Quote Of The Week

by suzyhooker on August 17, 2014 · 2 comments

in Quote of the Week

[W]hat I’m talking about today is that conference after conference happens and personality after personality is elevated to having these super large platforms where they can speak, and there is a glaring absence of color when it comes to sex work.

Name me one person of color – and I’m not even talking about just Black people – one person of color woman, man, cis, trans, I don’t care, fat, skinny, ugly, pretty, tall, short, I don’t care. Name me one person of color who is or has been a sex worker who is a go-to personality to speak on sex work.


And that absence is deafening….I have a problem with the fact that we are continually erased and ignored – even though we’re here. Talking out loud! You can go on twitter, and you can follow them – They are intelligent, amazing, they have a presence! They will hook you… because they are wonderful people. And… and nobody really cares what we’re talking about…

But I think this conversation needs to evolve. Because if we keep it where it’s at, it’s stagnant and it’s not going to do any good.  It needs to evolve – and it needs to evolve with diversity. It needs to evolve with color. It needs to evolve with gender, and appearance, and weight, and all the things we ignore every day so we can put the white lady on stage again.

-Tits and Sass contributor Peechington Marie in “Be Careful With Your Hand, You Don’t Want It Bitten Off-Annie Sprinkle, Fantasies That Matter, Sex Work, And Erasure of People of Color” at her tumblr

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda August 18, 2014 at 10:31 am

I won’t be very popular by pointing this out, but here goes. Getting known to mainstream media is WORK. Writing books is WORK. (Books aren’t just dumped on someone’s head from the sky — the author put a lot of time and effort into writing them.) This is true is any field, much less something as stigmatized as sex work. Then there’s the whole lovely public-exposure aspect. Most sex workers do not want to sign up for any of that.

Generally, those sex workers who are frequently quoted in mainstream media have worked hard for a long time to get to that point. Anyone willing to put in the hours and effort will have the same results — it just takes years. It’s sort of like the “overnight success” of an actor who has been working hard for the past 10 years.

Tracy Quan is a sex worker of color. So is Markio Passion (though I don’t know that she’s courted media attention as a goal). And there is an annual conference put on by a black escort whom I assume has decided not to persue media attention. Those are only 3 examples off the top of my head. I’m sure there are more examples that I’m missing. All three of these women have done a lot of work to get where they are. Tracy Quan is obviously the best-known of this group, she’s also been writing and in the public eye the longest. It’s her investment of work and time. (I’m writing this from a US perspective about US sex workers. Obviously other countries DO have sex workers of color who are known to their media.)

I have no doubt that any sex worker who wants to invest the hard work and years into building her platform will reach her goals. I don’t know that sex workers of color are prohibited from making the effort (which requires more than a Twitter account). The media not only likes talking to sex workers, they like fresh faces too. But they are lazy and will choose someone who has some experience in speaking with media (which is why reaching Tracy Quan’s level takes years). The pool of sex workers who have made themselves available to the media is very small and there’s plenty of room to add more. It’s a 100% volunteer thing.


Evie August 19, 2014 at 1:41 pm

To be clear, your argument is that people of color in the sex work activist community are underrepresented because they’re just not trying hard enough? As if everyone has an equal amount of resources to “volunteer”?

You cannot talk about workers rights, or whorephobia, or decrim, and leave race and racism out of the conversation. If you can’t recognize how structural forces such as racism create or deny access to things like education and control of one’s media representation, you need to take a step back and read some bell hooks. I could explain more but instead of another white woman taking up space in the conversation, read Peechington Marie’s tumble to start, and go from there.

This movement will be a failure as long as those of us with the most privilege – aka cis white women, typically college educated – respond to people of color, immigrants, trans* folks, drug users, and street hustlers when they dare to call us on our own tactics of silencing (unintentional or not) and try to claim their rightful space in the public conversation, with a dismissive, “well, you must not be trying hard enough.”



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