Tag Archive | trans

D.C. Gay Activists Fighting Prostitution-Free Zone Bill

By: Armando Trull // January 24, 2012
&nbsp;<br /><br />
A sign designating an area of downtown D.C. as a prostitution-free zone.
A sign designating an area of downtown D.C. as a prostitution-free zone.

A controversial bill that would allow the city’s police chief to set up permanent prostitution-free zones will be taken up this morning by the D.C. Council. The bill lets police detain and arrest people suspected of engaging in street prostitution. Some of city’s gay activists are planning to fight the measure.

Transgender rights activists say the proposal to establish permanent prostitution free zones in the District is a thinly veiled attempt to drive transgendered women out of neighborhoods, regardless of whether they are sex workers or not. Currently, the Metropolitan Police Department can only set up a temporary zone that lasts 10 days.

Activists made a video this week to raise awareness of the bill and are planning to fight the legislation. Rubi Corrado is one of those activists. “These police officers are going ot have to make a choice, to address and arrest young individuals that are on the street trying to survive, or addressing real criminals, seasoned criminals,” Corrado said.

Yvette Alexander, the Ward 7 Council member who authored the bill, says prostitution is running rampant in some neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River.

“We’re thinking either you make a decision, if there are going to be these prostitution free zones, then that’s my cue that I need to get out of the prostitution business,” Alexander said.

Some Council members believe the measure may be unconstitutional because the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly struck down anti-loitering laws.

Prostitution Free Zone from PJ Starr on Vimeo.

http://wamu.org/news/12/01/24/dc_gay_activists_fighting_prostitution_free_zone_bill

Advertisements

The dangers of sex work in Canada

By Andrea Houston
Every night Lexi Tronic risks her life at work.
If she gets beaten or raped, she feels she can’t call police to report the attack because – at least for now – Tronic is also a criminal.
“What happens when you’re trapped in someone’s car with the doors locked? You don’t have any options. It’s fight or flight,” she says.
Tronic is a 10-year veteran in the sex trade who has worked both on the streets and from her home, as many sex workers have, she says.
On Dec 17, the transgender and sex-worker-rights activist will join others to mark the ninth annual International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. Such violence is a pervasive problem that is largely preventable and often ignored, she says, noting that most violent crimes against sex workers go underreported, unaddressed and unpunished.

Trans Day of Remembrance: Thoughts on the erasure of Trans Women & Sex Work

innerfatgirl:

Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance. In her article Undoing Theory Viviane Namaste notes that “TDOR is an annual occasion to take stock of the violence to which trans people are subjected. Taking place in the United States and internationally, activists organize candlelight vigils, political rallies, and social activities as a way to recognize and denounce this violence” (2009, p. 16). This is a sad day for me, and for so many. Jessica and I lit a memorial candle this morning that will burn for 26 hours, and we said some words and held some silence together to start off our day. We talked a bit afterwards and I want to share a little bit about our discussion this morning. I think it is important for us to remember those who have been killed, while also bringing to light the gendered and classed contours of the violence that trans people face.The fact that many of the people who are murdered are trans women who engage in sex work is a very important aspect of TDOR and transgender violence that we often gloss over. It is important to remember that often white ‘western’ queer communities erase the experiences of trans women. And erase them and erase them and erase them. When it comes to TDOR, trans women who are engaging in sex work consist of a disproportionate amount of murdered transgender people.

Continue reading

Trans sex workers still most vulnerable NEWS / Former sex worker turned activist preparing for Trans Day of Remembrance

Morgan M Page sometimes wishes she could reach back and hug her 12-year-old self: a lost and confused drug-addicted trans sex worker on the streets of Hamilton.

Page, 24, now leads trans programming at Toronto’s 519 Church St Community Centre, including the annual Trans Day of Remembrance on Nov 18. The event commemorates trans people who have been murdered.

“If you look at the list of names that we read on Trans Day of Remembrance, almost all of them are trans sex workers of colour,” Page points out.

Rose Osborne, a Winnipeg trans woman, was murdered in 2008. In 2010, police in Winnipeg arrested a Saskatchewan man in connection with the murder of another trans sex-trade worker in 2004.

According to numbers released by the Trans Murder Monitoring project in 2010, there have been more than 420 reported murders of trans people internationally since 2008, which means a trans person is killed every three days.

Continue reading

Sex Werk – article by Morgan M. Page

Being a trans hooker is hard work these days. Not only do you have to navigate a potentially dangerous work environment, try to stay out of the criminal justice system, possibly deal with being HIV+, often live precariously without immigration status in the country you work in, worry about violence and harassment from other sex workers, and deal with a society that puts so much stigma onto your profession that you might not be able to get stable housing, you also have to hear just about every non-sex working trans person alternately use your existence as a political pawn in their campaigns for middle-class privileges (often called “rights”) and condemn you for either being a victim or making the movement look bad. As I said, it’s hard work.

Here are some of the dumbass things you’re probably going to hear regularly when you enter non-sex working trans spaces, especially trans activist spaces (and these activists will, of course, lament the lack of involvement from sex workers in their efforts).
Sex work is perfectly fine as a choice, but we need to talk about how survival sex work and “trafficking” are hurting our community!

What they’re actually saying here is that sex work is fine if you have an MA in Women’s Studies and work in queer feminist porn (which they can happily jerk off to without feeling like bad feminists). These same people usually have only a tenuous grasp on the concept of trafficking, probably don’t have any sex workers in their close circle of friends (unless they have the aforementioned MA in Women’s Studies). They are quick to become angry if you suggest that coercive sex work is actually rare, statistically, or that you chose street sex work because it made sense for your life at the time.

All sex work is survival sex work, in exactly the same way that I could describe all jobs at McDonald’s as survival food service jobs.

I wish the media would stop making it look like we’re all hookers!

I actually hear this as: you sex workers are making the rest of us look bad! How will my parents/grandmother/best friend/dog ever accept me if they think that I’m a HOOKER?

Let’s be real for a minute. Media representations focusing on a single stereotype suck for every oppressed or underrepresented group. That’s totally fair. What’s not fair is when the rest of the community backlashes against this by trying to distance themselves entirely from those represented by the stereotype. At the end of the day, I don’t care if the fact that I and a lot of my friends are or were sex workers makes your grandmother uncomfortable. What I care about is the fact that sex work is still illegal in so many countries, leading to more violence, stigma, and murders of trans and cis sex workers, yet there’s been little effort by mainstream trans (or queer) organizations to help sex worker organizations fight for their rights. Nevermind that our entire movement in North America was founded by sex workers. Do the names Silvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson mean anything to you?

Trans Day of Remembrance is about the murders of transgender people simply for being transgender.

This happens a lot. I try to come from a place of compassion when responding to this, but my first thought is usually “You must be new here.” Trans activists will be more than willing to “fight for your rights” as long as you’re dead and they can list you on their TDOR list. Most of the organizations that hold TDOR events, especially those on college campuses (organized by the army of Aydyns), won’t mention that you were a sex worker. They won’t mention that you were murdered while doing sex work. They won’t mention sex work when they speak at the event about how hard it is to be a white, male, queer, trans University student. Won’t somebody please think of how hard that is for them?!

I am often the only person in the room at trans organizing events who has sex work experience. I know that I am there because I hold a position within the community that is seen as important and because I’m a former sex worker, rather than a current sex worker. The trans men in the room (who inevitably make up 90% of those in attendance) will often ask me, together or in private, how they can make the space more accessible to trans women and to trans sex workers. And I think about the things that they say about sex work, the way that they treat having their cis femme girlfriends in the room as being “inclusive of women’s perspectives,” and the fact that almost all of them either have degrees or are students. And I just smile say “I really don’t know.”

http://www.prettyqueer.com/2011/10/17/sex-werk/#more-2445