Feel free to add anything I forgot (just post in the comments section).
This is an abbreviated version of a more detailed record available to members of the SWOP-NOLA Google Group. That version contains some sensitive information (email addresses, first names, etc.). The SWOP-NOLA Google Group contains detailed updates including specific meeting locations, information on current projects, etc. If you’d like to access the group, please request membership here.
I applied for membership to NSWP, we were approved, and as of April 17th 2014, we are full members. Nifty pdf saying so here: CERTIFICATE OF MEMBERSHIP – Global Network of Sex Work Projects
Decriminalization of sex work was a topic at Amnesty International’s 2014 Human Rights Conference a few days ago. In a document they sent out (which is no longer available for distribution), they said:
“While the organization does not currently have a policy on sex work, it decided to initiate this consultation after considering evidence which suggests that the criminalisation of sex work leads to social marginalisation and an increased risk of human rights abuses against sex workers. The evidence also suggests that decriminalisation could be the best means to protect the rights of sex workers and to ensure that individuals involved in sex work receive adequate medical care, legal assistance, and police protection.”
They are requesting that sex workers fill out a questionnaire/survey so that they can better understand our experience in this type of work and our priorities regarding sex workers’ rights. However, in order for the answers to be useful, and in order to assure it doesn’t fall into the hands of prohibitionist groups, they’ve asked that we only distribute the survey to absolutely, positively, for-real sex workers. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in submitting your responses.
Smoke and Apple Films Documentary
Katie Green of Smoke and Apple Films contacted us requesting participants for a documentary they’re making. They intend to portray sex work in a positive light. If I’m understanding her correctly, they’re getting around the whole anonymity thing by making it animated (with audio from the interviews). We talked on the phone and she seemed legit, so I asked her to write up a brief informative pitch for y’all, and I told her that anyone who was interested in participating would contact her. Here it is: Call for Interviewees for a documentary film: The Sex Workers Project (working title)
Big ol’ healthcare project
- The easiest way for you to help with this project is to either:
- Share a link to our SWOP-NOLA Sex Worker-Friendly Healthcare Resources Survey ( https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NZP7CLH ) on Facebook, Twitter, etc., or in a post on your website or blog, or
- Send the link ( https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NZP7CLH ) to any healthcare professionals or resources you know who might be interested in participating (being listed in our directory of Sex Wroker-Friendly Healthcare Resources)
- One of our members, who has access to the world of everything medical (well, way more than most of us do), has the opportunity to work with the director of community health at Tulane in June. We talked about the possibility of her going to clinics on a sort of educational crusade re: how to be nonjudgmental, respectful of sex workers, understanding of some of our concerns, etc.
- Another member has experience doing stuff like this and creating materials. She has contacts at Breakout! and WWAV and other orgs that may want to collaborate, and she may have access to materials that might be helpful/useful.
- Everyone interested in this should familiarize themselves with the PERSIST Health Project in NY, which is basically what I envisioned this being (sooner or later) in like 2012 when I first realized there was a need for it. If you’d like to be put in contact with the members working on this project, contact us.
- Z suggested that we pin down what we’re looking for from this project, etc. because that might help guide us in the development of it.
Here’s mine: I’ve been a full-service sex worker for a few years. A couple years back, I noticed that, at least in online spaces for local clients and escorts/fbsm providers, there’s a general naivete and lack of knowledge (re: medical stuff like safe sex, signs and symptoms–or lack thereof–of STIs, myths about how HIV and other STIs are spread, etc.,) and a general distrust of healthcare providers. Some clients took advantage of providers’ lack of knowledge by convincing them to engage in high-risk behavior.
So, I wanted to have a list of healthcare providers with whom full-service sex workers could speak frankly and visit for medical concerns without the fear of being sold out to the cops, judged, lectured, shamed, etc. Later I thought about how it would be cool to have a counselor who wouldn’t blame all my problems on my work. And then I saw Louisiana Trans Advocates’ list of medical resources. Once we started working on the list of sex worker-friendly healthcare providers, and we realized that most people we contacted had no idea what “harm reduction” or “sex worker” or even “non judgemental” meant, we realized that this was a beast and we’d have to inform/educate/etc. before we expected healthcare providers to decide whether they were cool with treating us without judgement. Then I met Sarah from PERSIST last year and I was like, holy hell, that’s exactly what we need!
The more people who have gotten involved, the more complicated this project has become, which is actually good–this project seemed simple at first, but there’s a ton of shit I was overloooking. Then we lost some people, and others no longer had the time/energy (everyone assures me this is normal with SW-led orgs, but it still sucks). Then a good friend of mine (full-service sw) in NY had a terrible experience a few months ago with a doctor, and when she told me the story of the whole ordeal and how she was treated, this project became a priority in my mind again. So here we are.
- The easiest way for you to help with this project is to either:
- Here’s the list we have so far. Feel free to add to it! All of you should be able to edit it. If you can’t, let me know. https://docs.google.com/
spreadsheet/ccc?key= 0AhkPsuOfq6wDdDZYd3RwOXprZ3ZiU WZYRWJZYXVaWnc&usp=sharing
They have all been sent this info flyer: https://drive.google.com/file/
d/ 0BxkPsuOfq6wDNTZGcWU4UzBtdlU/ edit?usp=sharing
- G suggested we do a similar project for legal resources (specifically, a directory of sex-worker-friendly attorneys and other law-ish stuff.). I wanted this to exist, but I only know of like one lawyer who is sw-friendly. This would be awesome, and according to G it’s entirely possible, as she has some connections she can talk to about it.
- Also, Z will contact people he knows at Resurrection After Exoneration (I think?), which looks pretty badass.
What can we do for Monica? Fundraising? Publicity? On the individual level, we can each donate to SWOP-PHOENIX because (if I understand correctly), they’re paying her legal fees, etc. Z will print out flyers and hand them out during the anti-Easter Easter Parade (sorry, I forgot what it’s called).
More about Monica Jones:
- Check out SWOP-Phoenix’s FB post here: SWOP-PHX attends talk by Dominique Roe, professor of Social Work at ASU & director of Project ROSE, the prostitution diversion program responsible for Monica’s arrest.
- ACLU Interview with Monica Jones: Arrested for Walking While Trans: An Interview with Monica Jones
- Jezebel: Activist Monica Jones Found Guilty of “Manifesting Prostitution”
- PolicyMic: Monica Jones Was Arrested for “Walking While Trans.” Now Thousands Are Fighting Back