December 17th Vigil at Center For Sex And Culture in San Francisco

On December 17, 2008, about forty-five of us (sex workers, allies, a few Johns, and some others) gathered to remember sex workers who have been (or will become)victims of violence of various kinds; rape, murder, arrests, police brutality, suicide when facing jail time, robbery… and hate crimes. The Center for Sex and Culture was a lovely, safe, and comfortable environment for our ritual—- sexy even– with all its velvety couches and an exhibit of lively paintings of Madison Young in bondage! It felt like a sex worker safe house.

Half the folks that attended had marched up from the jail a few blocks away doing a “politically focused peaceful action” carrying signs and lit candles with photos of our dead on them. They had the most beautiful signs and candles I’ve ever seen at such a march. When the marchers got to the CSC they placed their signs around an altar-like table we had created with calla lilies, photos, candles, sage, and other items of meaning. It was a powerful visual, and the energy in the room was palpable.

For about an hour and a half, we passed ’round a microphone to share our thoughts, feelings, realizations, memories, writings, ideas, stories, and more. There were several musical interludes from music Lady Monster had picked out. There were some tears, laughs, some anger, fears released, hope given, ideas bandied, and more. Reverend Jen did a lovely closing.

It was a wonderful group of folks, and I felt really great about having done this event. Many of us have never been victims of violence, but its good to once a year acknowledge the sad truth is that some of us are. It felt good to feel connected with all the other vigils and events on this International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. I was a bit worried that some of the working whores might get scared and paranoid from the readings of the names of the dead–it was heavy. But perhaps its good to have a reality check. And as Dolores French once said, “Working in a convenience store or as a taxi driver is more dangerous than being a whore.”

Attached is a photo taken of a few of us just after our memorial; Kirk Read, Madison Young, Carol Queen, Reverend Jen, Mistress Minax, myself and others. As far as I know, there wasn’t any press. But that’s OK. We didn’t push for it either.

Next year I’ll be happy to facilitate something happening again. (The Christmas caroling idea is a good one.) Observing this annual event warms my heart and soul and ultimately makes me feel happy and well balanced. Hope it was good for you too.

In whore solidarity,
Annie Sprinkle
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March in Washington

Over 100 people are marching the streets of washington, DC right now!

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Thanks to @furrygirl for the picture, and more live pictures can be found here.

There are many more events happening all around the world today, for December 17th, International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.

Update on Prop K.

SFGOV: At 9:13 PM with 112 of 580 (19.31%) precincts reporting here are the results so far:

Yes on K: 30,568 votes 42.97 %

CBS5.com says 61% no with less than 1% reporting.

@ 9:46 PM from SFGOV:

MEASURE K
366 out of 580 precincts (63.10 %)

Votes Percent
Yes 64,149 43.14 %
No 84,548 56.86 %


@10:17PM from SFGOV: no 58 / 42 yes with 98% reporting for Prop K

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.

International Aids Conference, Pre Conference for Sex Workers.

It’s the first evening and Welcome Reception for the Universal Action for the Sex Work Inclusion Pre-Conference meeting about Sex Work, which is an Official Affiliated Event of the International Aids Society. which is part of the International Aids Conference in Mexico City.

For me this is HUGE. This is my first time with the International Sex Worker Movement. About 170 Sex Workers had dinner together, and it was awesome! I’m feeling very overwhelmed, crowds of people always do that to me though. But how amazing is it for 170 International Sex Workers to come together and talk about rights for Sex Workers! I’m awed, the whole thing is paid for, free to all of us, including Hotel Rooms, Food, everything! It’s VERY awesome! Everyone has been really nice so far, and there was a whole table full of Transgendered people, and another great table or two of Men. So there is some representation from us “others” in the movement. The entire contingent of US Sex Workers is not all here yet, but we are growing in numbers.. 3 so far with more to come!

Great Energy, wonderfully well put on so far. They’ve JAM PACKED the schedule however with Breakfast starting @ 7:30 AM, and running until 8 or 9 PM! Very Long days ahead!! The last day of the conference ends in a March against Homophobia! Robyn and I are very excited as well as the Cambodian Male Sex Workers! So much more to report, but I’m sleepy sleepy, long days ahead, and I didn’t get to fully recuperate from the DA conference. I’m going to try and not work so hard this conference, just take it all in and stay quite. That’s my plan. I’m hoping after the march to go visit the Basilica Of Guadalupe. I’m not a catholic, but my best friend is enamored with the Virgin of Guadalupe, and has gotten me intrigued and interested. I wish my friend could be here to visit with me!

Sex Workers at San Francisco Pride!

** Please distribute widely!

Sex Workers and Allies will be out and proud with SF Pride this year, come see all the great things we are doing:

Saturday June 28th, 2008:
* Sex Workers Outreach Project USA will be @ the Dyke March, Sat. June 28th, 2008. It’s located @ 18th & Dolores. (16th st mission BART, or 18th & church muni stop) Starting about 3PM, with the march starting @ 7PM. Come help us carry our banner in the march or hang out under our Umbrella.
* We will also have a booth at SF pride (C12 on Grove between larkin & Market) starting @ NOON and ending at 6PM (Civic Center BART). We will be sharing this booth with ESPU-CA, which will be collecting signatures for the upcoming vote to decriminalize prostitution.
Sunday June 29th, 2008:
* Sex Workers, SJI, CSC and others will be riding a trolley Gold Rush Style down Market street starting @ 10:30 AM from Market and Beale (Embarcadero BART) down Market and finishing on 8th St (Civic Center BART). Costumed Ho’s and allies welcome to join the contingent, to get the most updated info email Sadie at sadiewantsawife@gmail.com
* SWOP-Norcal will be serving drinks from booth B5 (Civic Center BART – on Golden Gate st near Polk st — in between federal and state building), noon till 6PM. We still need volunteers, definitely come help!! email: vafeldman@ucdavis.edu
* SWOP-USA will have a booth (C12 on Grove between larkin & Market) with ESPU (again collecting signatures) from NOON till 6PM. Come by our booth and say hi!
We will have amazing Professional Bumper Stickers and t-shirts for donation, and will have pamphlets, flyers, Legal and Know Your Rights information and amazing people(with a few Celebrities!) hanging out and spreading the Sex Worker Rights Message!
For more information email: tara@swopusa.org.