Old West Sex Workers

This is kinda fun. It’s always heartening to see respect being paid to our old-timey sisters. This is from the current “Heart of Tucson Historic Walking Tour” program:

The women of the red-light districts were as much a part of the Wild West as were the miners, cowboys, and missionaries. Learn about these hard-working women who brightened the dusty landscape and whose specialized services were always in high demand.

In Tucson, there was a well-established red light district called “Gay Alley,” although I’m pretty sure gay doesn’t quite mean what it does today. There were also “disease-free health certificates issued by the local health officer.” (Wonder what the hell happened to that great idea?)

Some of the girls had kick ass names, too: Flora West alias The Stage Hand’s Girl alias Flo; Goiter Emma; Dean Darby alias The Quiet Blonde. We’re thinking about doing a commemorative thing around all the southwest hooker history for December 17th.

2 Responses

  1. Well you’ve got to include the pioneer women who helped settle the west during the gold rush in California and Alaska. I”m thinking of the Good Time Girls written by my friend Lael Morgan

    http://www.amazon.com/Good-Time-Girls-Alaska-Yukon/dp/0945397763

  2. As far as I know, “gay” meant something like “slutty”, “promiscuous”… so “gay alley” would be the red light district, or at least where one could find easy sex.

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