Former six-term state representative Glen Maxey and Texas’s first openly gay legislator, has self-published a book titled Head Figure Head: The Search for the Hidden Life of Rick Perry in which he investigates rumors about the governor’s sexuality.
“Spoiler alert,” Nathan Bernier of KUT News wrote. “Maxey describes his own book as ‘the story of my failed attempts to expose Rick Perry’s homosexual encounters.'”
According to Gawker‘s John Cook, the book is the result of a four-month investigation—conducted in large part via Facebook messages, online chats and emails—that Maxey “collaborated on with an unnamed reporter.” Cook said Maxey is “obviously a partisan, [but] as far as I can tell not a crank.”
Maxey and the reporter talked to a male prostitute and a man who responded to a Craigslist ad who both claimed to have been involved with Perry, though the former eventually refused to go on the record (instead seeking out a tabloid payday), and the latter wouldn’t make his full name public.
“Along the way, there are dozens of other more tenuous second-hand reports, including one man linked to Perry who pointedly refused to deny the accusations,” Cook wrote, referring to a conversation Maxey said he had with former Secretary of State Geoff Connor. “It’s all very anonymous and hazy and who knows if any of it is true.”
The identity of Maxey’s ex-collaborator is actually no secret: as Politico‘s Kenneth P. Vogel wrote in a story about political crisis fixer Lin Wood, Jason Cherkis of the Huffington Post (the reporter who first made Perry’s Texas A&M transcripts public) was looking into the rumors around that same time.
Ray Sullivan, a Perry spokesman, told POLITICO that the governor’s team decided to hire Wood in August when “we got wind that” Huffington Post — which he described dismissively as “a liberal web-based media outlet” — “seemed intent on quickly writing lies about the governor, and we were concerned about the speed at which those lies could be published online.”
His characterization of the situation matches one outlined in more detail in an ebook by Mike Allen and Evan Thomas, which explained that Perry’s aides were “distressed to learn that Jason Cherkis, a Huffington Post reporter, was in Austin prowling around on a story that had been gossiped about for years in the Texas capital: is Perry gay?”
“We looked at what we had; we realized that it was not a publishable story, and it was over,” Ariana Huffington told Politico.
As of early Monday morning, the book was Amazon.com’s number-one best-seller in the “Gay and Lesbian” category, as well as the number-one Kindle book in the “Elections” category.
“Maxey hopes his book will encourage more investigation of Perry’s life,” DallasVoice.com reported. “This was the teaser,” Maxey said. “Someone in the lame stream media will maybe report now.”