AIDS 2008: Pre Conference Day 2

So I’ve learned a lot today! The AIDS conference will have 25,000 people there! I’m shocked, I had no idea it would be so big! Today we planned our strategies for the upcoming conferences, more on that soon! Otherwise it’s been really great working with , meeting and getting to know even more amazing people. Today for me was busy. 2 support calls, lots of planning for the week, and trying to finish off last minute print jobs for the conference. Somehow Dinner and I didn’t work out, I went to when and where I thought dinner was supposed to be and nobody was there! I found a little asian market and picked up some dumplings, which turned out to be kinda gross. But I ate, and that’s the important part. I’ve had some of the best soups of my life here however!

Sometimes people ask me why I’m involved in Sex Worker Rights. One of many reasons came to me again today, which revolves around my transgendered status.

I get on average 2 or 3 emails a month from my transgendered brothers and sisters memorializing another murdered transgendered person in the United States. While some of these people are not sex workers, many transgendered people are Sex Workers because when society labels you a freak, the job market gets amazingly small in a hurry! Yet, we want to earn a living, and pay for our food, a place to stay, and be fiscally solvent like everyone else. Sex Work is and should be a viable job option for transgendered people (and any other type of person).

The GLBT community is working on future transgendered rights, and ending the communal discrimination against us. While I help with and support that struggle, what I’m doing with sex workers now, is helping transgendered people with viable job options in the sex industry. We as transgendered people are respected better in this community than in many other communities.

If you are a transgendered sex worker and need support, I want to let you know that SWOP’s Chicago Chapter is offering a hotline to support transgender sex workers for general health and safety issues as it relates to the TS community, etc. To access this service dial 877-776-2004 option 3, then option 3, or if you are in the chicago area, dial 312-252-3880 then option 3.

Thank you for letting me share one of many reasons why I’m here doing what I do. Please feel free to comment below and share with us why you are involved in, or interested in Sex Workers, their communities and rights?

Tomorrow night we will be doing a live radio show on XXBN. You should definitely come talk with us on the show! Bring questions, talk to a real live transgendered person, or just listen to us talk about all the things we are doing here in Mexico City.

The NY “Pink Scare,” Part Two

Landing on the airstrip at La Guardia, back from Chicago’s Desiree Alliance conference, I overheard one classic Bloombergian welcome back to New York: the NYPD staged a violent“prostitution” bust at Lou’s, also known as the Hot Lap Dance Club, a private loft club in Midtown Manhattan, and arrested another handful of New York’s sex workers.

The raids began this year, to my knowledge, with Scores West in late January, then hit the escort agency Emperor’s Club VIP in March along with a few others related to then-Governor Spitzer. Then came Dungeon Alley’s sordid back-and-forth in April, followed by Pacha, Marquee and Splash on “drug-related” charges in June – more on the overlap of “anti-gay” and “anti-sex work” later – while the mayoral candidate Eric Gioia’s (D-Queens) called for increased policing on Craigslist.com. Now it’s Lou’s and, always, the mounting casualties from both “street sweeps” and the stepped-up prosecution of e-stings on Eros and Craigslist.

By April, Sex Workers Action New York (SWANK) meant it when we declared the current state of affairs “Pink Scare.”

See: Sex!Work? for the remainder of this workaday rant.

Derogatory Cartoon about Exotic Dancing

As somebody who has danced before, I found this “cartoon” so derogatory.  Here’s a link:

http://www.womensspace.org/phpBB2/2008/07/28/what-exploitation/#comment-17797

People can post comments on that board, but the comments are censored, so I’m not sure if they’d post our comments, but we can at least try.   I’m interested in what people who currently dance or have danced think about this “cartoon.”