Today, December 17th, is International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. In the wake of the recent uncovering of bodies, purportedly of sex workers, on a beach on Long Island, the vigils held tonight will be that much more significant and poignant. Significant because this violence aimed at sex workers is abetted by the laws that make prostitution a criminal offense and the attitude that sex workers are somehow different, apart from the rest of us. Sex workers, from street workers to high-end escorts to phone and cam sex operators are us. They're your siblings, your nieces and nephews, your children, your next-door neighbors, your friends. They deserve the protection of the law and not to be relegated to the kind of second class citizenship that allows them to be harmed and murdered with impunity. The loss of these lives touches all of us. It makes us less as a society if we don't stand up for the rights of sex workers and declare that sex worker rights are indeed human rights.
Tied Up Events strongly believes in the rights of sex workers and in our good friend, Audacia Ray's efforts, through Sex Work Awareness and The Red Umbrella Project, to give a voice to sex workers and to remedy the misconceptions that surround sex work. So, to do our own small part, we're hosting a fundraiser on February 4th, 2011 from 6:30 to 10:00 PM at Madame X , 94 West Houston Street, between Thompson and LaGuardia Place, to raise funds for Sex Work Awareness.
While December 17th is a solemn event, if you can attend a vigil and listen to the way too long list of names of sex workers who have met with violence in the past year without crying, you're a stronger person than I am, this fundraiser will be anything but solemn. There will be a performance by Graydancer, belly dance and foot rubs by Luna (whose dance had me mesmerized at our calendar party), lap dances (politeness and strip club etiquette apply) by The Luscious Lifestyle Diva, Ms. Yolanda Shoshana, the one and only lifestyle passionista (though I wish we could clone her), Ms. Abiola Abrahms, burlesque sensation, Sweet N' Lo, The Inqueery's own Brandon B, the sultry Ms. Savannah Darling and much more.
Admittance is $15 pre-paid via Eventbrite or $20 at the door and includes a 2011 NYC SexBlogger Calendar with sex educator and adult film legend Nina Hartley vamping it up on the cover and lots of steamy bloggers heating things up from the inside cover to the very back page, Wet safe sex kits, and a $10 gift certificate to The Pleasure Chest for the first hundred people to register and/or arrive. You can also pre-purchase your lap dance or foot rub tickets for $15 at Eventbrite (remember to print out and bring your confirmation with you) or pay $20 at the event.
Looking forward to seeing all of you at Madame X. Let's have a great time doing good and important wor