After deliberating for nine months, a five-judge panel of the court is faced with the task of deciding whether or not to decriminalize three anti-prostitution provisions on the basis that they actually endanger prostitutes rather than adding to their safety.The decision under appeal struck down the laws governing pimping, keeping a brothel and communicating for the purposes of prostitution.
With the dangers inherent in the sex trade, a trio of downtown Toronto organizations have come together to help make the streets safer.
The Safer Stroll Project came about through collaboration between the Bad Date Coalition, Regent Park Community Health Centre and Street Health Community Nursing Foundation. Over the past three years, the group has helped 25 sex workers learn about safety and move toward personal improvement whether they choose to continue working the streets or not.
by Andrea Houston
Ward 27 Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam says she’s surprised so many people in the Homewood Ave neighbourhood rejected a proposed turn restriction, a move that would have attempted to curb sex work in the area.
Of the 1,800 ballots sent out to area residents, Wong-Tam says 200 were returned. Of those, 52 percent were opposed to the turn restriction, while 48 percent supported it.
Wong-Tam has decided not to move forward with the restriction, which would have stopped drivers from turning onto Homewood Ave from Wellesley St E between 11pm and 6am.
UPDATE – Nov 28: Twenty years ago Gerald Hannon described himself as a satisfier of human need, whatever that need may be, in a poetic love letter to sex work.
He read the essay on stage at his retirement party Bone Weary: A Fond Farewell to the Sex Trade at Goodhandy’s Nov 25.
“Prostitution has been the splendid discovery of my middle years,” he says.
Nov 27: As Gerald Hannon cheerily welcomed friends to his retirement party at Goodhandy’s Nov 25, video of a younger Hannon, wearing only a balaclava while masturbating, appeared on a screen behind him.
The backdrop to Hannon’s party, Bone Weary: A Fond Farewell to the Sex Trade, included a video montage of images from Hannon’s life during his years as a sex worker, put together by friend and video artist Peter Kingstone.
“They’re not all of me jerking off,” Hannon grinned. “There’s soft-core videos, art films, gay wrestling. There’s another of me on a pogo stick. I’m fully clothed in that one.”