Sex worker activists

Posted Jul 24, 2010
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  1. Nina Hartley

    Nina Hartley


    Nina Hartley (born Marie Louise Hartman; March 11, 1959) is an American pornographic actress, pornographic film director, sex educator, sex-positive feminist, and author.

  2. Annie Sprinkle

    Annie Sprinkle


    Annie M. Sprinkle (born Ellen F. Steinberg on July 23, 1954) is an American sex educator, former prostitute, feminist stripper, pornographic actress, cable television host, porn magazine editor, writer and sex film producer. She received a BFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts in 1986 and earned a doctorate in human sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco in 1992. This institute is accredited in the state of California. Currently, Sprinkle works as a performance artist and sex educator. Sprinkle, who describes herself as "ecosexual", married her long-time partner, Beth Stephens, in Canada on January 14, 2007.

  3. Thierry Schaffauser

    Thierry Schaffauser


    Thierry Schaffauser is a French sex worker, social activist, writer and actor.

  4. Valerie Scott

    Valerie Scott


    Bedford v. Canada was a legal challenge to Canada's prostitution laws filed in the Superior Court of Ontario in 2007. The applicants, Terri-Jean Bedford, Amy Lebovitch and Valerie Scott, argued that Canada's prostitution laws were unconstitutional. The Canadian Criminal Code includes a number of provisions outlawing public communication for the purposes of prostitution, operating a bawdy house or living off of the avails of prostitution. However prostitution itself is not illegal. The applicants argued that the laws deprive sex workers of their right to security by forcing them to work in secret.

  5. Susie Bright

    Susie Bright


    Susannah "Susie" Bright (also known as Susie Sexpert) (born March 25, 1958) is an American feminist, author, journalist, critic, editor, publisher, producer, and performer, often on the subject of sexual politics and sexuality.

  6. Carol Queen

    Carol Queen


    Carol Queen is an American author, editor, sociologist and sexologist active in the sex-positive feminism movement. Queen has written on human sexuality in books such as Real Live Nude Girl: Chronicles of Sex-Positive Culture. She has written a sex tutorial, Exhibitionism for the Shy: Show Off, Dress Up and Talk Hot, as well as erotica, such as the novel The Leather Daddy and the Femme. Queen has produced adult movies, events, workshops and lectures. Queen was featured as an instructor and star in both installments of the Bend Over Boyfriend series about female-to-male anal sex, or pegging. She has also served as editor for compilations and anthologies. She is a sex-positive sex educator in the United States.

  7. Belle de Jour (writer)

    Belle de Jour (writer)


    Brooke Magnanti (born November 1975) is an American-born naturalised British research scientist, blogger, and writer, who, until her identity was revealed in November 2009, was known by the pen name Belle de Jour. While completing her doctoral studies, between 2003 and 2004, Magnanti supplemented her income by working as a London call girl known by the working name Taro. Her diary, published as the anonymous blog Belle de Jour: Diary of a London Call Girl, became increasingly popular as speculation surrounded the identity of Belle de Jour. Remaining anonymous, Magnanti went on to have her experiences published as The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl in 2005 and The Further Adventures of a London Call Girl in 2006. Her first two books were UK top 10 best-sellers in the nonfiction hardback and nonfiction paperback lists.

  8. Norma Jean Almodovar

    Norma Jean Almodovar


    Norma Jean Almodovar (born May 27, 1951) is an American author and sex workers activist. Almodovar worked as a traffic control police officer for ten years. In 1982, she quit her job with the Hollywood Division of the Los Angeles Police Department and began working as a call girl. In 1984, she attempted to recruit a former coworker from the LAPD to begin working as a prostitute. Her actions resulted in an arrest and conviction for pandering.

  9. Leslie Fish

    Leslie Fish


    Leslie Fish is a filk musician, author, and anarchist political activist.

  10. Tracy Quan

    Tracy Quan


    Tracy Quan is an American writer and former sex worker. She is best known for her Nancy Chan novels. In addition, Quan has written a regular column for The Guardian website on pop culture, sex and politics and is involved in the prostitutes' rights movement.

  11. Tara Teng

    Tara Teng


    Tara Teng (born August 16, 1988) is a Canadian former pageant winner. She was named Miss Canada in 2011 and Miss World Canada in 2012. During her title reigns she was an advocate for human rights and spoke about human trafficking.

  12. Tabitha Fringe Chase

    Tabitha Fringe Chase


    Tabitha Fringe Chase (a.k.a. Tabby Chase; born July 24, 1977) is one of the first US activists investigated by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force to come forward publicly alerting the media to the targeting of activists under the USA PATRIOT Act.

  13. Selma James

    Selma James


    Selma James (born 15 August 1930), is a co-author of the women's movement classic The Power of Women and the Subversion of the Community (with Mariarosa Dalla Costa), co-founder of the International Wages for Housework Campaign and coordinator of the Global Women's Strike.

  14. Sheila White (human trafficking victim)

    Sheila White (human trafficking victim)


    Sheila White (born 1988) is an African-American abolitionist and a former human trafficking victim from The Bronx, New York City.

  15. Jaclyn Miles

    Jaclyn Miles


    Jaclyn Miles (born 1988) is a woman from Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada. She is an alumnus of General Amherst High School. She spent four years at this high school and was sexually bullied there all four years. She is the founder of Break the Silence, an organization opposing human trafficking, sexual assault, domestic violence, and bullying. She was named Miss Canada in 2012. She replaced American comedian Stephen Colbert as Grand Marshal of the Santa Claus parade in Windsor, Ontario that year. Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Area chair Larry Horwitz referred to Miles as "better and much more attractive" than Colbert, who had been sought out for the parade because of his reference to Windsor as the "earth's rectum" in his book America Again: Re-becoming The Greatness We Never Weren't. Miles is a human rights defender and, in May 2013, joined former Premier of Manitoba Howard Pawley in opposing a proposed trespass law in Windsor arguing that the proposed law "violates our rights as Canadian citizens." Miles was a host on TaggTV's reality-television-style Facebook videos about Guyana. She has attended Brescia University College, the University of Windsor, and the Western Faculty of Education.

  16. Natasha Falle

    Natasha Falle


    Natasha Falle (born 1973) is a professor at Humber College in Toronto, Ontario, Canada who was forcibly prostituted from the ages of 15 to 27 and now opposes prostitution in Canada. Falle grew up in a middle-class home and, when her parents divorced, her new single-parent home became unsafe, and Falle ran away from home. At the age of 15, Falle became involved in the sex industry in Calgary, Alberta.

  17. Katarina MacLeod

    Katarina MacLeod


    Katarina MacLeod (born 1973) is a former sex worker who provides aid to victims of human trafficking, working with police and helping girls and women exit prostitution. She became a prostitute when she was 21 because she was a single parent who lacked education and needed to make money in order to support her children. She remained in the sex industry for 17 years. During this time, she lived in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. While she was in the sex industry, some of her fellow prostitutes were only 12 years old. MacLeod's name at birth was not Katarina; she chose the name once she had left the sex industry because she associated her old given name with the abuse and violence she experienced as a prostitute. In relation to Bedford v. Canada, in which brothels were legalized in Ontario, MacLeod said, "I feel that the majority of prostituted women who support legalization feel trapped by their choices, because it is easier to continue the lie rather than admit to yourself that something is wrong." In 2013, MacLeod joined Jaclyn Miles in speaking at The Freedom Tour, a conference about human trafficking. In May 2013, MacLeod spoke at a screening of Nefarious: Merchant of Souls in Peterborough hosted by Canadian Baptist Women of Ontario and Quebec.

  18. Audacia Ray

    Audacia Ray


    Audacia Ray (born April 25, 1980) is the stage name of an American human sexuality and culture author, who focuses on the influences of modern technology. She is a sex worker rights advocate and leads media skills workshops intended to train sex workers to deal with interviews.

  19. Tuppy Owens

    Tuppy Owens


    Rosalind Mary "Tuppy" Owens (born 12 November 1944) is a British sex therapist, consultant, campaigner, and writer.

  20. Wendy Babcock

    Wendy Babcock


    Wendy Babcock (May 29, 1979 – August 9, 2011) was a Canadian activist for the rights of sex workers. Born in the city of Toronto, Babcock became a sex worker at the age of 15. From 2004 to 2007 she was a key member of Sex Professionals of Canada, an advocacy group whose main objective is to promote the rights of sex workers and the decriminalization of Canada's prostitution laws.

  21. Laura María Agustín

    Laura María Agustín


    Laura María Agustín is a sociologist who studies undocumented migration, informal labor markets, trafficking and the sex industry. She is critical of the conflation of the terms "human trafficking" with "prostitution", arguing that the Rescue industry often ascribes victim status to people (most often women) who have made conscious and rational decisions to migrate knowing they will be selling sex and who do not consider themselves to be victims. She states that such views on prostitution originate in what she calls "fundamentalist feminism". She advocates for a cultural study of commercial sex, a theoretical framework she created in the journal Sexualities in 2005.

  22. Timea Nagy (activist)

    Timea Nagy (activist)


    Timea Nagy (born 1977) is a Hungarian Canadian who was trafficked from Hungary to in Canada in 1998.

  23. Trisha Baptie

    Trisha Baptie


    Trisha Baptie (born 1973) is a Vancouver-based citizen journalist and activist for the abolition of prostitution.

  24. Patoo Abraham

    Patoo Abraham


    Patoo Abraham (born 1966) is a Nigerian prostitute and sex workers' rights activist advocating for the legalization of sex work profession in Nigeria and the decriminalization of women in prostitution. As of 2014 she is leader of the African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA) in Nigeria. She is also the President of Women of Power Initiative (WOPI), an NGO formed for the purpose of improving sex work in Nigeria. She has staged series of protests on the streets of Lagos against the abuse and disregard faced by sex workers.

  25. Melissa Gira Grant

    Melissa Gira Grant


    Melissa Gira Grant (born 1978 in Boston, Massachusetts) is an American freelance journalist. She is author of Playing the Whore (Verso, 2014) and Take This Book (Glass Houses, 2012) and co-editor of Coming and Crying (Glass Houses, 2010.)

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