Stigma Unbound’s “Support Your Local Sex Worker”

Below are remarks from one of our organizers at the Stigma Unbound “Support Your Local Sex Worker” event at the Museum of Sex on Monday, September 10th, 2018: 

Free LeLe! Free GiGi! Power to ALL Sex Workers Now! 

As a performer and artist myself, my politics are intimately tied to my practice and I appreciate all those tonight for whom that is the case! I’m thankful to our hosts this evening for inviting me to introduce y’all to ongoing National Sex worker-led efforts! 

I currently work with two organizations, the support ho(s)e collective and Survived & Punished NY and was previously working with Survivors Against SESTA, a couple months ago we decided to formally sunset. 

The SxHx collective consists of radical, leftist, Sex Workers and accomplices who organize political education reading groups and organize public protests for decriminalization and sex workers’ rights. We also coordinate the Justice For Alisha Walker defense campaign which demands the immediate release of our incarcerated comrade, Alisha, from Decatur Correctional Center, where she is being punished for defending herself against a violent client and surviving. Alisha is a fierce and beautiful person who’s only crime against this racist, sexist society is being a black queer woman and a sex worker. Alisha was made an example of by the cook county courts and the state of Illinois because she refused to be disposable, she fought for herself and saved the life of her fellow escort. The racist and whorephobic courts sentenced her to 15 years for surviving. We need your help to support our comrade while she’s incarcerated, follow our socials and the hashtag #FreeLeLe for more info.

S&P: is a national coalition that  includes survivors, organizers, victim advocates, legal advocates and attorneys, policy experts, scholars, and currently and formerly incarcerated people. S&P organizes to de-criminalize efforts to survive domestic and sexual violence, support and free criminalized survivors, and abolish gender violence, policing, prisons, and deportations. We do this in part by Highlighting cases like GiGi Thomas’s, Ky Peterson’s, CeCe McDonald’s, Marissa Alexandrea’s to underscore the inherently anti-survivor and racist, transphobic criminal legal system. Currently in NY we’ve begun a mass commutations campaign that’s advocating for the Governor’s office to do its goddamn job and immediately release and commute the sentences of 6  survivors. You can follow our socials and also check out the hashtag #FreeThemNY for more on how to support and get involved.

Though it has officially sunset, Survivors Against Sesta, is still maintaining a website as an archive of resources and organizing efforts as well as an IG account to promote and connect community members to events, fundraisers, protests etc. so keep referencing that platform and feel free to send relevant causes/announcements for us to signal boost.

I’m so thankful to be here tonight with these fabulous performers and holding space with all of you—our fierce community, as we honor and raise funds for the sex workers project! I’ve had the pleasure of working the fine folx from this initiative and I’m ecstatic that they are our beneficiary this evening. 

There is so much work to be done. Whether through taking to the streets to protest, showing up for radical performances and funding great causes, or participating in direct, mutual aid when community puts out a call— your support and love is seen! 

There are a myriad of organizations in the struggle for decriminalization, sex workers rights and legitimate anti-labor trafficking endeavors. It’s going to take all of us, advocating and fighting to build a better world—one that recognizes our value, humanity, bodily autonomy and agency as sex working or trading people. A world that protects our trans and GNC fam, a world that is free from white supremacy and bigotry. A world that truly believes Black lives matter. A world that fully acknowledges sex work is work. A world without police, without prisons, and without the criminalization of survival. 

These fights our central to our calls for decrim and I’m proud of how complicated, how determined and how inter-dependent our movements are! 

Thank you so much to the organizers for inviting me to be apart of such a beautiful night of celebrating community through art, resistance and advocacy!

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