2021 has been a year of tremendous change and uncertainty. It’s also been a year of incredible accomplishment.
When the world was thrown into a tailspin because of the pandemic, Sex Workers cared for each other. Sex Wokers are - as they have always been - the first ones to step up and care for their own. Sex Workers have been visible leaders in so many social justice movements. The work they’ve done has often been discounted by feminists, academics, questionable allies with questionable intentions, and misguided politicians. We appreciate those allies who are committed to making sure Sex Wokers are represented in the creation and implementation of policies and programs that affect their lives.
But this is changing rapidly, and it’s because Sex Workers don’t wait for permission - they take action. And from the box office to the bully pulpit, 2021 saw a meteoric rise in Sex Worker representation. Sex Workers are demanding meaningful engagement, and they are making their own determinations as to what meaningful engagement means to them. They refused to be sidelined by the establishment, patronized, or force-fed definitions of their own “best interests” anymore.
As Sex Workers continue to grow into their collective power, we see a future that includes all of our voices and all of our lived experiences. We are no longer waiting patiently for a seat at the table - we are building a bigger table.
We are so proud of our team here at SWOP Behind Bars, as well as the Sex Work community at-large, for our ability to recognize and jump on the opportunities to grow together. We will move with confidence into 2022 and thrive to spite the future’s uncertainty, as a community of movers and shakers, creators, innovators, nurturers, fighters, and survivors.
May the new year bring you peace, joy, and happiness.