Six male escorts known in the industry as Silas X, the Legendary Dave, Master Avery, Danny Cruz, Steven Kessler, and Simply Adam have united in support of Rentboy.com, the all-male escorting site that was shut down last month after the Department of Homeland Security raided its Manhattan offices. Seven employees were arrested under charges of promoting illegal prostitution.
The site billed itself as "the world's destination to meet the perfect male escort or masseur," and boasted a database of more than 10,500 men in 2,100 cities worldwide.
Many LGBT organizations have come out in support of Rentboy, including Lambda Legal and the Transgender Law Center, saying that the site was a safe option for sex workers. Now the supporters also include the six escorts, who are urging erotic service providers, clients, and others involved in the adult industry to support the arrested employees by donating to an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.
"The money raised from this fund will be equally split amongst the seven Rentboy.com staff charged, and will be used at each individual's discretion," says the campaign page. "This includes use for primary legal funds, rent, food and other resources."
The company's CEO, Jeffrey Hurant, is among the seven people arrested. One of the escorts promoting the campaign, Danny Cruz, organized a protest in West Hollywood last Saturday at which he relayed to The Advocate something Hurant once told him: "These guys you work around in the escort industry, they're not your competition, they're your colleagues. You should know that, you should reach out to them, you should keep each other safe."