This year will be going out with a bang, with a flurry of events and launches. A summary:
December 2 is the Red Umbrella Diaries Family Affairs event in NYC, to ring in the holiday season. Featured storytellers include Lily Burana, the author of the memoirs Strip City and I Love a Man in Uniform: A Memoir of Love, War, and Other Battles, TrÃ© Xavier, a predominantly gay bisexual porn performer, and Sydney Seifert will relate what it was like to grow up the daughter of a single mom who put food on their table by doing sex work. Also starring Katelan Foisy and Fiona Helmsley. Join us at Happy Ending, 302 Broome Street (between Eldridge and Forsyth) from 8PM-10PM. It’s free, but 15% of the bar tab will help cover expenses for the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers event on December 17.
Last spring, when I decided to branch out on my own and try my hand at curating a sex worker storytelling event by myself, I wanted to also create something that would have life beyond a monthly event. I just published the 21st episode of the weekly podcast this past Sunday (it features Joanna Angel). And on Monday, December 6th at 7 pm in Washington, DC, I’m launching the next piece of the project: storytelling workshops. I’m doing one exclusively for HIPS clients in the afternoon, but the evening one is open. Join me for Personal Storytelling for Social Change: A Workshop for Sex Worker Activists. Personal stories are powerful and essential elements of campaigns for social change and initiatives supporting the human rights of sex workers. Sharing personal experiences of the sex industry is key to connecting with people, both those who understand where weâ€™re coming from and those who donâ€™t. In this workshop, we will look at examples of effective storytelling in social change movements, identify campaigns that could benefit from storytelling, and do some basic storybuilding exercises to help us think how we can use personal stories to move people to action using independent and mainstream media. Monday, December 6th from 7 â€“ 9 pm. $15 per person, at HIPS 1309 Rhode Island Ave, NE #2B. Washington, DC 20018. call 202.232.8150 for more info.
The little Kickstarter anthology that could, Coming & Crying, is having its selling out party on Thursday, December 9th at McNally Jackson at 52 Prince Street, 7 pm. Join editors Melissa Gira Grant and Meaghan O’Connell, with contributors Matthew Gallaway (The Metropolis Case), Audacia Ray (Naked on the Internet) and Diana Vilibert for highlights from the book and a moderated group discussion on writing about sex when the people you are writing about are real, including yourself. You can listen to the podcast of me reading my C&C piece, “The Johns” at the Demand Side edition of the Red Umbrella Diaries here.
December 17 is International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers – join us in NYC for a vigil and community speak out. There are also events happening around the country and around the world, learn more here. NYC event takes place at the Metropolitan Community Church of New York, Sanctuary (2nd floor), 446 West 36th Street, New York, NY 10018 btw 9th & 10th Aves from 7:30PM â€“ 9:30PM. I’m the master of ceremonies and will be giving a speech. The event is co-sponsored by Sex Work Awareness and the Red Umbrella Project.
Also – on December 17th I’ll be launching the brand new website for the Global Network of Sex Work Projects along with the annual journal Research for Sex Work. This year the focus is on sex work and violence, and it is published in English and Russian. More on all that when I’m ready to link to it!