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Announcing SWAAY: Sex Work Activists, Allies, and You (with stuff you can do to help!)

Originally posted at Feminisnt.com

As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, I'm going to be starting a new sex workers rights project.  The name I've chosen for it is SWAAY, which stands for Sex Work Activists, Allies, and You.  Of all the names I considered, I picked this one because it best explains what I want to do in two ways: outreach for normalizing sex worker politics into people outside the ho bubble, and SWAAY also works as a descriptive for what the aim is - swaying public perceptions.  (My original idea of "SWAY" was cock-blocked because sway.org was already taken, so I'm just adding an extra "a" and going with SWAAY/swaay.org.)

The aim of the project is accessible outreach to American audiences.  As it says on the "coming soon" page on swaay.org, the (tentative) tagline is,

Advocating for respect, understanding, and change by bridging the information gap between sex workers and the public.

I truly believe that the most important thing that the sex workers rights movement in the US fails to do is to real public outreach.  Before we can get to changing laws and decriminalize all of our professions, we need to start with simply humanizing ourselves and giving regular people the basic tools for understanding our issues.  Most people don't even know the term "sex worker," and many who do think that's just the PC way to say "hooker."  My goal with SWAAY is to create digestible, informative outreach for people with little or no previous experience in radical sexuality, labor, immigration, gender, or feminist issues.  (And, just to be extra ambitious, the accent colors I've chosen are grey and teal with pink highlights.  At last!  A sex worker web site that's not done in pink and red!)

Since I work full time, and also try to have a private life and eat and sleep, I can't just crank this out in a couple of weeks.  I don't want to crank it out in a couple of weeks, since it is very important to me, and I'm spending plenty of time just pondering how to structure things and how to set the tone.  I'm shooting for May 1st, but don't say that I promised, because I could well run out of time between now and then and delay the launch.  (This is why there's an activist class and a "working" class with sex work - lots of people are occupied with being full-time sex workers so we don't have tons of leftover energy for saving the world.)

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