Last week was so incredibly busy I’m amazed I was able to keep up with everything I had to do. I knew at the beginning that it would be busy work-wise because I had a solid schedule of appointments, but I had no way of knowing that on Wednesday the pigs would barge into the lives of Seattle sex workers, uprooting one of our major advertising venues and shitting all over our reputations to the press. Of course, the excuse was “sex trafficking”; Korean sex workers in the area were denied agency, claimed to be “trafficked”, and a number of their clients, bookers and other associates were arrested. Naturally, nobody has seen any of these supposed “victims” or been allowed to talk to them, but the sheriff of King County nonetheless felt qualified to say that the members of SWOP were “delusional” for saying that advertising boards help us to build communities and screen clients. Because obviously, his magical swine-o-vision allows him to see into our lives despite the fact that he was too afraid to allow us into his press conference. But whatever he hoped to achieve by this ham-fisted attempt to shut us up was a failure; by Wednesday night, over 12 hours before his press conference, I had already appeared on not one but TWO local news broadcasts to give our viewpoint, and the sheriff and other officials were flustered and annoyed by several reporters asking them about us and our concerns. Furthermore, when the conference let out we were waiting, and most of the reporters got statements from us (as I detailed in Friday’s column). We’ve had several emergency meetings since Wednesday (the first mere hours after the seizure, ’cause we don’t work 9-5, y’all) and plenty more conversations via email and text; I think I’ve received as many text messages in the past week as I would in a typical month. As a kind of side-effect of all this, I’m even more out now than I was before; on Saturday my pedicurist told me, “I saw you on TV!” But while I’ve been hailed as a badass in my community for saying “I am a prostitute” on TV while standing in a courthouse full of cops, the truth is that I’m really just plain stubborn. I’ll be damned if I’m going to let a bunch of morally-retarded thugs tell me how to conduct my life or what motivations for sex I’m allowed to have, and I’ll be thrice-damned if I sit by and let credulous ignoramuses slander my sisters and endanger all our livelihoods. I may not be able to win against the colossal machine of prohibition, but by Aphrodite I’m going to go down fighting. And even if they crush me, I’m not going to suffer in silence.
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