For from Erik Rhodes' death, I see a light....again. It's a light that I have seen repeatedly over the past 2 years since I retired from studio-based porn in September 2009. It is a light always reminding me that I am BLESSED. I am blessed beyond words for how God has allotted me the time to make myself known as more than "Tré Xavier". Fate has allotted me the time to make myself become known as more than a sexually stimulating presence. This time gifted to me has allowed me chances to be on my present steady climb of having my real artistic talents known, instead of coming off as a sex object only knowledgeable in enjoying sex, and miserable afterwards like Erik Rhodes was. I'm not saying that knowledge and misery after was all that Erik Rhodes had to offer. But unfortunately, that is all we have seen.
I met Erik Rhodes only once. A few years ago, before a NY Gay Pride March. It was just a quick introduction, nothing more. Shorter than many fans at a meet-and-greet appearance. So I never got to know him on any personal level, except by his blog posts that I've read about. The sad thing is that be they Facebook comments, tweets on Twitter, or comments on gay porn blogs - all of these internet outlets have an overwhelming majority of their commenters' feelings of "loss" from Erik Rhodes' death stemming from how he was a "beautiful man", or how "gorgeous" he was. The problem is that this makes his outer beauty be what gave him worthiness to exist in so many of their eyes. And that could have very well been what killed him, as he seemed to live a life to maintain that.
From what I saw of Erik Rhodes, the seeking of empowerment was piled on more than most. First, was by his initial building up of that physique, and then piling on more. Because all guys who hit the gym for bodies like that are seeking a visible sign of strength to hide the strength they are lacking within. And adding steroids, or any supplement like a steroid to the mix, is an even greater indicator. Follow that up with how the gay porn industry seems to suck many dry of their spirits the way it does, Erik Rhodes' chances of surviving his demons were lessened even more.
All too often, I have seen gay porn bloggers take pot-shots at porn actors when they take on a venture outside of porn. One of the most frequent and notable haters of mine to my knowledge (even since my retirement from studio-based porn) has been the editor of TheSword.com, Zachary Sire. And I have not been his only target. There have been others (past and present) in the industry that he has done this to. Saddest part is how Zachary Sire is not the only hateful gay porn blogger.
These bloggers treat our outside ventures as if you all have been betrayed by us. I know because before I retired, any time I heard a porn actor friend or associate of mine say that they are done doing movies, I felt betrayed. But I never acted out on that feeling of betrayal. Probably because in the back of my mind, I knew---
---IT'S GAY PORN. So you need, thereby automatically seek an outside venture for your future to identify yourself by. And if you don't seek that outside venture to identify yourself with, porn becomes a prison. Like the ones the hateful bloggers have made for themselves. These kind of bloggers have limited themselves to writing about gay porn and nothing else, and since misery loves company, these bloggers want the porn actors to do the same. So when a porn actor shows any signs of moving on, they get a bullseye on their back. But the reality these bloggers need to face is that just because you have confined yourself to porn's prison by writing about it only for all your days, doesn't mean that a porn actor has to do the same by fucking in front of a camera for all of his days.
This leads to my question to Zachary Sire, bloggers like him, and the cynical fans who applaud them every time they write posts mocking people like myself who do something outside of porn:
What is there to mock?
The reason why me and other past and present porn performers do things outside of the porn industry is because we don't want Erik Rhode's story to become our story. We don't want to be imprisoned by our porn personas.
We don't want our legacies to be about how "cute" we were, or how "hot" we looked while fucking. We want to be remembered for being something more meaningful. Something beyond being only sexually and visually stimulating. Maybe introduced visually, but with the end result stimulating you mentally. Thereby making us something greater.
Sadly, Erik Rhodes, whose real name was James Elliott Naughtin, never got the chance to do that. All we know about James Elliott Naughtin is that he was troubled as "Erik Rhodes".
So with him no longer having to live with those troubles, may James Elliott Naughtin truly Rest In Peace.