I found it necessary to create a community for Trans Sex Workers. You see, we don't have a lot of support, either from the culture at large, or from Sex Worker communities, where there are either transphobia/access issues, or simply not enough information specialized in regards to our practices. This leaves Trans Sex Workers between a rock and a hard place, which places them at far higher risks for Police Busts, Violence and Poverty.
What this community is based upon, loosely, is the modern "Sex Workers' Movement" and "Feminist Sex Work" ethics. Briefly stated, this is a manner by which Sex Workers (Escorts, Phone Sex Operators, Porn Models, Dancers) are encouraged to operate as independants (rather than for pimps and agencies), to be aware of thier rights, and to have access to information which empowers them. There is a lot of emphasis on being Smart and Savvy, and developing co-op entities for work and safety. I've noticed that within this new ethic, Trans-Persons have been largely left out, despite the large percentile of (mostly M2F) trans-persons who become Sex Workers for one reason or another. Overall, the solution is D.I.Y. No one else is going to create this form of community for us, so if you need it, help build it! This is a MAJOR effort to empower Trans-Persons, as so many of us find ourselves in Sex Work, whether by choice or force (usually a combination of the two.)
If you are just such a person (or considering becoming one), or are a knowledgable ally (as in, non-trans), please talk to me about joining this community (preferably by e-mail: email@example.com)
Please! If this has been posted to your community, it has been as a effort to bring this demographic together! This may be a life-line to many of us, if you do not agree with our way of life, or do not care for the subject, please just leave this be! There will always be Sex Workers, and plenty of them will be Trans. I'm not looking to begin discussions here (that would be for the Trans Sex Work group), just looking for those of us who are in need! (Nor am I inferring, by posting to your community page, that the members of the community are all Sex Workers. This is outreach.)
This will be cross-posted into [info]mtf_lesbians, [info]mtf_undressed, [info]protips, [info]sexpositive_sw, [info]tranny_please, [info]transfeminism, [info]womens_studies, [info]trans_poc, [info]rainbowsupport, [info]sexworkpartners
If you know a Trans Sex Worker, please let them know! Spread the word! Post in other communities!
For more specific info, I'm posting the "Mission Statement" (also available on the community's info page) below this LJ cut. Its really quite an essay, so don't read unless you're really interested. (It is rather educational.)
This is a community for and by Trans Sex Workers.
This is a space to discuss Sex Work, whether you wish to ask questions about problems, share work experiences, knowledge of resources, knowledge of geographic opportunity, post pics of yourself (behind an lj-cut, please), rant, muse, offer co-operative opportunities, or just meet other Trans Sex Workers to network with/friend.
Who is Welcome: This is a Moderated Community. Any Trans-Person who is a Sex Worker, or who has been and would like to share thier experiences/give advice. Though the predominant face of the Trans Sex Worker is a Trans-Woman, Trans-Men and any other Sex/Gender variant is welcome. If you are Trans and are CONSIDERING Sex Work, I may choose to let you on as a "lurker," a member who can read but not post, for a short time.
I would also like to welcome Trans-Ally Sex Workers, such as cisFemale Sex Workers, or Gay Male Sex Workers, as an indispensable resource, though at my discretion. Trans Sex Workers' experiences are a bit different, ESPECIALLY around marketing practices, thus, Trans Sex Workers' advice should hold heavier weight here.
All in all, I want this to be a Safe Discussion Space for Trans Sex Workers. What I will censor: Hate/Bigotry language, extremely non-production comments, "trolling," EXTREMELY negative/cynical "advice." What I WON'T censor: Nude/Sexual Imagery (but it MUST be behind an lj-cut), descriptions of your work and experiences (though I do advice lj-cut for explicit writing, with some leniency), differing opinions (just stay friendly.)
SAFETY ISSUES: Much of what falls under the category of "Sex Work" is ILLEGAL. I WILL NOT CENSOR INFORMATION BECAUSE IT IS ILLEGAL, but because of this, you are expected to follow certain safety protocol. I'd advice against making either your REAL NAME or REAL WORK NAME available here (though the work name is up to you, if you feel safe with that.) NEVER give a client's real name, or the names of other Sex Workers (unless you KNOW that they are okay with it.) Use pseudonyms, or nondescript pronouns. Also, this is NOT a place to pick up Clients or to Advertise your services, as this would require it to be public access community, thus inhibiting our discussions. You MAY however, share links to your sites/ads to ask advice about them, or to offer examples to others' questions (i.e.,"what does web-design in the sex industry look like right now?" or, "What do I think it should look like?", ect.) Though this is a Moderated Private Community, and I will do my best to make sure every inside is legit, try to protect yourself! (Which should be a priority one discussion topic!)
Why This Community Has Been Made:
There is currently a strong movement (with certain areas of the West Coast being strong epicenters) to promote Sex Work as a legitimate, safe and healthy career path. The term "Sex Work" is an attempt to unify Prostitutes/Escorts, Pornography Models (of all sorts), Phone Sex/Cam Sex Operators, Erotic Dancers/Strippers, and basically anyone who makes a living by offering sexual service. The logic states, that divided we fall, together we have a chance, and the greatest proponents call for "Sex Workers' Unions" (or one unified union), standards of pay, care and practice, respect from clientèle (as in, you don't play by our rules, you don't get service) and legalization including protection from hostile forces ENFORCED BY the police.
This movement, sometimes called the "New Whore Culture," has created a new manner of Sex Worker, one who presents as Smart, Business Savvy, Tasteful, Professional, Classy, High Valued, Safe, Clean and above all, A SKILLED PROFESSIONAL WHO IS A HUMAN BEING, THUS DEMANDING RESPECT.
The predominant face of this New Girl, is, unfortunately for those who do not fit this, a Young cisFemale who comes from a Middle Class background (and, I think this also usually means White.)
This new kind of Call Girl operates as an Independent Business Woman, eschewing Pimps and Madams, most Cat Houses and "Services for Sex Workers" (as these are usually scams to make money off of and degrade the Worker), choosing to create a professional support network of other Independent Sex Workers for Advice, Work Ops, Trade Secrets and Resource Tips, as well as very practical occurrences, like setting up Multi-Girl InCall Spaces and Co-Operative Agencies (at best).
The problem here? Trans-Girls (and trans-persons at large) are rarely, if ever, welcome in these circles, and if they are, tend to be held at arms length, so to speak. This is EXTREMELY unfair, EXTREMELY bigoted, and EXTREMELY dangerous, as there are FAR more Sex-Workers in ratio to the size of the population of Trans-Girls than there are in cisFemale demographics, and we are kept from the support we so need. This is further compounded because of the issue that, within the Choice/Force discussion ("were you Forced to become a Sex Worker, or did you Choose to?"), the story with Trans-Women is predominantly one including heavy measures of Force (as in, couldn't find any other form of Right livelihood.) This is FURTHER compounded by the KNOWN FACT that Trans-Sex Workers are more often targeted (as a percentile) by Police Forces than cisFemales. (The other demographic is Sex Workers of Color, suggesting that Trans Sex Workers of Color are EVEN MORE at risk.)
Your average Trans Sex Worker, from my personal encounters, is Paranoid, Distrustful and Desperate, rarely seeking to network with other Trans Sex Workers. THIS IS A TRAVESTY, AS BECOMING A HEALTHY SOCIAL NETWORK IS THE ONLY THING WHICH WILL EMPOWER US TO BECOME STRONG AS A DEMOGRAPHIC. This is also a Trans-Person issue at large, for there are MANY trans persons (still mostly the girls) who, when faced with the towering cost of transition (often involving "cosmetic" effects which will rarely, if ever, be touched by insurance), and the very real issue of reduced work opportunities, become Sex Workers, selling the very bodies they seek to change IN ORDER TO AFFORD IT. There are MANY Trans-Women (and Trans-Men, usually pre-transition) who sell thier bodies in this way for this purpose. For the Trans Community to ignore the need of Positive Centers of Support for this phenomenon would be short sighted, to say the least.
Now, of course, I would say that this "New Whore Culture" has a DUTY to bring us into the fold, but I have little faith that ANYONE BUT US IS GOING TO MAKE IT HAPPEN! So, thus, this community has been created! Perhaps this will grow into a larger phenomenon, and I hope it does, but for now, let us declare this a FEAR-FREE ZONE FOR TRANS-SEX WORKERS! (Yay!)