A set of inexplicable toes may wind up saving Andrew Gillum’s marriage and political career. The Democrat who almost became Florida’s governor in 2018 was naked and comatose on the floor of a Miami hotel in what were essentially crime scene photos chronicling the death of Gillum’s hopes for national office; but the images seem to contradict the narrative of the police report from the March 12 incident.
I was agnostic toward Gillum’s potential as a progressive leader, but was saddened and disappointing to read headlines announcing his presence at the overdose of a man who was using crystal meth. Men and meth in a hotel room instinctively caused many people to assume Gillum, who is married to a woman and the father of three young children, was closeted and attending a drug-filled gay sex party.
Those gut-feelings couldn’t help but feel confirmed when, within an hour of the incident becoming news, folks learned Gillum’s companion who took too many drugs is a beefcake male escort named Travis Dyson. It seems clear that Gillum struggles with deep secrets and I don’t rule out same-sex attraction being one catalyst of his inner turmoil, but I’m reluctant to seeing him as a crystal meth user for several reasons.
Superficially, I don’t want to envision such a promising and attractive man participating in the flaccid and fruitless sex of the party-n-play scene (though crystal meth cares not how cute or charismatic someone is).
More rationally, I would hate to be presumed of using – or suffering the consequences of – every drug that someone possessed or partook in while in my company, and having friends and family members who use cocaine, heroin and crack has always left me faintly concerned about how easily a police report can misconstrue a scene and its characters.
Miami Beach police were contacted by Aldo Mejias, a 56-year-old unlicensed doctor who provided his credit card details to Dyson to secure the hotel room. Dyson reportedly greeted Mejias upon his arrival to the party, and immediately after he opened the door Dyson collapsed on the bed and had trouble breathing.
Mejias said he saw Gillum in the bathroom vomiting, and after failed attempts to stabilize Dyson or keep him conscious, Mejias called 911. The unredacted sections of the police report do not mention it, but photos released by The Daily Mail suggest Dyson and Gillum were naked when Mejias arrived.
If Gillum was still conscious when Dyson was blacking out, whose bare foot is showing in the picture of Gillum lifeless on the hotel floor? Did the nude escort sober up enough to take a photo of Gillum once Gillum passed out? Surely Mejias did not arrive at the scene he described and decide to get undressed.
Gillum’s future may be bleak due to actual circumstances or people’s interpretation of his surroundings, but the photo that many people believe is a death knell to Gillum’s political ambitions breathes life into the idea that things aren’t what they seemed. What at first read like a derailed drug orgy now looks like a calculated effort to exploit whatever unrelated secrets Gillum may harbor.