Those of you who don’t follow me on Twitter and didn’t see Sunday’s New York Times Magazine may have missed this, so I’ll share it here. What you’re seeing, my friends, is history being made; the staunchly-prohibitionist Times not only published a good, solid, respectful article on the sex worker rights movement, but also featured portraits of 36 real sex workers on the damned cover. And not headless stereotypes dressed in garish clothing, fishnets & sky-high heels leaning into car windows at night, either; real people (including male & trans sex workers) of a variety of body types, dressed in normal clothing. THIS is what prostitutes look like, y’all. Some of you may recognize some of these faces, and if you don’t there’s a key in that link above (where you’ll also find a slideshow featuring portraits of 24 sex workers, including me). Endza Adair (top left in white dress) wrote yesterday’s guest column, Kristen DiAngelo (between Mistress Matisse & me) is the writer/producer of American Courtesans, Savannah Sly (second row, far right) is the president of SWOP-USA…and those are just the ones y’all have heard me mention before. Matisse worked with writer Emily Bazelon since the autumn (and appeared on this radio show with her yesterday), and Savannah organized photo shoots all over the country to create this article; to the Times‘ credit, it invested a lot of time and money in this, and it shows. The sex worker rights movement is on the rise. We’re tired of being relegated to the shadows, tired of being spoken over and misrepresented, tired of being treated as criminals, victims, mindless children or a social disease. The watershed moment is past; though many probably can’t see it yet, all the people who actually think about things instead of believing some scripture without proof now recognize that prohibition in general, and prohibition of private sexual behavior in particular, are evil and destructive to society. Anti-whore laws will die, and decriminalization will come. It won’t happen in the next few years; it may not even happen in my lifetime. But it will happen, and the history books will show 2015-16 as the turning point. And I’m very proud to have played a small part in it.
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