of survival prostitution. That is a specific problem with a specific type of prostitution, and most of those problems have to do with its illegality, not with its "immorality" or your imagined laziness of the hookers.
28
Chris in Vancouver, you should be happy to know then that Jo-Vanni's career as a hooker is effectively over. Whether he was doing it for fun or out of desperation, he's going to have to find another way to make a living now. Johns will no longer trust him to keep quiet.

You may or may not remember Mike Jones, the other male prostitute that outed Ted Haggard a few years ago. Jones' career as a prostitute ended abruptly after outing Haggard. He had his 15 minutes of fame, but the scandal basically ruined his life as it was at the time. He's had to start all over again.

I think that is what JMG and Dan are trying to head off. They can see the parallels. This kid may not be a saint, but he'll probably face legal troubles, he'll be harassed by the media and the right wing, and he'll undoubtedly have to start his life over again. A little help from the gay community is warranted.
29
#26 I think your choice of Lambda Legal is a good one. I would suggest The Trevor Project, but you might think it's bad luck to tie your wedding day to a suicide prevention hotline.

To #14 Sex Worker....Sex Worker...Sex Worker. Oh and Sex Worker.
30
So am I right in assuming that everyone here would be thrilled, and wildly encouraging, if one of their kids became a hooker or a hustler?
31
So I guess you all know not to buy me a rent boy for my birthday next week?
32
BTW, I don't condemn anyone who's genuinely forced into prostitution. It's just that I wonder whether this was the case for (insert sexy Italian name here).
33
Chris, you "don't condemn anyone who's genuinely forced into prostitution"?

So... if someone is forced into prostitution by a pimp and made to have reckless sex with any low-life john, that's okay; but if someone is a college student who is selective and careful about their clients, and does it because the part-time job market is tough, that's not okay?

34
"I'm also not surprised to see that the nation's largest, lamest gay rights group isn't on the list of orgs offering Jo-Vanni Roman,"

No need to even finish reading the post, I already know where this is going. HRC is of the devil. When Solomese(or whatever his name is) retires, i se a nice spot opening up for Michael Steele to take over, they are basically doing the same damn job - and doing it horribly.
35
@ 33 - Neither is OK. The former is understandable.

People who are truly, literally forced into prostitution are victims (much like rape victims). It's a real stretch to call college boys who trick to pay for their books "victims". While there has been prostitution since time immemorial, only recently have we seen people being prostitutes for reasons other than survival (and that's what I have a problem with). Is that progress? Sorry, but I don't think so. I know it got "washed in" with the general liberalization of sexual mores that's taken place in our culture, which is something I celebrate, just not this particular aspect of it. It's a taboo that should remain a taboo.

Here's where my feelings about sex as a commodity come from: I feel that sex - all sex, even bad sex, even quickies, even when you never even know the other person's name - is sacred, or kinda sacred, or should be thought of as sacred (very fun, but still sacred). For the majority of the human population (those that don't meditate or take psychoactive drugs), it's the only transcendant experience that they have, the only time that they get to be "outside themselves" and to forget themselves. It's something special, even when it's not. And as such, I feel that sex should never be bought or sold in any way, ever. I know, not very realistic. Scoff if you want.

I've thought about this, and maybe it's not so much prostitution or prostitutes that I'm shaking my fist at here. Maybe I'm shaking my fist at a world that's commodified EVERYTHING, even sex, to the point where one could actually choose between having a garage sale or turning a few tricks to make the rent. I mean, really, ewww. That's sad, isn't it?
36
well, after yet more of your complete condemnation of those who choose sex work (as in sex workers!) to pay their way through life, not an easy path at all if your trying to maintain a college career to boot, I think that I for one can well live with out your respect.

I can promise you sir that the feeling is entirely mutual.
37
Lucien/Roman/Joe Vanni (what's yer real fuckin' name, ya little shit?)


His real name is Jo-Vanni Roman. Sheesh. (He didn't call himself Lucien, either, that I know of. The Miami New Times picked that name. Probably because he wasn't the one they were outing.)

Also, it's all well and good that you feel this way about sex and its commodification and its sacredness, and you should knock yourself right out living your own life by those standards, but I utterly fail to see how other people failing to live up to your standards is any skin off your balls in any way.

Hell, your lifestyle sounds like it's a long-ass way from living up to my own personal standards about sex and who it should be shared with (I would not, f'rinstance, suck three cocks in one weekend). But I live by my personal standards and I have no interest whatever in enforcing them on anyone else. I don't give a flying fuck if you live according to my personal standards. Sincerely and truly, I don't. I don't think less of you for it. Why can't you cut this kid & his ilk the same break? I honestly don't understand.
38
Chris, sex is sacred to you. That is an argument against YOU performing, or consuming (snort), sex work. It is not an argument against you having basic respect for those who do, and definitely not an argument against the greater community showing respect for them. And to try and argue that it's all the worse because it's making his college experience too easy is just plain nuts.

I mean, obviously everyone is entitled to divvy out their respect as they see fit- you can sneer at people with the wrong color shirt- but quit trying to argue as if this is anything but a personal moral code that should only apply to you.

Even (for the sake of argument) if it does show a "lower" regard for sex, who cares? So people regard sex with different levels of sacredness. ... Your point is?
39
i was in a consensual relationship with another guy,he was of age and he pursued me...
i not into him at first,but he won me over.
he would come to my work and my home and was very vocal and honest with me.
i had a sexual relationship with him,and a meaningful and close relationship with him.
his brother found out and did not approve of our relations.
he then had him go to the police and say he was forced and did not want to be with me...
even though he loved me he had to listen to his brother cause he was already abused and scared of him.
the family owns the orleans inn in orleans ma and he was told he would be kicked out of his house and the family circle (work)
if he did not go along with the story his brother made hime told that a police det. told them to say...
in order to get a restraining order on me...
the orleans inn says they will do gay weddings and are gay friendly but from what i see are homo phobic and only want your money to do a wedding.
this is not fare,i did 60 days in jail for violating the r.o,in a sense i tried to approach the orleans inn family to stop what they were doing,cause i would show all the prof i have and i have a lot.e mails hand written love notes nude emailed photos from the so called victim...
i did not contest the r.o. cause i was told if i did i would be arrested on the spot and charged with abusing a mentally ill person sexually.
the victim was not ill and no history of it,i was nervous cause the police told me he was...another lie from a detective friend of the family.
now im slandered and have a worse record and was bullied by the orleans inn,who have money and strong ties in the cape...
what can i do now...