Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

March, vigil stress that sex workers' lives matter, too
by Jason Carson Wilson
2014-12-17

This article shared 7830 times since Wed Dec 17, 2014
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Sex workers and their allies gathered to celebrate life and remember lives lost on Dec. 17. Sex Workers Outreach Project ( SWOP )-Chicago began commemorating the International Day To End Violence Against Sex Workers with a march in downtown Chicago.

A program and candlelight vigil at Jane Addams-Hull House followed.

"It's important to remember the people we've lost this year and that they're important," SWOP Executive Board Member Blake Monroe said.

Monroe has been a full-service indoor escort for three years. He hoped the events since an important message to sex workers.

"There are people here, who care for you and you can come to, if you need a home," Monroe said.

Protesters stood outside Harold Washington Library Center's north entrance at around 5:30 p.m., before marching from the library to the Blue Line Monroe stop, startling holiday shoppers and business people along the way.

"Black lives matter! Trans lives matter!" they shouted. It was one of several chants.

Viva Leis was among the protesters and stressed the need to participate in the march.

"We are marginalized and our voice counts," Leis said. "If we care about LGBT rights, we have to care about sex workers' rights."

Katherine Koster, who led the march, also stressed the need to acknowledge that sex workers deserve dignity.

"I think that people involved in the sex trade are a group of people, who face an incredible amount of discrimination, stigma and violence," Koster said, noting that it's a not a group of people, which the "general population thinks about or cares about."

Violence against sex workers, according to Koster, in a broader sense, is connected to LGBT hate crimes as well as the criminalization of people of color.

"It was really important that we make that public," she said.

Marlene—pronounced like Miss Dietrich would—Dix shared her story. She acknowledged that her journey differed from many sex workers.

"I have a story, but mine is a definitely an exception," she said. "I'm alive because of my White privilege."

Dix has worked as an inside escort for 10 years. She shared her story, which has included violence and trauma, during a 7 p.m. event at Jane Addams-Hull House.

That violence and trauma, she said, helped forge solidarity with her fellow sex workers. But, Dix, especially, wanted to remember and honor the lives of transgender and women of color. In other words, she wanted to use her story to "rearticulate our solidarity."

Dix said one part necessity and one part curiosity led her into the sex worker industry. She became familiar with people, who stripped or were involved in domination. For Dix, community and support is just as essential as solidarity.

"Give more spaces, where sex workers actually talk," she said.

Reyna Maria, a Hyde Park native and woman of color, blew stereotypes about sex workers out of the water.

"It almost doesn't matter what strata you're in," she said. "People think your life is worth less. It's very important for us to get our stories out."

Her parents so support her decisions. Although her father still struggles with her reality. He wants Reyna to go to law school. Her mother, on the other hand, just wants to know that she's staying safe.

Reyna Ortiz, a transsexual sex worker, owned her position as a role model.

"I want to bring light to transsexual sex workers and our community," Ortiz said.

She stressed that people shouldn't assume what inspired people to enter the industry.

"Sometimes, sex workers don't have a choice and sex work becomes their life," Ortiz said. "You can judge anybody until you walk a mile in their shoes."

Sex work can often be an essential means to end—and ensuring survival.

"Some use it as a resource to progress in their transition," Ortiz said, jokingly recalling what her drag mother would say. "When there's no solution, there's always prostitution."

She asked those gathered to close their eyes and imagine being transsexual, who was standing on the strip on a cold night, and needing to make as much money as possible. Ortiz said that's the challenge transsexual sex workers face each night. Of course, there's added concern about their safety.

Viva Leis, who participated in the march, also spoke at the event. Leis noted that 174 sex workers were murdered in 2014. Recognizing that sex worker rights are human rights and pushing to decriminalize prostitution is the key.

"We need to fight back," Leis said. "We need to stand up for each other. We need unique options to our problem. Prostitution is an American problem, because it's criminalized."

Until sex work is decriminalized, having a legal ally is an important. Lam Nguyen Ho, the Community Activism Law Alliance executive director, talked about the nation's second legal clinic specifically for sex workers.

"Together, we can do something to protect sex workers," Lam said.

The attorney was once a sex worker. Nguyen Ho described being harassed by a pastor, while he stripped—in a previous life. The pastor allegedly told Lam that he was going to hell while reaching into his G-string. The sex-worker advocate remembered feeling powerless when the strip-club owners did nothing.

"[That experience] did give me a sense of just how few protections there are," Nguyen Ho said.


This article shared 7830 times since Wed Dec 17, 2014
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Brittney Griner pleads to Biden for release
2022-07-05
Brittney Griner has appealed to President Joe Biden in a letter passed to the White House through her representatives, NPR reported. In the letter, Griner said she feared she might never return home and asked that ...


Gay News

WORLD KyivPride, Romanian bill, marriage items, Cynthia Erivo
2022-07-03
Ukraine's largest LGBTQ+-rights event, KyivPride, went ahead as a peace march—in Warsaw, Poland, CNBC reported. It joined Warsaw's yearly Equality Parade, the largest such event in central Europe, using it as a platform to keep international ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Lambda Legal, N.J. politicians, funding, monkeypox
2022-07-03
Lambda Legal issued a statement about the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of a former football coach for a high school in western Washington who lost his job after praying on the 50-yard-line after games. ...


Gay News

Mental-health specialist Dani LaPlant talks feelings, LGBTQ+ rights, allies and more
2022-07-03
by Andrew Pirrotta - At a time when this country is seemingly more divided than ever, LGBTQ+ rights, and lives, are on the line. Whether it's states like Texas and Florida fighting to ban gender-affirming healthcare, or the Supreme Court ...


Gay News

Sen. Baldwin, colleagues applaud confirmation of Global AIDS Coordinator, push for global LGBTQI+ rights
2022-07-02
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen.Tammy Baldwin joined her colleagues in congratulating John Nkengasong on his recent confirmation as U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator. The lawmakers also urged Ambassador Nkengasong to ensure ...


Gay News

Attorneys discuss anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, other legal threats
2022-07-02
On June 29 at a Citywide Pride event, Elizabeth Myers and Jennifer Ecklund—partners in the Dallas office of law firm Thompson Coburn—shared insight about the unprecedented amount of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation passed this year and how it relates ...


Gay News

Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' law takes effect
2022-07-02
Florida's Parental Rights in Education law—which some have nicknamed the "Don't Say Gay" law—went into effect July 1, and some of the state's public school districts have begun rolling out new policies to limit LGBTQ issues ...


Gay News

New MAP analysis: How states rank on voting & democracy compared to LGBTQ equality
2022-07-01
-- From a press release - As we wrap up Pride Month, we at the Movement Advancement Project (MAP) are sharing new analyses utilizing our LGBTQ Equality Maps, which track 50+ LGBTQ state laws and policies, and our new Democracy Maps, which ...


Gay News

ACLU files case against Indiana's anti-trans law
2022-07-01
On July 1, a law banning transgender girls from playing on girls' sports teams in schools went into effect. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has asked for an injunction on the law, WTHR reported. On ...


Gay News

VIEWS How same-sex couples can ensure parenting rights if Supreme Court reverses Obergefell
2022-06-30
By Jeffery M. Leving - After the U.S. Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade last week, many are now wondering if the court would go after same-sex marriage next. Justice Samuel Alito, in his majority decision, wrote that nothing in its ...


Gay News

Ketanji Brown Jackson becomes first Black woman on U.S. Supreme Court
2022-06-30
On June 30, Ketanji Brown Jackson marked a milestone in U.S. representation when she was sworn in as the first Black woman in history to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court. She also becomes only the ...


Gay News

Ricky Martin at center of $3M lawsuit
2022-06-30
Superstar singer/actor Ricky Martin has been sued by his former talent manager, Rebecca Drucker, Deadline reported. Drucker was Martin's manager during 2014-18 and 2020-22. The complaint, filed June 29 in Los Angeles Superior Court, seeks in ...


Gay News

R. Kelly sentenced to 30 years
2022-06-30
On June 29, Chicago-born R&B superstar R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, The Chicago Tribune reported. The sentence marked a fall from grace after decades of sexual-misconduct ...


Gay News

GLAAD responds to HHS announcement to combat monkeypox virus outbreak
2022-06-29
-- From a press release - (June 29, 2022) - GLAAD responded to the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) just-announced strategy to mitigate the spread of monkeypox virus (MPV), which includes prioritizing vaccinations for ...


Gay News

Wisconsin governor challenges abortion ban
2022-06-29
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul have filed a lawsuit seeking to block the state's 173-year-old ban on abortions, asking a state court to declare the law unenforceable, ABC 7 Chicago reported. In ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.