Desiree Alliance 2008- Day one

Here are some impressions from the first full day of the 2008 Desiree Alliance conference.

It is so goddamned hot here in Chicago but luckily sex workers know how to strip. Half way through the first day Stacey Swimme set the precedent by filling ice water spritzer bottles and peeling down to her comely skivvies. Many moans arose from those confined to their clothes because they arrived at the conference sans coulottes. Says ‘David’: “I never seen so many people in this industry take their clothes off with no money exchanged.”

The keynote anti-oppression workshop kicked things off and it also kicked my ass, emotionally. One of my favorite parts was the presenter’s metaphor of the house of ‘isms’; where adultism lay at the foundation since it is a cross-cultural experience for babies/children and youth, and mental health oppression as the roof as all deviations from socially established norms (emphasis on sex workers here) are pigeonholed as crazy and easily written off or persecuted for mental health instability. Other ism’s such as racism, sexism, anti-semitism, etc. are the pillars that hold the house up. Talking in small groups about our personal definitions of super loaded terms and creating lists of terms and phrases associated left a lot of us thoughtful, riled up and raw.

After lunch we split into different workshops, I went to “Transgender Intra-Community Relations”. It really felt like we didn’t have nearly enough time to hear the panel of eight or so women from Chicago and DC talk about their organizations, experiences, and the issues facing their communities. One thing that was mentioned several times were strategies to unite and unify young transwomen of color, the problems of transwomen sex workers who are harassed and incarcerated by police with complete lack of respect for their gender and are placed in men’s jails, and the idea of an accessible conference specifically for transwomen with emphasis on women of color.

We ended the first day with a plenary on Challenging Discrimination among Sex Workers where a wallop of topics were introduced including: accessing the porn community as allies and bridges, the horrible phenomenon of partners, friends and colleagues with a grudge turning sex workers into the police, and division and judgment between workers in different fields of the sex industry.

But I was fried, my brain was a weepy puddle of lust and attraction, fear of rejection, new ideas, old pains, empathy, self-reflection and the desire to be accepted. A conference full of gorgeous sweltering hos tackling topics like institutional oppression will do that to me. There is so much information and so many perspectives and so many people who have been marginalized and misunderstood by much of society trying to find their common ground. So as my act of harm-reductionist self care, I went to Bleeding Heart Bakery and drowned my intense sensitivity in delicious organic sugar….stay tuned for more Desiree updates!

4 Responses

  1. Stacey Swimme is awesome! She has been a huge part of putting together 3 years of conferences. Which is a huge amount of work and commitment! Thank you Stacey!!

  2. Thank you Stacey. We all need this and you sacrificed a lot to make it happen for the rest of us.

    XX

  3. Yes Stacey is truly amazing and works her ass off for this community and movement. In no way did I mean to minimize her contribution. Thank you Stacey, and thank you the rest of the organizers for making this happen once again!!!!!

  4. Ego Treat for Stacey! Thanks and nice ass too!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: