Playground Conference :: Toronto :: Nov 8-10 2013

What connects us? What makes us unique? What makes us hot? Playground returns for its third year to look at all aspects of human sexuality & relationships this November in Toronto at the Holiday Inn Downtown Centre.

Playground will bring together the brightest minds in sexuality education, activism and media to examine the ways in which the sexual and erotic play a part in our everyday lives. Everyone is invited to attend from those looking to educate to those looking for education. And most importantly, those looking to have FUN!

Over the course of 2 (and a half) days, a variety of workshops and presentations will touch on things including consent, rape culture, gender identity, kink, non-monogamy, dating, sexual / relationship fulfillment and more. Playground is an all-inclusive event for every community to take part in and celebrate diversity.


2 Spirited People, Trans* Women, Sex Working Women: We have all had our identities and communities erased, misunderstood or attacked in the name of feminism. But we are powerful, resilient, brilliant feminist leaders in our own right–and tonight we come together with our allies to celebrate this!

A group of so-called “radical feminists” are coming to Toronto July 5-7. They claim that we are not real women, that we are traitors to feminism and they have attacked those who disagree with them.

RECLAIMING REVOLUTION is our night to build our communities’ connections to each other and to define and celebrate our genders & our visions of freedom and feminism for ourselves.  find the event on facebook here.


Tuesday July 2 | 519 Community Centre (519 Church street) | Free


***This workshop is intended for 2 spirited people of all genders, trans* women and sex working women***

7-7:30 PM LEAVING EVIDENCE: A COMMUNITY ARCHIVING PROJECT. Queer and Trans young people from The People Project will conduct short video interviews about how you identify & what feminism looks like to YOU!
Anonymity is available. OPEN TO ALL

-Eagle Woman Singerz
-MIrha-Soleil Ross performing an excerpt from her acclaimed play “Yapping Out Loud: Contagious Thoughts From An Unrepentant Whore”
-Panel featuring:
Mirha-Soleil Ross
micha cárdenas
Monica Forrester
Kim Katrin Crosby
-Short film on “Ho Feminism” (captioned)
-Closing Performance by… to be announced!

Mirha-Soleil Ross is an interdisciplinary artist, storyteller, writer, translator and social justice activist. She is widely known for her work in video, performance, theatre as well as for her critical contributions to transsexual and sex worker political movements and cultures. “My Métis identity is deeply rooted historically and spiritually, in the resilience of the first generations of Métis women, the clan mothers behind the mystery of our lives and our collective survival today.”

micha cárdenas is an artist, hacktivist, poet, performer, student, educator, mixed-race trans femme latina survivor who works at the intersection of movement, technology and politics. micha has been involved in creative media activism for the past ten years and currently focuses on the ways that art and activism can be combined into visionary activism. Inspired by social movements in the global south and art practices based in trans experience, micha’s approach to art and activism always challenges the separation between artist and audience, student and teacher, art and politics. micha has been facilitating workshops building on what our bodies already know to envision community based responses to violence for two years in Los Angeles, Detroit, San Jose, Milwaukee, Montreal, São Paulo and Berlin.

Monica Forrester is a 2Spirit-black sista, queer femme, adult entertainer and activist in all areas of the LGBTQ2S and sex work community. She is the winner of Inspire Person of the Year, Black Essence Award and EGALE Person of Colour Award and is currently Engagement Coordinator at Maggie’s and ED of Trans Pride Toronto–Transitioning Together.

Kim Katrin Crosby: A daughter of the diaspora, Arawak, West African, Indian and Dutch, hailing from Trinidad and living currently in Toronto. Kim is an award-winning multidisciplinary artist, activist, consultant, facilitator and educator. She has completed a residency both under D’bi Young and Buddies In Bad Times Theatre. She is co founder of The People Project, a movement of queer and trans folks of color and our allies, committed to individual and community empowerment through alternative education, activism and collaboration, and was also featured as one of Go Magazine’s ‘100 Women We Love’ in 2012 and is a current feature of The Insight Project highlighting Toronto’s game changers.

ASL interpretation for panel and performances | Wheelchair accessible | ttc tokens available to lounge members | watch online! we are working on getting this livestreamed as well


June 20th 2013 Book Launch and Party for Maggie’s: Toronto Sex Workers Action Project


Selling Sex: Experience, Advocacy, and Research on Sex Work in Canada
Edited by Emily van der Meulen, Elya M. Durisin, and Victoria Love

Doors: 7:30pm @ The Tranzac Club 292 Brunswick Avenue
Readings and Cabaret: 8pm
$5 at the door enters you into a raffle to win a copy of Selling Sex

Readings by:
Tor Fletcher, Deborah Clipperton, Jane Doe, Trish Salah

Performances by:
Wrong Note Rusty, from Boylesque
Andrya Duff, from Operation Snatch
Trixie and Beever
Judy Virago
and more…

Cabaret Hosted by:
Prostitution Herself, from Les Demimondes

Followed by: DJ L-Rock, from Yes, Yes, Ya’ll

Silent auction! Balloon pop to win big sexy prizes!

More info:
Co-sponsored by UBC Press and the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, Ryerson University

Main venue space is wheelchair accessible. Washrooms are on the main floor but stalls are narrow & only accommodate one person. For additional access info, please contact


March 11 2012 – Hu$tle & Dough: Youth, Labour and Sex

Join us for an exciting roundtable of youth sex work activists talking about youth who trade sex and celebrate the launch of the Labour issue of Shameless Magazine! Part of our month-long celebration of International Sex Workers Rights Day.

Sunday March 11| 3-5 pm | the 519 Community Centre, Room 201 | Free

Jessica Danforth (Yee)
Kyisha Williams
Phoenix Katt

Wheelchair accessible location and washrooms

Light refreshments

Organized by Maggie’s Toronto


Sex Worker Solidarity

Sunday, March 04, 2012, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM


Sex Worker Solidarity
GTWA Coffeehouse
Panelists: Kathryn Payne, Keisha Scott, Phoenix Kat, Kyisha Williams and Victoria Love.
Moderator: Emily van der Meulen

Sex workers in Toronto have been organizing for improved labour and social rights for over 30 years. And yet, we have witnessed an intensification of criminal law sanctions against sex workers’ labour activities since the mid-1980s. Despite their ongoing efforts to change social views, sex-work continues to be seen by many as illegitimate, dangerous, exploitive, and valueless.Sex workers have identified criminalization, and its resulting stigma and discrimination, as central to the problems they face. Therefore, labour organizing for better protections is inseparable from the fight for decriminalization.

This GTWA coffeehouse discussion will address how acting in solidarity with sex worker rights organizations, and supporting sex workers in their efforts to improve their working conditions and end criminalization, are important in the movement towards expanding labour rights for all.

Need to know:
– Doors open at 1:50
– Accessible on demand via portable ramp; washrooms not accessible
– Please avoid using strong-scented products due to breathing sensitivities

Tasty refreshments (non-alcoholic) and Zatoun oliveoil+za’atar dipping.


Toronto’s 7th Annual Rally for Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women

Rally Starts at 1230pm: Police Headquarters 40 College Street at Bay, Toronto
Feast at the 519 Church Street Community Centre; 519 Church Street following the Rally.
Toronto’s 7th Annual Rally for Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women

Please signs and banners about the missing and murdered women only.Tokens will be available at the rally.Raising our Voices to Demand the United Nations Investigate Missing & Murdered Indigenous women in CanadaAccording to research conducted by the Native Women Association of Canada (NWAC) under the Sisters In Spirit Program, over 600 Indigenous women have been murdered or gone missing, most of them over the last 30 years.Despite clear evidence that this is an ongoing issue, the federal government decided in the fall of 2010 to end funding to Sisters in Spirit. Instead monies in the amount of $10 million have been dedicated to a central RCMP missing person centre. The same institution – who, along with the Vancouver Police Department, failed to properly investigate Pickton in 1997 – is now at the centre of a public inquiry in Vancouver. The sham inquiry into the failed Pickton investigation has been boycotted by 20 of the 21 groups who were granted standing due to the denial of adequate funding for legal defense.Pickton, who was convicted for six murders, has admitted to killing 49 women. A total of 18 murders occurred after he was arrested and released for the attempted murder of a sex worker in 1997. This is blood on police hands, yet RCMP officers testifying at the sham inquiry state “there are few things they would change about how they did their work.”It should come as no surprise that the Committee to End Discrimination Against Women at the United Nations has accepted submissions put forward by advocates of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES) as well as the Native Women’s Association of Canada and announced their intent to launch an inquiry into Canada’s missing and murdered Indigenous women.

This inquiry procedure is used to investigate what the Committee believes to be very serious violations of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. The Canadian government, however, must consent in order for this to move forward. Alongside groups across the country, Toronto’s February 14th organizing committee comprised of No More Silence, The Native Youth Sexual Health Network, The Native Women’s Resource Centre and other Indigenous and feminist organizations will be mobilizing at Police Headquarters at 12:30 pm to show our support for such an investigation.

On February 14th we come together in solidarity with the women who started this vigil over 20 years ago in Vancouver’s DTES, and with the marches and rallies that will be taking place across this land. We stand in defense of our lives and to demonstrate against the complicity of the state in the ongoing genocide of Indigenous women and the impunity of state institutions and actors (police, RCMP, coroners’ offices, the courts, and an indifferent federal government) that prevents justice for all Indigenous peoples.

List of Feb 14th Memorial Marches in other communities:

Facebook page:

Reducing Stigma & Building Our Capacity

A FREE Workshop For Sex Workers | Jan 28 & 29, 2012 in Toronto

Are you interested in reducing prejudice and stigma against sex workers when accessing public services?

Do you want to reinforce your capacity
to do public education and enrich trainings on sex work that are offered
to outreach workers?

Do you want to develop or to improve your skills and participate in making sex workers voices more heard?


This workshop is an opportunity to
develop your knowledge as an educator, reinforce your capacity to live
with stigma, learn about the principles of popular education, and share
your knowledge and skills about sex work in trainings/education.


Toronto workshop dates:
Saturday January 28 and Sunday January 29, 2012

Facilitators: Nengeh Mensah and Chris Bruckert

Who can participate?

-ANYONE who has experience in the sex industry

-Be available for the two-day workshop

-Motivated to do public education

-Desire to reinforce your capacity and refine your discourse

-Support the total decriminalization of sex work

-Ideally you have a link to an
organization who offers the training, does education with adults and
outreach workers who offer public services (ie, classrooms,workshops,
trainings, etc.)

Email for a registration form. Registration forms are due by January 20, 2012. For more information, call Maggies: 416-964-0150 or

Places are limited. Register early to ensure your spot! You will receive a certificate for participating in the workshop.

The workshop will be held in a wheelchair
accessible location. If you have specific needs (ie translation, TTC
tokens, childcare, etc), please contact us and we will try to meet them.

provided during the workshop but you will need to cover your own travel
and expenses outside of workshop hours.


International Day To End Violence Against Sex Workers – Dec 17th

17 Reasons: Sex Workers, Reslience and Resistance

Celebrating all the creative ways we survive, thrive and live our beautiful lives!

In honour of Dec 17th–International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, the members of Maggie’s are launching a collectively-made zine featuring the writing and art-work of sex workers with street-experience.

Containing the sparkling brilliance, inspiration, humour, insight and analysis from the people who best understand the intersections of oppressions which lead to violence against sex workers–and the solutions.

Come for live readings by members of the Maggie’s Lounge & the Aboriginal Sex Workers Education and Outreach Project, drumming & to get your copy of 17 Reasons: Sex Workers, Resilience and Resistance!

Launch for 17 Reasons: Sex Workers, Reslience and Resistance
Saturday, Dec 17
4-6 pm
the 519 Community Centre (room 106, main floor)
Wheelchair accessible room & washrooms
free | light snacks | tokens for sex working community members


“Bone Weary” November 25th @ Goodhandy’s

Copied from Sasha’s column at Now Magazine:

In the mid-90s, Gerald Hannon was a professor at Ryerson when he was outed as a prostitute. I remember this happening. I was working at a place called the Chateau du Sexe in Montreal and was also a student. I remember being inspired. Inspired because I liked the idea that someone had entered the hallowed halls of the academy and still, as Holly Golightly said, “kept the candy store.”

Not only that, Gerald was in his 50s, which meant he not only kept the candy store but was selling some pretty niche goods. What I realized very quickly as this case had the media in a froth was that nobody really gave a shit what Gerald had to say about being a prostitute.

Nowadays, it seems that every gender studies professor has some sort of background as a sex worker, but then it was a scandal that put Hannon, a bright, caring and politically active man, in a very uncomfortable position.

Hannon has written for many Canadian magazines (including NOW, where he once wrote about his experiences hiring sex workers himself) and continues to do so with great insight. But he’s chosen, after 25 years, to retire from sex work. He’s hosting this landmark in style at Goodhandy’s, and it promises to be a raucous and nostalgic event, with all proceeds going to Maggie’s, the Toronto Sex Worker Action Project.

Come celebrate this lovely man, whose ad in NOW once read “working his fingers to your bone.” Onward ho, Gerald!

When: Friday (November 25), 9 pm to 2 am.

Where: Goodhandy’s (120 Church).

Cost: $5-$20 donation, with proceeds going to Maggie’s: Toronto Sex Workers Action Project.

Appearing: performers Fay Slift, Helene Ducharme and Alex McClelland.

See also Goodhandy’s events page here.


Maggie’s is organizing an evening talk with Naked Anthropologist blogger and sex worker activist, Laura Agustin. Not to be missed!

Sex At The Margins: Migration, Labour Markets and The Rescue Industry

Maggie’s: Toronto Sex Workers Action Project is proud to host Laura Agustín, an internationally renowned sex worker rights advocate and an expert on undocumented migration and informal labour markets. She will be giving a talk based on her book, “Sex at the Margins: Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry”.

Sex at the Margins questions several popular beliefs about migrants who sell sex: that they are all passive victims, that the job of selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustín argues that the label ‘trafficked’ does not accurately describe most migrants and that a Rescue Industry disempowers them. Based on extensive research amongst migrants who sell sex as well as social helpers, Sex at the Margins demonstrates how migration policy marginalises informal-sector workers and how anti-prostitution campaigns turn sex workers into casualties of globalisation.

Thursday, November 24, 2011.
7:00pm to 9:00pm

at Ryerson University (room still to be confirmed)
Access Information forthcoming | Free


Trans Day of Remembrance

Nov 18th 519 Church St Community Centre, 7-9pm

Join us for this annual event which marks and commemorates those trans members of our communities who are no longer with us. This event serves as a memorial, a protest, an opportunity for reflection and a chance to see old friends and meet new ones.

The 519 acknowledges not only transphobia as a root cause of violence in our community, but also the various forms of oppression in our culture that increase violence, and limit protections for many members of the trans community. We remember everyone lost to transphobia, racism, ageims, ableism, sex-worker stigma, classism, HIV stigma and homophobia.

Violence has impacted our communities and is not only an intentioned act – it is also an act of neglect. Violence affecting trans communities includes cuts to social spending, and depleting the social safety net.

Violence impacting trans people includes the ever decreasing pool of social services that leaves the marginalized members of society struggling on their own without affordable housing, without access to nutritious food, without access to necessary health care services, without sympathy from a Canadian government that deports trans women and men to their countries of origin even when violence will be waiting for them on their homelands.
The impact of violence on the trans communities is pervasive. For many the vulnerability is constant.

Organized by:


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  1. Pingback: From Abject to Subject: Some Thoughts on Sex Work as a Missing Link in Feminist Understandings of Sexuality « escorts are for women too

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