‘No Humans Involved:’ Violence Against Queer and Transgender Sex Workers

Updated: Today the Gay City News, which is the most widely circulated gay weekly in the United States, published this editorial entitled “No Humans Involved’: End Violence Against Queer and Transgender Sex Workers.” I’m linking it here, because I didn’t just write it for the ‘gaystream.’ I also wrote it for the sex worker movement, which produced some very nontrans ‘woman’-centric statements for the Day to End Violence. The fact is that queer and transgender sex workers, especially people of color, low-income folks, and homeless persons, have long been targets of cops and serial killers. In response to some of the comments this post has already generated; acknowledging this fact does not in any way ‘fragment’ the movement and it doesn’t ‘blame’ or ‘scare off’ some ‘invisible majority’ of sex workers that would somehow tip the scales of public opinion in our favor.

In any case, if acknowledging that racism and homophobia and transphobia are all tied up in the policing of sex work is frightening your ‘majority’ off, that’s because of racism, homophobia, transphobia and internalized whorephobia itself. It’s absolutely criminal that you are accusing people organizing around their identities, and this editorial itself, of being ‘fragmenting’ for the movement. Read it yourself. Tell me again why I should shut up and let the ‘majority’ keep flapping their gums about this supposedly universal ‘good girl’ whore. Tell me again why you need this rotten ‘respectability’ in order to lure the straights and the Republican strippers and the property owning madames who would sooner take her 50 percent than give a damn.

What’s more, acknowledging our differences can strengthen our alliances with other movements. The fact that this editorial was published in a major ‘gay’ publication speaks to this possibility. This is a small step in the direction of remembering and reclaiming the names of those who have died but who have been ignored by us: like the young hustlers who faced death alone in the cold arms of heartless killers such as Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gacy, Jr., but also those of us who have been raped by the police, kicked out of our homes, incarcerated, and abandoned by our families.

‘No Humans Involved’: Ending Violence Against Queer and Transgender Sex Workers

To mourn the victims of murder, incarceration, and intimate partner violence in their midst, this past December 17, sex workers, clients, and allies filled New York City’s Metropolitan Community Church and marked the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. The Day was honored by more than 27 cities this year, from Nairobi to Hong Kong. Here in New York, the high-ceiling room of the church reverberated with the names of the dead.

Continue reading

Sex Work Issues — SE Asia and China

Here are two videos I found today via Facebook. Compare and contrast:

http://www.lauraagustin.com/migrant-sex-workers-in-china-massage-parlours-hair-salons-hotel-rooms (though this one is from 2007, the scene is still the same)

Join us at San Francisco Pride

Sex Workers will be representing at San Francisco Pride tomorrow!! If you are in the area, definitely fight the crowds and come meet up with us!! Also a bunch of Sex Workers have their own contingent in the Dyke March! Sex Workers Outreach Project will be hosting 2 booths, a Beer Booth and an Information Booth (with totally hot Whore and U.S. Out Of My Underwear Shirts!)

Sex Workers Dyke March contingent will meet at 6:45pm Sat the 27th on the corner of 18th and Dolores, directly to the side of the Dolores Park Cafe. Bring any signs, fabulousness, lovers and allies.

Our Beer Booth will be at the corner of Hyde on McAllister.

Our Information Booth will be around the corner on Larkin between Golden Gate and McAllister, across from the State Building.

We’ll have lots of GREAT information both for Workers and Allies, and ways for you to get involved! Come stop by, we’d LOVE to meet you!

Help get tranny-alert.com taken down!

Via gudbuytjane.livejournal.com, reposted from feministing

Call for action: www.tranny-alert.com
From http://www.tranny-alert.com . This is not just appropriative or transphobic, it directly threatens the safety and privacy of trans women:

Our site cannot survive without your submissions!
Spot a tranny or suspected tranny around town? See a hot tranny mess? Observe a guidette in New Jersey with tranny style? Notice trannies on TV/Radio/Billboards? Find yourself at a Lady Gaga concert? WE WANT TO KNOW!

Remember, if you spot a tranny: snap your fingers, snap a pic, and e-mail those photos to: mayday@tranny-alert.com !

In light of the murders of trans women such as Gwen Araujo, Angie Zapata and others, it is indefensible to run a website that requests readers submit photos of trans women (or people they’ve read as trans women) without their consent and publicly out them. This site threatens the safety of every person they post a photo of. Please spread the word and take action.

Please contact http://www.tranny-alert.com and let them know this is NOT okay.
The site appears to be hosted via Blogger, so please enter a complaint against their hate speech and endangerment of the lives of trans women.
Please Twitter about it with the #trannyalertfail hash tag.
Please send complaints about their Facebook page .

ETA: To enter a complaint at Blogger, follow this link: http://help.blogger.com/bin/request.py?contact_type=hate_speech&blog_URL=http://trannyalert.blogspot.com/ (Thanks queersubversion!)

ETA2: TrannyAlert’s response on Twitter : “Wow people really need to get a fucking sense of humor.”

ETA3: If you have access please post about this on LJ trans communities, as this account isn’t a member of any of them (and will have to wait for approval to post, etc.).

– gudbuytjane

You can go here, http://tinyurl.com/n34flk

to file a direct complaint to Blogger against this blog, you can also do it as many times as you like so please try to do it as much as you can so as to draw attention! Thanks!

They’re funny things, Accidents. You never have them till you’re having them.

A month ago, I was riding my Empowerment Vehicle (motorcycle) home from a friends house at 2AM one Sunday night.  I had a lapse in judgement, and ended up flying over the motorcycle, landing on pavement, sliding across an exit ramp, and landing in the bushes.  This obviously wasn’t planned, or wanted.  I have no health insurance, and it hasn’t been overly pleasant.  I’m temporarily in a wheelchair, and will be for another month it looks like.

These life accidents happen to all of us at one time or another. I’m blessed to have many good close friends who care about me, and are doing their best to help me navigate life from a disabled perspective.  And I’ve been lucky enough to put a positive spin on this, and see it as a great learning experience about experiencing life on 4 wheels instead of 2.  But I want to talk about savings (or the lack there of).

It’s the loss of income that’s really sucked.  I haven’t been able to work much at all! Provided there are no more unexpected expenses that rise up, it looks like I’ll pull through this ok financially, and end up with a manageable debt of about 5-6 thousand.

I know that I’m really blessed in this way, I’ve had many friends who have gone thru unexpected life changes that have altered their income, and raised there expenses and are still trying to recover.  It doesn’t take much.  For me it was about 30 seconds all told, and will lead to 2 months of wheelchair time, and lots of asking for help, and lots of brand new expenses!

This has made me think about how to save and plan for these events.  They WILL happen in your life, they happen to all of us in different degrees, but how we manage to plan ahead for these, and how we handle them when they come up make a world of difference.

Lots of Financial experts(cause I was off searching about this) will say we need 3 months of living expenses (but they really want us to have 6!) in a Money Market or Savings account just lying about, and banks give you huge deals and love  you WAY more when you are able to have that kind of money it turns out.  For me three months is only about $3,500.00 or so all told (I live cheaply), but even this is a big number to have laying about!

Financial experts seem to always come across like we can easily come up with this kind of money, but so many of us already live directly off of our income, and have no wiggle room.  But even if we can only put 10% of a single call a week away, it will add up.  The hardest part, is deciding what constitutes an emergency to go spend that money.  For me, it’s the new motorcycle protective gear, so I can go feel empowered and graduate once again from 4 wheels to 2.

P.S. If you can tell the author of the title of this post, you’ll know one of the smartest people I know in all the world!!

Whore Lover: Sex Workers Queering Love

Whore Lover sepia 2SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 18th, 2009 – 8PM. Stories of romance in spite of social stigma, as told from both sides of the bed. Turns out it’s not actually true that sex workers are incapable of feeling love; or too generous, greedy, humiliated or gold-hearted to pursue it. Likewise, the city hosts hordes of humans who love whores. In fact, many of those who have turned a trick or courted a courtesan are luminaries of queer arts and performance.

<p>Whore Lover is a multimedia showcase of the art of balancing between erotic work and play; and establishing long-term intimacy with those of us who charge by the hour. Tales of love, lust and lucre, straight (but not narrow!) from the talented mouths of porn stars, hookers, rent boys, strippers, Dominatrices, and the lovely folks who love them. Featuring art, films,  and performances by: Sadie Lune, Kirk Read, Mariko Passion, Ed Wolf, Lorelei Lee, Ginger Virago, Seeley Quest, and Madsen Minax. Curated by Sadie Lune, and presented by the National Queer Arts Festival with support from the Creating Queer Community program.

<p>

Whore Lover: Sex Workers Queering Love
The Garage Theater
975 Howard St. @ 6th
June 18, 2009 @ 8:00
Tickets: $12-$20
Buy Tickets on-line:
https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/66151

415-885-4006

For more information please visit: http://www.queerculturalcenter.org/Pages/QFest09/WhrLvr.html

February 23, 2009: Protest Prostitution Charges against San Francisco Transgender Activist

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                   

San Francisco Transsexual Activist Falsely Accused of Having Sex with SFPD Officer-
Suspected Prop. K Retaliation
Location: 850 Bryant Street, San Francisco Hall of Justice
Date: Monday February 23, 2009
Time: 8:30 am
Contact: Acire          Acire4SWOP@gmail.com
San Francisco, California, February 23, 2009   In an act of harassment by the San Francisco Police Department, Shelly Resnick was falsely charged, and given a Citation on for “Solicitation to Engage in the Act of Prostitution” on November 12, 2009. On January 7, the District Attorney took it a step beyond the claims of the arresting officers and officially filed charges against Shelly for “Engaging in the act of Prostitution” alleging that Shelly engaged in prostitution with an SFPD Officer.
“These charges are completely false.” states Shelly as no such act took place. Shelly strongly disputes the content of the police report as patently false. “This is harassment and discrimination.” Shelly has been speaking with local attorneys and activists who suggest that Shelly was likely a direct target after her extensive work on the campaign for Prop K. Shelly was set up on a police sting. She did not solicit and nor did she agree to any act of prostitution, but she was cited anyway.
“The police have no evidence to support these charges” says Acire Roche of Sex Worker Outreach Project.” In the police report, SFPD claim that the day after the election, an allegedly unidentified person sent an “anonymous complaint” saying that Shelly was sending text messages to random phone numbers asking for sexual services. “This is absurd,” says Acire, “This did not occur, and of course SFPD has absolutely no record or evidence of this.” Sex Worker Outreach Project joins Shelly in support at her hearing, protesting this discrimination and misconduct. “Ms. Resnick filed a complaint with Office of Citizen Complaints on November 19th. SWOP and Ms. Resnick will resist these false charges and vows to bring to light this misconduct and discrimination by the SFPD.”
SWOP-USA in conjunction with BAYSWAN and other Bay Area transsexual and sexworker organizations, will be conducting a peaceful protest in the front of the Courthouse.

Pompeo, Stirring up the Kettle on Rent Boys and Methheads

After being given ample content on rights work, the relation to workers of other genders, and the ins-and-outs of racist and sexist discrimination and policing by a number of New York’s working boys, Joe Pompeo pulled a Jessica Pilot  in the New York Observer with “The Hipster Rent Boys of New York.” Not a word on racial discrimination, or the use of video peepshows, strolls, or the few last-standing hustler bars, and not a word on organizing.

It wouldn’t have been so bad if the comments section wasn’t crammed full of those nasty little “diseased,” “Narcissistic,” “drug-addicted,” “meth-head” accusations that complete the very definition of an Internet article about us whores and those whoring regardless of gender.

But that’s enough raving. In other news, the Freakonomics guy (and Columbia sociology professor) Sudhir Venkatesh keeps getting quoted in what I think are questionable articles. He’s the guy who wrote a piece for Slate Magazine citing the 40 percent figure, as in 40 percent of sessions don’t include touching or sex. Maybe I should invite him on a work date?

Cool event in Chicago next Spring

Announcing a National Radical Queer Convergence

QueerAnarcha-Queers! Trannies! Fairies! Perverts! Sex-Workers! Sex-Radicals! Allies!

Bash Back! is ecstatic to announce a national radical queer convergence to take place in Chicago, May 28th through May 31st of 2009! We are pleased to invite all radical-queers for a a weekend of debauchery and mischief.

The last weekend of May will prove to be four solid days of workshops, discussions, performances, games, dancing and street action! We’ll handle the food and the housing. Ya’ll bring the orgy, riot, and decadence!

We’re looking for folks to facilitate discussions, put on workshops, organize caucuses, share games, tell stories, get heavy in some theory, or bottom-line a dance party. More specifically we’re looking for workshops themed around queer and trans liberation, anti-racism, confronting patriarchy, sex work, ableism, self defense, DIY mental and sexual health, radical history, pornography, or queer theory.

We are also looking for copious amounts of glitter, safer sex products, zines, home-made sex toys, balaclavas, pink and black flags, sequins, bondage gear, rad porn, flowers, strap-ons, and assorted dumpstered goodies.

You down?

To RSVP, volunteer for a workshop, get more information, or send us dirty pictures:

email – radicalqueer2009@gmail.com
and check out – BashBackNews.Wordpress.Com

Lubing-up the social war,
Bash Back!

http://news.infoshop.org/article.php?story=20081218164102573

Yes on K is the Christian thing to do

by LEA BROWN

Why would a Christian minister support Proposition K, the November ballot initiative that would decriminalize prostitution in San Francisco?

There are many reasons. Prop. K would allow sex workers to organize for their rights and safety. It would enable them to report abuse in the industry without fear of prosecution. It would improve their chances of maintaining their health by lessening the stigma that prevents many from seeking the health care services they need. And it would do all this while still allowing law enforcement officials to investigate and prosecute human traffickers.

WSWM ranch, Heidi’s stud ranch and male priviledge

I started my day by day blog of Bellas and will continue it on my personal blog: marikopassion.wordpress.com so i’m not going to talk about how my first day went here, but I just have to comment about male priviledge in not only the old boy network of brothel owners and in sex work in general.  What Heidi Fleiss is and has been doing is really really phenomenal even though I’ve not met her and she could be a rotten bitch but on the whole “The Stud Ranch” is a groundbreaking concept.  As it has so far been explained to me, the Nevada brothel system is NOT ever due to expand to other brothels in Nevada state legislature any time in the future and all but 2 of them (Bellas and one other) are owned by old boys.  If you were at Desiree 1 you got an idea of what kind of men owned these places and what their blatantly unfeminist views were.  According to conversations I’ve had with Rachel Whotton from Scarlet Alliance, the same is true for brothel owners in Australia.  In Oz, they have become a political lobby and are speaking out against any non brothel sex worker, trying to convince parliament that if a girl were to not work in a brothel there would be no way that she could keep herself safe or clean. This is the overall belief from many people in the general public, and it is the legacy of male priviledge in all its ugliness.

However, in talking with Aunt Deb who helps run Bellas, the woman/family owned and run brothel and she talks about her frustration with working with so many girls whos minds are stuck at the age of 14 and who need so much repetetive direction around basic things.  Anyone who has ever tried to manage an escort or stripping agency probably knows what she is talking about.  I opted to convert my energies from a dying escort agency in LA in to SWOP-LA because I could never possibly profit babysitting the women that I was trying to have on my staff and keep my sanity.  They neeeded guidance and outreach and that was what a sex worker advocate does willingly, not a business person who wants or needs to profit.  These are the women that unfortunately find themselves in the “stables” of abusive pimps either on the streets or in brothels.  It is a continuation of a pattern of abuse many of these women have become accustomed to, perhaps since childhood and it would take serious mentorship and time to guide someone out of that, which is not only not a profit model, but often is draining to even non profits doing advocacy.

An MSM ranch? There is an MSM ranch of sorts in every major city of the world.  They are called bathhouses, public parks or gay.com.  MEN as a whole, do not need any help seeking sex–either for pay or for free.  But because of the legacy of male priviledge (for MSW escorts)  and the decriminalization of homosexuality, male escorts do not get to charge as much as females.  Male strippers doing bachelorette parties is totally socially acceptable, but only in the context of marriage. I have had sex with female clients, but only in the context of when a husband or boyfriend pays for my services.  I can find casual hot sex with women in a sex spaces, but only in a BDSM play party (which may not be the sexual experience I was seeking) or a swingers party where I would either have to fend off all the client types from trying to fuck me for free or put on a show for the husband or sometimes convince him to go away, although in swinger spaces like Hedonism and such bisexuality with women is fine, but NEVER between the men.  Men who want to have sex with men can open any newspaper and find a public outlet do a google search and find what they are looking for or at least go to a venue where they might be able to find it and women either hetero or queer do not.  You see what I’m getting at?

Aids 2008: Homophobia March

100+ Sex Workers came together to march against Homophobia at the 1st International March against Homophobia While I was marching with everyone there was a beautiful transgendered woman from the group behind us, who was telling me that this was the very first time foreigners were allowed by the government to march in Mexico. This is not only amazing and a historic moment, but also that over 100 sex workers came to march and show their support for the LGBTIQQ community. The energy was amazing, and the NSWP, Aproase, and others gave us t-shirts so we would all match! But wait! there’s MORE! We marched 3 MILES, carrying banners, signs and chanting the whole way!

Sorry I’m behind in my postings (this is from August 2nd) but my Internet is quite spotty here, and we are all sharing laptops to get everything done that we need to get done for the conference!! I’ll get more pictures up as soon as possible from the march, and many other amazing amazing things will be coming coming coming!

IMG_0273.JPG

Working Hearts: Blog for Sex Workers and their Partners about Unpaid Realtionships

Hey all,

Consider this your official invitation to Working Hearts: www.workingheart.blogspot.com,

the blog I recently started to create conversation and support for sex workers and their personal partners around sex workers’ unpaid love/sex relationships.

I would absolutely love it if any of you wanted to write a blog post, please just send me an email and write “post starts here:” right before the part you want me to publish.

Currently the blog has a few posts from a couple of different people and some informal polls, the current poll is about trying to leave the industry and the factors behind the decision to leave.

Partners are also welcome to post, eventually I will probably create a separate site for partners, but for now I’d love this to be a place to discuss opinions and experiences around relationships, answer each other questions and help support each other around this important topic that to me seems crucial to our health and quality of life as a community.

Audacia Ray interviewed me about Working Hearts for her Village Voice blog  Naked City in the interview series Four on the Floor, if you’d like to read more about why I’m doing this and what my thoughts are on the subject, check it out.

Male prostitutes, johns targeted in D.C. police sting

News about an ongoing operation by D.C. police aimed at arresting male prostitutes and the male customers who seek their services surfaced last month when a male undercover officer posing as a hustler arrested the mayor of District Heights, Md., for allegedly offering him $40 for sex.

read the rest…

 

Live on Blog Talk Radio XBN: Sex Worker Rights Broadcast Network 5PM Eastern Saturday 3.29.08

XBN Sex Worker Voices, Sex Worker Viewpoints, Sex Worker Rights

Please join XBN at www.blogtalkradio.com/swopeast

Listener Call in number 646.200.3136

Join sex workers and sex worker rights activists in media created and driven by us!

Upcoming Guests

Guest Carol Leigh! Carol Leigh AKA Scarlot Harlot Unrepentant Whore published by Last Gasp Carol Leigh,

3/31/2008
6:00 PM
60 Minutes [171865]

XBN SWOP East Broadcast Network

Guest to be determined

4/1/2008
8:00 PM
60 Minutes [171963]

XBN SWOP East Broadcast Network
Guest to be determined

4/2/2008
6:00 PM
60 Minutes [171963]

XBN SWOP East Broadcast Network

Guest: Renegade Evolution Profile of a Henchwoman: Often over generalized as a bit of a clockwork apocalypse, heartless capitalist and generally ruthless scum, the terrifying truth is RenEv is a stripper, Internet porn performer, sex workers rights


Everyone 4/3/2008
9:30 PM
60 Minutes [171948]
XBN SWOP East Broadcast Network
Guest: Melissa Gira Bio: http://www.melissagira.com
ht Unpacking the Wired story on tech & sex work: http://www.wired.comht — and adding more on how sex workers internationally use technology in advocacy for human rights. internet, jill brenneman XBN, Melissa Gira, sex work, sex workers, sex workers outreach project, swop, swopeast Politics Progressive
Mature 4/4/2008
3:00 PM
60 Minutes

All previous shows are available for playback or download at www.blogtalkradio.com/swopeast

Previous Guests include:

Veronica Monet

Constance Sisk

Stacey from Desiree Alliance

Maxine Doogan

Amanda Brooks

And a live call in show after a Presentation by Jill Brenneman at William & Mary, this program hosted by Amanda Brooks, features many live calls from the presentation audience from the Brenneman presentation who stayed and joined XBN’s live broadcast which was being simulcast over the auditorium. This presentation was in response to the significant protest and backlash against the organizers and supporters of the Sex Worker’s Art Show Appearance at William & Mary and protests against the Sex Workers Art Show themselves. As the show demonstrates there is a lot of support for the Sex Workers Art Show at William and Mary.

Many outstanding guests are being scheduled, please watch for updates! If you would like to be a guest on this revolutionary project bringing sex workers voices to the media please contact www.swopeast.org

If you are a sex worker or sex worker rights musician and would like to make your music available to XBN, please contact us as we are in need of both theme music and would love to feature and credit sex worker and sex worker rights musicians.

XBN: Sex Worker Voices, Sex Worker Viewpoints, Sex Worker Rights

Many Thanks to The Naked Heroes for letting us use their awesome music on XBN! Please check them out and support them!!! http://www.myspace.com/thenakedheroes

Add XBN: The SWOP East Broadcast Network to your blog or website by inserting this code. <a href=”http://www.blogtalkradio.com/swopeast”><img id=”btn180×60″ border=”0″ alt=”Listen to swopeast on internet talk radio” src=”http://www.blogtalkradio.com/img/180×60_wht.gif”/></a>

We Must Interrupt This Scandal To Announce…

Registration for Pulling Back the Sheets: Sex, Work and Social Justice is officially open!

Wondering if you should attend the conference? Check out Red Light Radio Podcast #2

In this podcast SerpentLibertine interviews kittenINFINITE about her introduction into the sex industry and sex work activism, we discuss the meaning of the term “sex worker”, the difference between whores and sluts, the formation of SWOP Chicago, how to get involved in sex work politics, the 2008 Desiree Alliance sex work convergence, and the importance of properly screening clients.

If you would like to submit a proposal to present a workshop or an academic presentation or any other suggestions for activities and programming for the conference in Chicago, the deadline is this Friday! March 21st!

We want to see you in Chicago and we want to hear what you have to say and what you care about hearing at this conference!

We Can Do Better Than This

Ummmm…. so, I’m hearing that some of my trans friends are having trouble connecting into both formal and informal safety networks!?!?!?!

WTF???

I’ve been hearing (second-hand, of course) that people are saying: “We don’t have the same kind of clients that you see” or “If you were born a man you are not welcome here.”

So what, now we’re following suit with the feminists? “You are not us, so you have to fight for yourself.” Uh-uh, nope. I’m not down with that strategy.

In a conversation with a dear friend tonight we discussed how violence translates into individual’s lives in relation to their gender and we concluded that we, as in us, ALL of us, are on the same team here. Does anybody actually think that they can keep themselves safer by engaging in the very same gender discrimination that violates female born (whatever fucking difference that makes when it comes to SAFETY) sex workers??? I mean really, can somebody make a case to me as to why it’s alright to exclude our trans sisters in the name of our own safety? I’m really not buying it.

Maybe this conversation doesn’t need to happen in-depth here at this blog- but this does need to be discussed further- somewhere, I’m open to suggestions. I know that the vast majority of people actually engaged here at BnG are of many different genders and are already in solidarity with trans workers. So I wanted to post this here and invite some positive input. I really do think that this is an issue that can be addressed and resolved among us with education and awareness.

I don’t think this is a whole-heartedly evil discriminatory thing. NO disrespect is acceptable and ignorance is not an excuse. However, I do think that as trans allies we have to reach out to other workers to inform them that ‘yes, we do share the same clients with trans workers’ (and it’s often fun when we are literally sharing them 😉 and ‘one’s gender when born does NOT exclude them from the right to BE SAFE’ C’mon women, we do get that don’t we?

All the best,

Karly

SWOP East Int. Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers Two Part online event

**Please Distribute Widely**

 

For Immediate Release                              Media Contact: swopeast@gmail.com

December 13, 2007                                               

                                                             
Sex Workers Outreach Project East

International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

Two-Part Online Event

1) Repository for International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers Projects/Pictures/Events …and…

2) Live Online Vigil

Who: Sex Workers Outreach Project East Two-Part Online Event

What: Repository for International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers Projects and Live Online Vigil 

When: Repository begins Saturday, December 15th, 5:00 PM EST and continues through Monday;

Live Online Vigil Monday, December 17th, 5 – 11 PM Eastern (2-8 PM Pacific)

Where: http://www.swopeast.blogspot.com/

Beginning Saturday, December 15th, at 5:00 PM EST, the swopeast.blogspot.com will be available for posting pictures, events, comments, summaries, reactions, etc., to events related to the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. Please post any comments or artifacts that you’d like to share and visit our blogspot to view happenings related to the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers from around the world.

On Monday, December 17th, beginning at 5:00 PM until 11:00 PM EST SWOP East will be holding a Live Online Vigil. Please join our virtual community to share your stories, mourn our sisters and brothers, and work toward a space where this violence is no longer tolerated.  

For questions or more information contact swopeast@gmail.com

 

International Harm Reduction Conference, Barcelona, Spain 2008

In May 2007, sex workers and advocates gathered from across the globe
to attend the 18th International Harm Reduction Conference in Warsaw
Poland. Last year was our first time at this event and it was quite a
success. Rachel Wotton from Scarlet Alliance- the Australian Sex
Workers’ Association-was our plenary speaker and we held sex worker
lead panels and living room sessions.
http://www.soros.org/initiatives/health/focus/sharp/events/conference_200705
24/agenda.pdf

We also had a booth that we took turns working daily during the
conference. Our topics ranged from outreach to law reform and we spoke
with hundreds of people during the conference. Now it is time to do it
again, this time in Barcelona Spain May 11th-15th, 2008.

We have been invited to create sex worker lead panels and sessions
from abstracts submitted to IHRA for 2008. We encourage
representatives from all the sex worker networks to put in your
abstracts and to keep us in the loop so we can do our utmost to get
your abstract accepted.
Please do the following two things:
1. Submit your abstract directly to the International Harm Reduction
Association (IHRA) http://www.ihra.net/ by November 14, 2007
2. after submitting your abstract to IHRA, please send us a heads up
note including your abstract and any other information about the sex
worker organization you work with to swopusa@yahoo.com and
psaunders@bestpracticespolicy.org

All entries will be notified of acceptance by Dec. There is limited
funding and please be sure to apply for an IHRA scholarship when you
submit your abstract too.

Need help shaping your abstract? Never done an “abstract” and feel
like its not for you? Contact swopusa@yahoo.com and
psaunders@bestpracticespolicy.org by Nov 1 and we’ll connect you to a
fellow advocate who can help you brainstorm your idea and shape your
abstract. Remember that there are all kinds of different roles and
venues to present at IHRA-you don’t have to have studied at University
or be a “researcher” to present about sex worker issues at this
conference.

Sincerely,

Sex Worker Harm Reduction Panel Participants

THEFT OF SERVICES = RAPE

Judge Deni says that a violent gang rape at gunpoint is an insult to what “real rape” is. And the sexual assault activist community is on board with that but how many people can wrap their heads around the idea that theft of services to a prostitute is NOT an INSULT to what real rape is…

CA PENAL CODE SECTION 261-269 should be amended to incorporate the LIVES of sex workers who are robbed, raped or ripped off. There was a time when rape between a WIFE and her (male) SPOUSE was not legally defined at all, so I KNOW that change is possible. I know that it is slow and difficult. There was also a time when most people believed that it was not even possible for a prostitute to be raped, or that when a prostitute was raped it should just be prosecuted as robbery. Today, I say it should be the other way around: ROBBING SEX WORKERS AFTER SEX ACTS HAVE OCCURED SHOULD BE PROSECUTED AS RAPE…

but Judge Deni tells us that we have so so so long to go.

but Duke University Lacrosse team tells me–

we have so so long to go.

but the Orange County cop that ejaculated on the stripper he pulled over and was NOT GUILTY tells me

we have so so long to go.

The following section, in my opinion is likely the closest protection that the law offers our situation:

261 (a) Rape is an act of sexual intercourse accomplished with a person under any of the following circumstances:
4) Where a person is at the time unconscious of the nature of the act, and this is know to the accused. As used in this paragraph “unconscious of the nature of the act” means incapable of resisting because victim meets one of the following conditions:
D) was not aware, knowing, perceiving or cognizant of the essential characteristics of the act due to the perpetrator’s fraudulent representation that the sexual penetration served a professional purpose when it served no professional purpose.

If rape is defined as any non consensual act of sexual intercourse, and the condition of consent for sex workers that perform acts of sexual intercourse is solely contingent upon payment and the payment is revoked by threat of force, fear or intimidation or by fraud or manipulation (bad checks, stolen credit cards) then the act was accomplished against the victim’s will and should be prosecuted as RAPE. I like the part about ‘professional purpose’ because it could be applied to the work of sex workers who are professionals. And it can be used to protect them without incriminating them.

Currently, prostitute lives are classified to the police department as N.H.I (No Humans Involved). Sex workers fear standing up for their human rights for fear of retaliation from law enforcement. Cops and Robbers are BOTH the bad guys and we battle them and their wrath day in and day out just to survive and/or live our dreams.

There has to be some police officers (1 or 2) that believe in justice and protecting us from violence. I hate even trying to approach the police because I have so much animosity towards them, but this situation has got to change. And I think I possess the privilege required to get some people to listen to what I am saying.

I want to set up a prostitution task force in LA like Scarlot Harlot did in San Francisco. I have approached LA Commission on Assaults Against Women (LACAAW) about this. Anyone with ideas, legal experience and/or similar passion please join me or lend your advice.

..most of the statement above was from a blog I wrote after I had been robbed. I believe that most of the bloggers on here and I share the same sentiment about this case but I’m having trouble swallowing the idea that “RAPE IS NOT AN OCCUPATIONAL HAZARD….” because I think that it is. Because it has happened to me.

After I was robbed at pseudo gunpoint, I was almost scammed for $1000 when I did a credit card transaction with a shady shady middle class suburban white man who didn’t think this dumb whore would keep her receipts or have the strength or survival skills to FIGHT BACK WITH EVERY OUNCE OF FIGHT IN MY BODY AND MY SOUL. You will NOT RAPE me again without me biting off your ear, your tongue, your dick…I will fight you until I die in prison…This same man tried to scam me on the night of the date, said he would take me to an ATM and get out cash because the credit card imprint that I had was not verified live because I didn’t have the phone number to verify it with me. It gives FUCK YOU PAY ME a whole new meaning, because when I say this–when i scream this as I am lighting your house on fire, as I am kicking you repeatedly as I cry…