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Feb 14 2020
A Tribute To Gay Porn Icon Kurt Marshall Comments (0)

Kurt-Marshall-gay-porn-star-Shawn-Mayotte-boyculture-AIDSBoy blue (Images via Falcon & author's personal collection)

The following tribute to gay-porn star Kurt Marshall was written by Shawn Mayotte, a fellow performer who knew him and who will soon publish a memoir about his experiences on the streets of Hollywood and in the mansions of movers and shakers as a sex worker — and also as a survivor ...

By Shawn Mayotte:

We’ve all heard that old saying, “Beauty is only skin deep.” My life experience has taught me that’s not always true. Of the many people I’ve met who are beautiful on the outside, their real beauty comes from within. Jim Rideout was one of those people.

This Valentine's Day, I want to remember a friend who I loved and lost much too soon.

James Rideout was better known as Kurt Sizing-up-gay-porn-kurt-marshall-boycultureMarshall, one of the most popular gay adult film actors of all time.

He was beautiful, and though he appeared in only four films, his impact on adult films still lives on to this day. Though I wasn’t as close to Jim like I was to Doug Cooper (Tim Kramer) or Troy Myers (Jeremy Scott), he still left impressions on me that I want to share with everyone today.

I met Jim at a party thrown by Matt Sterling after the release of Sizing Up, a film that Matt directed.

I was immediately impressed by Jim’s outgoing, cheerful personality. He was smart, funny and talkative.

Kurt-Marshall-gif-boycultureGood to the last top. (GIF via GIPHY)

He also had that gift of looking at everyone with a poker face while mesmerizing all of us with his beauty and charm. The inset picture is of me at another party where Jim and I were enjoying conversation. I regret that we never took a picture together.

At these parties, Jim and I talked more about the future than about sex. He had plans to do something grand and make fighting for gay rights his priority in life. I had tremendous respect for him. I’ll never forget when he said to me and my friends “We’re blessed to be gay. We have so much freedom, so many choices and it’s our time to find someone to be happy with” — which is also listed as a quote on his Wikipedia page. They reframe it differently than I heard it from Jim, but it was still his philosophy.

Jim wasn’t hiding in any closet. He was comfortable in his own gay skin. People like me took notice of that.

History's 250 Greatest Gay-Porn Stars: HERE!

I wanted to fight for our rights, too, but my fighting for gay rights was taking a back seat to fighting to save my friends’ lives. We wanted to make love to the world, but our desires were stamped out by a virus and by Americans who didn’t give a shit so long as it was homosexuals who were dying.

His drug use had rendered him defenseless against a more powerful demon: HIV. Jim was diagnosed with AIDS in 1986. I talked to him about entering a drug rehabilitation center, which he finally did with his family’s support. He even tried to work after he got clean, but AIDS had ravaged his body and he re-entered the hospital in Hollywood where he would live out his final days. I visited him and held his hand while I cried inside. It was heartbreaking, but Jim kept my spirits up. I learned many lessons from him.

Though he knew he was dying, Jim still lived and laughed until the end. He didn’t condemn himself for every foolish mistake or blunder he made. He didn’t brood about bygone days or daydream about a tomorrow he knew would never come. He adapted to his circumstances, he wanted to be part of the solution, and incredibly, Jim stayed cheerful until the end. He was 22 years old when he died.

Jim, you left this life much too early, but you inspired all of us who met you, and you thrilled many more with your beauty and your legendary sex performances. While many of us lived double lives, still embarrassed that we were performing in adult movies, you reminded us we could be proud, naked and fucking unashamed. I know you’re having fun in the heaven of your choice.

Please know I still think about you. Death has no dominion over love.

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