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PASSAGES Social-justice activist, dominatrix Mistress Velvet dies
by Carrie Maxwell
2021-05-21

This article shared 3454 times since Fri May 21, 2021
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Social-justice activist and dominatrix Mistress Velvet (who used they/them pronouns) died by suicide May 9 in Chicago. They were 33.

Among Velvet's other occupations were Black liberation practitioner, sex and pleasure educator, and "communist hooker." They were also a Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP-USA) executive director as well as an education and training director for Resilience, a not-for-profit organization that supports survivors of sexual violence.

In a recent interview with Huffington Post, Velvet talked about their journey as a professional BDSM dominatrix where most of their clients were white straight cisgender men. What made their sessions unique was assigning Black feminist theory essays like Patricia Hill Collins' Black Feminist Thought, Audre Lorde's Sister Outsider, Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow and related authors/works to their clients. These clients would have to read the essays outside of the sessions and then be ready to talk about them at subsequent sessions.

"Brave Space Alliance (BSA) is devastated to confirm the passing of Mistress Velvet, an icon in our community, and a pillar in the fight for Black, trans and sex work liberation," stated BSA leadership in a Facebook post. "Velvet was one of the earliest supporters of BSA, even serving on the first iteration of our Board of Directors. They should be remembered as a revolutionary African feminist, an ardent communist, and a guiding light for many in our collective struggle. They were many things, to many people, and they will be sorely missed. Rest in power."

A memorial service was held May 15 at First Lutheran Church of the Trinity, 643 W. 31st St.


This article shared 3454 times since Fri May 21, 2021
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