Please excuse most of the forward-thinking, tolerant world for being a bit excited and snide about the news of Baptist minister and public homophobe George Alan Rekers’ taste for hiring men to touch him. Each and every time this sort of thing happens, it’s equally fun and reaffirming. But gloating can be obnoxious, I understand.
Still, this man who published a book entitled Who Am I, Lord? and Growing Up Straight: What Families Should Know about Homosexuality was nailed by the Miami New Times for using Rentboy.com, very explicitly a M4M kind of website. First Rekers said it was about carrying luggage, then it was about curing the boy’s homosexuality. No one really bought it either way.
Now, media outlets everywhere are rightfully piling onto Rekers and this reoccurring story of vocal homophone caught with his pants down. In this update, there is a new corroborating man, flimsy denials and, of course, an insightful and original take from none other than expert on everything, angel on earth Dan Savage.
Last night, “Lucien” the rentboy (real name Jo-Vanni Roman) appeared with Anderson Cooper to discuss the story. Gawker has the video, which includes details about the arrangement between Rekers and his employee — namely, eight hours a day and two meals a day.
Then, there’s info from The Stranger on the inevitable: another escort claiming to have “spent time” with Mr. Rekers. Of course, as these sexual stories blow up, countless hangers-on come forward looking to capitalize — call it Jamie Jungers Syndrome, or whatever. And we all know Gawker pays.
But that doesn’t mean the details aren’t juicy. Or true:
“I’m looking to spend an hour with a smooth young man for an… intimate massage. Nude. I’m kinda vanilla — I just want light touching, not sex.” He knew the lingo. It seemed like he’d done this before.
“OK, but I have a rule — I have to have your real name. I write the name down, and I leave it here so my roommate knows where I’m going and who I’m with in case anything happens to me. It’s not negotiable.
“George Rekers,” he said with no hesitation.
In response to this account, a Rekers-affiliated e-mail addresses delivered the following message: “Professor George Rekers has never been to the Hyatt Regency Hotel at O’Hare Airport in Chicago.” Duly noted.
Sex advice columnist and all-around positive influence/clear thinker Dan Savage, meanwhile, shined a light on an important subplot in this ordeal, overlooked by those too transfixed by the salacious and damning info about Rekers. In a post entitled “Let’s Not Chew This One Up and Spit Him Out,” Savage implores that we “demand that one of the big gay orgs — HRC, Lambda Legal, NCLR — steps up and provides [“rentboy”] 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.
You can read the rest of Savage’s wisdom here. And as soon as we get the kid taken care of, we can all just sit around and wait for the sex tape. Er, massage tape.