Monday, May 14, 7PM
We all know that transgender, gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals (as well as those in our communities who don't identify with those terms) are involved in exchanging sexual services for money, or other necessities, also known as sex work. Whether as street-based workers, exotic dancers, pro-dommes, pornography actresses and actors, or in any other aspect, you'll find gender and sexual minorities. But, you may say, what does any of this have to do with me? Besides the impact that criminalization, violence and discrimination have on so many members of our communities who engage in sex work, the stigma connected to sex outside of heterosexual, monogamous, inside-marriage-only norms affects the lives of both queers and sex workers. Sex workers describe their work as just another profession, that is made much more difficult by government and social attitudes towards sex work. And sex workers across the US, often time with LGBT sex worker activists at the forefront, are demanding respect for their rights.
When they added the T to LGB, they really should have added SW to the alphabet soup. A significant minority of female sex workers are lesbians or bisexual in their personal life, most male sex workers are gay or bisexual, and many transgenders use prostitution to pay for the surgery. And all of these categories involve self-determination about sexuality in some way.
This workshop will explore the diversity and contradictions of the sex industry involving issues of sexuality, gender, race, class and more, with an emphasis on encouraging participants to support the sexual freedom movement and sex workers' fight for their rights. Panelists will discuss alternatives to criminalization, the maximization of health and safety for sex workers, and how feminist, queer theory, and sexual freedom discussions engage the issue of sex work.
Added by Fumio on May 10, 2007