Tag Archives: Events

NOLA Pride Parade – SWOP-NOLA Supports LGBT Sex Workers!

Join SWOP-NOLA in the New Orleans Pride Parade on Saturday, June 21st, beginning at 7pm. 

Facebook Event Page Here – Join SWOP-NOLA in the NOLA Pride Parade!

It looks like the parade starts at Duncan Plaza, which is the park in front of City Hall (on Loyola Ave, between Perdido and Gravier) and ends at Esplanade and Bourbon.

 

SWOP-NOLA (Sex Workers Outreach Project - New Orleans) Pride Parade 2014

March with SWOP-NOLA in the New Orleans Pride Parade 2014
7pm Saturday, June 21st 2014 at Duncan Plaza in New Orleans


For (not much) more info, see the Pride website: Pride New Orleans (warning: autoplay video and audio. turn your speakers off if you’re at work or if you don’t want to startle pets and loved ones with dance-tastic tunes of…some group my Shazam app can’t identify, sorry).

We’ll have red umbrellas** for anyone who wants to carry one. Bring any LGBT-supporitve and/or SW-positive stuff you’d like. And feel free to wear something fun! But keep in mind the parade starts at the location of the “Family Day” event (Delaney & Robb Present The New Orleans Pride Festival 2014 Family Day) so there will likely be kids around, at least at the starting point. 

So, for example, maybe think twice about cosplaying as your favorite character from Behind the Green Door. Or at least bring a cover-up, which you can later remove–in a sexy striptease, of course–to reveal your badass homemade sartorial interpretation of the infamous psychedelic cum-shot. Yyyyeeeaaahhhh.

The parade is apparently officially called the Alpha Graphics/ VIP Magazine Present The New Orleans Pride Parade. See you there!

**from Scarlet Road– The History of the Red Umbrella

“The red umbrella was first used as a symbol for sex worker solidarity in 49th Venice Biennale of Art, Italy, 2001. Italian sex workers marched through the streets of Venice with red umbrellas as part of the “Prostitute Pavilion”and CODE:RED art installation by Slovenian artist Tadej Pogacar. The red umbrella march drew attention to the bad work conditions and human rights abuses they faced. Four years later the red umbrella was adopted by the International Committee on theRights of Sex Workers in Europe where it became the emblem for resistance to discrimination. Since then the red umbrella has become the international icon for sex worker’s rights around the world. It symbolises protection from the abuse and intolerance faced by sex workers everywhere but it is also a symbol of their strength.”

Tonight in NOLA! Movie Night to Celebrate Sex Workers’ Rights!

Come to the Burgundy Picture House – 4117 Burgundy (in the Bywater) this Wednesday, March 19 to celebrate the Sex Workers’ Rights movement with a film screening, keg o’ beer, and nachos!

International Sex Workers’ Rights Day was March 3rd, but that was Lundi Gras, so we’re celebrating NOW!

The main attraction: Live Nude Girls Unite!

We’ll also be showing various and sundry short sex-work themed and/or sex-worker made videos.

See you there!

Facebook Event Page – Tonight in New Orleans: Movie Night to Celebrate Sex Workers’ Rights!

Movie Night to Celebrate Sex Workers Rights in New Orleans March 19 2013

International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers 2013 in NOLA

Did you see a crowd of red umbrellas on Bourbon St. this past Tuesday? Did someone give you one of these:

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??

If so, then thanks so much for making our International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers 2013 a success!

A couple of our members made a huge banner that we can reuse for other events (one side says SWOP-NOLA, and the other says International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers):

SWOP-NOLA Banner on Bourbon St. Dec 17 2013

SWOP-NOLA Banner on Bourbon St. Dec 17 2013
We knew we were off to a good start when, before we even started making our way down Bourbon, some guy slowed his car, unrolled his windows, and cheered us on, yelling “STOP THE VIOLENCE!” and “YEAH, SEX WORKERS!” Thanks, guy in the white car!

We had a lot of fun and talked to a lot of people along Bourbon St. about SWOP-NOLA and December 17th, the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. Everyone was super cool and supportive.

I took a few pictures, but they’re not very good because I was busy and carrying a bunch of stuff. Other members took better pictures, as did people on the street. When we got to the Oz and the Pub, we met some miniature ponies (!!!!!!) and a photographer from Ambush Magazine.

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Afterwards, we met up at the AllWays Lounge for refreshments, discussion of the significance of December 17th, and of course, good old social drinking.

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If you didn’t see our writeup by Missy Wilkinson in the Gambit online, you can read it here.

If you were there and you took pictures, please email them to swop.nola@gmail.com, or send us a link to them. Thanks!

Our next BIG event will be for International Sex Workers’ Rights Day, which is held annually on March 3rd. This presents a bit of a problem for us, as Mardi Gras is on March 4th this year. But it’s nothing a little brainstorming and rescheduling won’t solve. Stay tuned for more info!

Thanks again to EROS.com, XR Brand Passion Lubes, awesome individuals who made generous donations, AllWays Lounge & Theater, and everyone who came out!

December 17th – International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers (2013)

December 17th - International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers 2013 in New Orleans

December 17th route

December 17th route (back of flyer)


Facebook Event for December 17th – International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers 2013 in New Orleans


We plan to honor and remember those we’ve lost with an event similar to a traditional New Orleans funeral.

A second line (when it’s in the context of a funeral) is a funeral procession, usually from the church to the cemetery, in which the attendants publicly celebrate the life of the deceased.  The scale of it varies depending on the community, the resources of the family/friends/community, and the popularity/importance of the deceased person, but it may be anything from a small group with a couple parasols or a handkerchief to a brass band and memorial t-shirts.

Sometimes, in cases where you can’t have an actual funeral for the person, you just have a second line.  That was the case with my roommate, who died earlier this year.  So, we had a second line that started at his favorite bar, and then we went down Bourbon St., stopping at several of the places he’d worked and partied at over the years, and ended up at another bar near my house that was a favorite of his.  Since we didn’t have his actual body and we weren’t burying him, we instead had a rickshaw-type thing with a huge picture of him, a sound system, etc. etc. When we arrived at our final destination, we hung out, had drinks, and told stories about him.

In the past few years, people have also occasionally had second lines for causes they support that are somehow at risk (Second Line for Sustainability, Second Line for Literacy, etc.)

So, our plan is to have a second line for December 17th.  We’ll start at one end of Bourbon St. and go its entire length and end at AllWays Lounge.  We’ll be carrying red parasols and wearing red.  As we make our way down Bourbon, we’ll be handing out:

1) SWOP-NOLA flyers explaining what December 17th/International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers is (including a list of sex workers murdered in New Orleans in the past few years)

2) Promo flyers for SWOP-NOLA

3) Safe-sex kits (click for example), which contain:


We feel it is important to do this on Bourbon street because:

1)  It’s the most crowded street in the city, so we we’ll have the most public exposure

2)  People are already in a setting of debauchery, and they’re happy and partying, so we are not likely to be confronted by angry, moralistic jerks

3)  Proximity to sex workers themselves:  the majority of the strip clubs downtown are on or within a block of Bourbon, and there are always street-based sex workers around

4)  Variety of populations:  one end of Bourbon is mostly bars and clubs that cater to the LGBT customer base, and the other end of Bourbon is mostly straight-male-geared strip clubs (featuring cis women exclusively)

5)  Here in New Orleans, we’ve had two relatively high-profile cases of murdered sex workers (Jaren Lockhart, who was murdered, dismembered, and thrown into the Gulf of Mexico in 2012, and Angela Erin Ball in 2009) who were employed by strip clubs on Bourbon.  There have also been several murders in the past few years of full-service sex workers, but those haven’t drawn nearly as much attention (race and gender factors probably contribute to the media’s relative non-coverage).  We therefore think that Bourbon Street is an especially appropriate setting.

The event will no longer be open to the public when we reach Krave Bistro.  We’ll have a private gathering for sex workers and allies, and we will provide a safe-space for those attending to share as they see fit.  We did an open-share-type event like this last year, and it went really well.  Musicians performed, people gave readings, people spoke, and we read a the list of names from the December 17th website.

We believe that both parts of the event are necessary.  We want to honor those who have passed and treat the subject with the solemnity it deserves, and we are sensitive to the fact that some local sex workers cannot risk the consequences that could result from a public, visible display of alliance with sex workers (hence the private, non-festive event).  But we also want to engage the public in a non-threatening, familiar, New Orleans-specific way (second line).

Any funds we receive will go to supplies:

  • about 10 cheap red parasols for us to carry during the second line (a nod to the red umbrella, obviously)
  • printing of December-17th-specific info to hand out on Bourbon
  • refreshments to provide at Krave
  • something to give the owner of Krave as a thank-you
  • promo materials for the event itself


So, that’s our plan.  Please feel free to request more info or to offer suggestions.

10/24/13 Meeting – What Happened

Our first meeting at the new space! Here’s what happened:

  1. What do YOU need from SWOP?

  2. We had a general discussion about why each of us is here, and what we’re looking for in meetings, etc.

    Some of us are here for support from our community, camaraderie, sharing of skills, and information exchange re: safety, bad clients, business, etc. Some of us are here because we want to do outreach (to people outside our community) in order to change public perception of sex workers. Many of us want to do both. And all of us want to be able to choose to participate in the things we find most important, and pass on the things that aren’t a priority for us right now.

    We want to clarify that, although some of us are “out” to our friends, family, etc., we don’t want anyone to feel pressured to be “out” or to engage with the public if they’re not comfortable doing that. And we all need to remember that, if a given member does decide to participate in a public-outreach-type even, he/she doesn’t necessarily need to openly identify as a sex worker. Lots of non-sex workers support our cause.

    One thing that may be discouraging people from participating is the image we project. The term “sex worker” is a turn-off (lol…see what I did there?) for some people, especially in this area, where it isn’t as commonly used as it is in other major cities. So, we want to start distributing additional promo materials that project a more palatable (for providers/dancers/etc. in the region) image. This might require us to design promo materials that use more discreet terms (“sex worker” is a term I absolutely love and find really empowering, but I admit that it doesn’t leave much to the imagination) and highlight our role as a community-building, support-providing, knowledge-sharing group for local providers and entertainers.

  3. Finalizing our plans for December 17th (International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers)

  4. Yay! We came up with a plan.

    On Tuesday, December 17th, we’ll have a second line down Bourbon St.. We’ll be wearing animal print and carrying red parasols (a nod to the red umbrella) and we’ll hand out info about December 17th, raising awareness about crimes committed against sex workers both locally and worldwide. We’ll also be handing out safe sex kits to promote SWOP-NOLA (scroll down for more about that). There will be jello shots.

    We’ll eventually arrive at our final location, where we’ll have a private event (for our community and allies only, not randoms off the street). There, we’ll honor those we’ve lost to violence and show appropriate respect for those whose tragedies are overlooked by systems that largely ignore (and even condone) violence against people working in the sex industry. Those attending are invited to share in whatever way they feel appropriate (readings/music/speaking/performance/etc.). Those in our community, friends, family, and allies are invited to join for one or both portions of the event. More details soon!

    A more detailed plan has been handed in to Slixa, so now we’re just waiting to see if we will be approved for funding. We may have other opportunities for funding as well (possibly through SWOP-national, etc.). We’re looking into it.

    We should also contact other local organizations to see what they’re doing.

    More details to come when we have exact times and locations finalized.

    Tips on where to get a bunch of cheap red parasols? Anyone?

  5. Promo stuff

  6. A bunch of SWOP-NOLA flyers have been ordered, but we need another set (something more…uh…discreet) for other purposes, and we need your input on that before the order is placed. We talked about this in the meeting, and a couple of people volunteered to help with this. Let’s get this done.

    Who wants to go around posting these things? Anyone work in clubs? If so, would it be cool to leave a stack in the dressing room?

    And then we have the free stuff:

    SWOP-NOLA safe sex kits (see example here) for promo include:

    • condom
    • glove
    • How-to re: using condoms correctly, with penises and toys, and how to make a dental dam from one
    • SWOP-NOLA flyer
    • Lube: XR Brands, who makes Passion Lubes, has (tentatively) offered to donate individual-use packets of Passion Lube
    • Female condom? We’ve been informed that there’s an organization in town that might have a bunch of these to donate.

  7. Fundraising

  8. Some of us enjoy being on camera; some don’t. Internet-based fundraising would be a great route because it’s pretty easy to post a link on Facebook, Twitter, etc., and if our pitch is interesting and we make it seem worthy, then people will pass it along. We haven’t nailed down any specific plans re: what, when, where, etc. on this yet.

  9. Clinic list

    • We need to mail out info flyers to each clinic. We are not eligible for nonprofit (reduced price) rates 🙁
    • If we’re going to mail stuff, we need a return address. I got us a PO box, but when I went to get the keys, they were all, “we need all this paperwork,” and I was all, “uuggghhhh…can I just get it in my name, then?” and they were all, “yeah, but unless it’s addressed to you with your name, we can’t put it in your box,” and I was all “UUUUGGGHHHHHHHHHH….” and then I left. So basically, that’s a no-go, unless I can register us with the state, etc. etc. I think I’m just going to cough up for an expensive mailbox at a privately-owned mailbox place where they don’t make you do all this legal stuff.
    • A couple of y’all volunteered to come over and help me address and stamp these things, and I’m holding you to it.
    • Once we’ve done that, we can start calling again.

And that’s what we talked about. The new space is AAAAMMMAAAAAZZZIIINNNGGGG, btw. We got a lot done in a very short amount of time, and I think the privacy had a lot to do with it.

Next meeting is Sunday, November 3rd at 5pm.