Mike Jones, masseuse to Pastor Ted Haggard who most recently wrote a potboiler of an expose about his time with Ted, will make appearances in Colorado Springs after all.
After initially being rejected for appearances by big bookstore chains and an independent bookstore owner, Jones’ publisher has announced two upcoming gigs in the conservative city where Haggard founded his New Life Church, the largest in Colorado. Jones will appear at DJ’s Bar & Grill, a gay bar, next Sunday, July 8.
And he’ll help kick off a weekend of gay pride in the conservative city in the shadow of Pikes Peak on Thursday, July 12 at the Gay & Lesbian Pride Center.Jones, the former gay escort whose claims of a three-year relationship with Haggard led to a spectacular fall from grace of one of the most powerful evangelical leaders in the country last fall, has been appearing in numerous cities promoting his graphic tell-all, “I Had To Say Something: The Art of Ted Haggard’s Fall.”
His initial efforts to come to Colorado Springs were initially thwarted by the big chains. Richard Skorman, the owner of Poor Richard’s bookstore, and a longtime community activist, former council member and champion of gay and lesbian causes, also declined to host a Jones appearance. In a letter to the editor, Skorman explained his disinclination:
“At the Poor Richard’s complex, we strongly believe in our citizens’ First Amendment freedoms to read any book of their choosing, including I Had To Say Something. We also stand for fairness and protecting the civil rights of all in our community, in particular our gay, lesbian and transgendered neighbors, co-workers and friends.
“However, we are selective about the new books we carry and the authors we promote. After reading I Had To Say Something, we found the book invasive, exploitive and not well-written. We won’t be carrying the book, recommending it or promoting its author.
But DJ’s Bar & Grill (Motto: “Colorado Springs best, fun gay bar!”) will be hosting a Jones appearance, as will the Gay & Lesbian Pride Center. Here’s the skinny:
July 8, Sunday
2 p.m. DJ’s Bar & Grill
1110 E. Fillmore St.
July 12, Thursday
Gay & Lesbian Pride Center
2508 E. Bijou St.
TIME TO BE ANNOUNCED
Cara DeGette is a senior fellow at Colorado Confidential, and a columnist and contributing editor at the Colorado Springs Independent. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org