Update: Meetings, HRW survey, NOLA Pride, Desiree Alliance, etc.

Hello Everyone!  Hope you’re all happy, well, and sitting pretty on a pile of cash.

In this update:

Regularly Scheduled Meetings:

Since we’re all so busy, and it’s difficult to schedule meetings that everyone can attend on short notice, we should probably start having regularly scheduled monthly (or twice-monthly, to give more people the opportunity to attend) meetings.  I’m chronically disorganized, so when I’m busy with business and personal stuff, months seem to fly by.  So, let’s start scheduling these things ahead of time so that we can regularly check in with each other to discuss pertinent issues (or just have coffee/drinks and discuss True Blood).

Human Rights Watch survey:

So, remember when I said that we’d be sending out a link to a completely anonymous online survey from Human Rights Watch about access to health services (and other stuff) for sex workers?  Well, that survey is up. Email us if you’d like to take it, and we’ll send you a link to the survey.

They’d like responses from a variety of local providers.  After they collect and review all the responses, they want to make suggestions to the government about how to make HIV services (prevention, treatment, etc.) better in New Orleans. I just filled the survey out, and it took less than 5 minutes, so if you have a few minutes to spare, please do!

NOLA Pride Fest:  NOLA Pride is June 21-24!!

The Pride parade is June 22nd, beginning at 6pm at Washington Square Park, and we’ll be there.  Anyone can join in the parade, on foot or on bike or in a vehicle, etc. (or on a float, but that costs a ton of $$$), and it might be cool to make cute/funny/informative “throws” to hand out to people on the street.  If you’d like to join us (or if you have other ideas about what we should do), please email us!   Check out the Facebook event page for more info.  There’s a “Family Day” event at Washington Square Park earlier that day (1pm-5pm), so I guess whatever we do, it should probably be low-key, as there may be kids and grandmas there.

There’s also the Queerlesque! Pride Benefit show for Women With a Vision on June 21st at the AllWays Lounge, which I will be attending, because Queerlesque is awesome and Women With a Vision is a damn worthy cause.

Desiree Alliance Conference in Vegas:

The Desiree Alliance conference is July 14th-19th in Las Vegas.  A few of us are going–let us know if you’d like to share accommodations with other NOLA SWOP members!

Miscellaneous:

  • reminder: we do have an account on SafeOffice.com for you to use.  If you’d like to view/use the blacklist, hotel reviews, and resources on the site, please email us for the account username and password.
  • SWOP in Sydney, Australia has their annual Hookers and Strippers Winter Ball tomorrow.  We should totally do something like this in New Orleans this year.
  • Yesterday was International Sex Worker’s Day.  I celebrated by cleaning my house, because I had no idea yesterday was anything special or important.  Woops.  Let’s try that again next year.
  • We need a new name.  Why?  Because while we’re a chapter of SWOP, I think the sex work “community” in New Orleans is unique.  Plus, SWOP-NOLA is hard to pronounce (I say “swap,” but I hear other people say “swoop,” “swope,” and even “ess doubleyou oh pee”).  My goal is to do this within the next month so that we can apply for nonprofit status and join NSWP and some other groups.  Unfortunately, “Red Light NOLA” is apparently taken by some tour company that seems to imply that the red light district was in the French Quarter (it wasn’t; Storyville was where the Iberville Housing Projects are now, and I assume they’re not taking tourists for sightseeing trips there).  Other suggestions?
  • I’d like to create a list of sex-worker-friendly clinics and healthcare providers in the NOLA area.  This would involve lots of phone calls and emails, etc.  Anyone wanna help?