Op-ed: Erik Rhodes and the Big Picture

The death of a porn star shouldn’t be cast aside. The loss has a lesson for our community that it for too long has ignored, says writer Brett Edward Stout.

With his death at the age of 30, Erik Rhodes has people talking again. People have bantered about why we care if a porn star died, have said that he brought this on himself, have locked themselves in rooms in tears, and even been so crass as to say he deserved it.

His real name was James, and he was a larger than life personality who meant different things to a lot of different people.

James was an enigma who in many respects represented the apex of what the gay communality idolizes: he was young, beautiful, muscular, masculine, tall, hung, sexually insatiable, and honest about the character he played in our society. He knew he needed help, begged for it and shunned it at the same time.

It was his “inevitable demise” — words used by James himself in posts that seemed to dare death. He seemed unstoppable. In a word, he seemed “invincible.”… read the full OpEd on Advocate.com.