Janet Mock on centering Sex Workers

I would say that is one of the greatest struggles for me in my public work, and one of the biggest criticisms I often get is around my centering of sex work and the sex worker rights movement. I believe it’s vital, and we need more partners and comrades in arms there. We need less judgment and policing. Our job is to ensure that, as they’re making these decisions about their lives and their bodies, we are fighting alongside them to create worlds where they are not policed and where they can have access to safety to take care of their bodies in this world and culture. I write about it not to just challenge systems and misconceptions, but to also challenge my own self in respectability politics. Often the women we uplift and “say their names,” the women we light candles for on Trans Day of Remembrance, the Black and Latina trans women, a lot of them have experiences in the sex trade and survival sex work. They’re not the kind of women we rally around and protect. I continue to speak it because I also know that so many of my sisters, this is how they survive and take care of themselves in a world where access to education, safe spaces, and employment is lacking and shrinking daily. If they need to take care of themselves by using their bodies to do so, I am going to stand alongside them as a force field to help make the world a bit more understanding of their journey.

Read the rest of her interview with Raquel Wiillis on Bitch Media here

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