Closets

Karly’s post got me thinking about a topic Amanda Brooks mentioned to me a couple of months ago: Sex Worker Coming Out Day.

If someone has covered this before, or was planning to in the future, forgive me, but I just can’t get it out of my mind. Part of what has kept this at the forefront of my mind is The Closet Project, “a collaborative community arts project that includes portraits of queer activists and coming out stories painted onto actual closet doors”.

I have viewed doors from the Closet Project twice now. First, on March 3rd when SWOP East hosted a movie night at a community space where many doors were housed. I was blown away at first sight. That had a lot to do with the beauty of the doors, but more to do with the fact that it was International Sex Workers Rights Day. I was painfully aware that many sex workers were unable to openly commemorate our biggest holiday, that they were forced to hide a part of themselves, that they would be forced to lie by omission.

I got a chance to view the doors again last Friday. Although the intensity of feelings was quite changed. It still had a powerful effect on me. And it still caused me to wonder if there will ever be a day when we can clean out our closets, when sex workers will be seen as average as Jane down the block, when we can gather in plain view and discuss our experience without fear of injury.

It is spring, the time where one is supposed to air things out. How many of us are hiding the best parts about ourselves, things we are immeasurably proud of, things that give definition to our lives?

Will there be a day when we can confidently display our own Closet Project?

What would that look like?

How would you decorate your door?

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