Call for Performers: San Francisco Sex Workers Film and Arts Festival Cabaret

During every Sex Worker Festival we have a cabaret variety show at SOMArts Gallery to showcase sex workers’ live performance. We prioritize a variety of media and encourage diverse participation and especially encourage street-based workers, trans, queer and sex workers of color.

We have a small stipend to pay performers, and are especially interested in showcasing performance artists who have not traditionally performed in the festival or other sex worker arts festivals in the past.

Each act will have a maximum 10 minutes, and performers are required to attend a dress rehearsal two weeks before opening night.

To submit your work, please send us the following:

-A short description of your performance

-Any videos, recordings, or photographs of your act (not required, but if you have any, that would help!)
-A brief explanation why you think your performance is suitable for the Sex Worker Film & Arts Festival

-Any tech, space, or equipment needs you have
Please send your info before May 1, 2011 (especially for promotional deadlines).

If interested in performing, please call 503-348-7666 or email sexworkerfest(at)gmail.com.

Nina Hartley and Margo St. James host Prop K Benefit Party! (plus easy donation button!)

Sexual Politics and Sexy Politicos
Hosted by Nina Hartley, Margo St. James, Sadie Lune, Scarlot Harlot, Carol Queen (and many more!)
Friday, Sept 19th,
8 PM-midnight  Sliding Scale from $20-$100 to benefit Prop K
September 19th, 2008
Center for Sex and Culture
At 1519 Mission St. San Francisco (In Between 11th and South Van Ness)
Come early to join Margo at the St. James Infirmary Open House @ 5:30 PM
just down the block at 1372 Mission St
Friends,
I wanted to send you this excellent op-ed which appeared in our paper today.  I also link a very bad editorial against us at the bottom of the page, which is not accurate (of course).
We set up a donor button on YesOnPropK.org, so do visit if you are so moved…even $5 will help towards printing, but $20 or even more would help even more…

Proposition K to Decriminalize Prostitution in San Francisco Endorsed by the Democratic Central Committee

When Scarlot Harlot put out the rallying call, we listened.

With only two days notice, a sizable group of sex workers, allies, and supporters showed up last night to the public testimony meeting of the DCC to solicit endorsement for the newly named Prop K. Each speaker had one minute to plea their case ranging from endorsing Eric Quezada for District 9 Supervisor (that advertising worked on my susceptible mind; I heard his name so many times I’m sold!) to a large group of mostly Asian high school students and their teachers testifying to the  importance and positive impact on students’ lives of the Junior ROTC. That was an amusing intersection for sure, as well as a depressing eye-opener; apparently the only way these children are learning life skills, self-confidence, structure, as well as getting male African American role-models (mentioned several times as 75% of the JROTC counselors or teachers or Sargents or whatever the term is are African American men) is through this military based model.

Anyhoo, the hos came out in force and had a consistent string of voices heard throughout the beginning of the clusterfuck that was the sign-up process (There was literally a yellow legal pad and a first-come, first served policy for signing up to speak, which meant that all of the speakers for all of the topics petitioned were all mixed together, and adults are not necessarily sensible nor fair about this sort of thing).  Our opposition; including Melissa Farley and her cronies, did not show up until about half way through the speakers and were still outnumbered by the impassioned assemblage of well-spoken supporters by quite a margin. Maxine Dougan videotaped the proceedings, and among the speakers were: Robyn Few, Patrasha, Lady Monster,  Maxine Dougan, Melissa Gira, Scarlot Harlot, Scarlot Harlot’s mom, Violet Palmer, Bacchus (representing the client’s perspective) as well as many other sex workers, the founder of the City Clinic, a number of lawyers and several other articulate, professional looking men to lend that special brand of validity to those who need  articulate, professional looking  men to believe the good word. I spoke and passed out several of the “Brief Lesson on San Francisco’s Historic Whores”cards,  which detail some of the contributions of sex workers throughout SF’s history.  These flyers were made for the Sex Worker Pride Float and available at the Desiree Alliance Conference in Chicago, and the panel seemed to enjoy reading them throughout the proceedings.

Despite two incidents of furor over our presence, the panel listened more or less intently and seemed to take us fairly seriously, in fact at one point one of the panel members asked for a copy of the legislation from us but no one hand one on hand.  The first incident was when a panel member spoke in the middle of the public testimony to the chair, informing him that as the chapter of the DCC for the city, they really had no jurisdiction over the prostitution decriminalization issue and were obliged to follow the lead of the decision of the California DCC, or something to that affect. Basically it seemed like this gentleman just did not want to hear any more about the measure and wanted to let us know we were barking up the wrong tree, though many of his colleagues made “what the hell is he talking about!?” and “oh, gimme a break” faces at his interruption. The second incident, which seemed somewhat juvenile, occurred after one supportive speaker brought up the point that statistically there were likely several former sex workers and former clients on the panel who couldn’t speak up about their position based on stigma. This broke the proceedings for a moment so that the majority of the panel could have a could chuckle over that ‘improbability’ and jokingly speculate, accuse and lay false claim to their involvement in the industry as sexual laborers or consumers.

At about 10pm I got the call from Scarlot that the DCC had decided to endorse Prop K, created by the Erotic Service Providers Union,  with a 18-12 vote in favor. Currently Prop K is also endorsed by the Harvey Milk Club and the Lawyer’s Guild.

I was so proud of us, thank you to all those who came and all those who spoke, we are working to set a crucial precedent.