Red Umbrella Project

Amplifying the voices of people in the sex trades

9 notes

For Tiara and I, working as female transsexual prostitutes was very special. We were challenging and breaking layer after layer of societal rules, governing who you can be and what you can do. At 3 am I am exactly what they want. They come to me; they can’t go to their wives. The feeling can only be described as electric. With high-octane dance music blaring from the radio, we awoke at 10 pm to get ready for the stroll. Tiara began her ritual by selecting a wig. Mine began by shaving all the hair off my body. We were transsexual whores and every single feminine attribute we had we accentuated to the hilt. For Tiara it was her ass and for me it was my legs. We played music so loudly that we had to shout to each other to be heard. Here we were, two magnificent transsexual women, holding our guts and bravery high for the world to see.

When we got to the West Village stroll at 1 am, Tiara took Greenwich Street and I took Washington. Our goodbyes were short. We knew all too well that what we were doing was a far cry from Friday night bowling. And we were thinking only that we did not want to end up in the trunk of a car or Central Booking by night’s end.

READ THE FULL STORY: Rita and Tiara and the West Village Stroll, by Rita Rachaels

Originally published in Prose & Lore, Issue 2

For Tiara and I, working as female transsexual prostitutes was very special. We were challenging and breaking layer after layer of societal rules, governing who you can be and what you can do. At 3 am I am exactly what they want. They come to me; they can’t go to their wives. The feeling can only be described as electric. With high-octane dance music blaring from the radio, we awoke at 10 pm to get ready for the stroll. Tiara began her ritual by selecting a wig. Mine began by shaving all the hair off my body. We were transsexual whores and every single feminine attribute we had we accentuated to the hilt. For Tiara it was her ass and for me it was my legs. We played music so loudly that we had to shout to each other to be heard. Here we were, two magnificent transsexual women, holding our guts and bravery high for the world to see.

When we got to the West Village stroll at 1 am, Tiara took Greenwich Street and I took Washington. Our goodbyes were short. We knew all too well that what we were doing was a far cry from Friday night bowling. And we were thinking only that we did not want to end up in the trunk of a car or Central Booking by night’s end.

READ THE FULL STORY: Rita and Tiara and the West Village Stroll, by Rita Rachaels

Originally published in Prose & Lore, Issue 2

Filed under sex work swmemoir sex worker memoir stories new york city trans lit queer lit

756 notes

lustforlinda:

alphateamsub:

rydenarmani:

cogwheel-feline:

rydenarmani:

i made a bingo card for my sex worker pals, because i know all of us have experienced AT LEAST one of these.
if you aren’t in a bad mood by the time you win bingo, you’re stronger than me.

Each time you get a bingo, (if you don’t do this already) splurge money on yourself. More than just stuff for your job, like if you’re an artist, buy some more supplies. A photographer? Buy a new lens or even a new camera. The list goes on,

this is literally the best idea thank you for this

Oh yes. lustforlinda have you seen this?

I have :)

lustforlinda:

alphateamsub:

rydenarmani:

cogwheel-feline:

rydenarmani:

i made a bingo card for my sex worker pals, because i know all of us have experienced AT LEAST one of these.

if you aren’t in a bad mood by the time you win bingo, you’re stronger than me.

Each time you get a bingo, (if you don’t do this already) splurge money on yourself. More than just stuff for your job, like if you’re an artist, buy some more supplies. A photographer? Buy a new lens or even a new camera. The list goes on,

this is literally the best idea thank you for this

Oh yes. lustforlinda have you seen this?

I have :)

(via thelazystrippers)

86 notes

ellestanger:

Derp! BUY MY BOOK. 

"Strange Times: Tales of American Strippers"

Now available on Amazon and Kindle, link is on my main page. 

18 shorts by women from all over the U.S, including Lux ATL, Sarah Tressler, and Viva Las Vegas. 

Sex, love, money, power, death. Thank you to everyone who wrote,  edited, and listened.

ellestanger:

Derp! BUY MY BOOK.

"Strange Times: Tales of American Strippers"

Now available on Amazon and Kindle, link is on my main page.

18 shorts by women from all over the U.S, including Lux ATL, Sarah Tressler, and Viva Las Vegas.

Sex, love, money, power, death. Thank you to everyone who wrote, edited, and listened.

26 notes

Trafficking and sex work in Latin America: are women really being rescued? |

A few years ago I worked as a psychotherapist in a governmental institution in Mexico that treated survivors of sexual violence. One day it was announced to us that we would have to participate in “operations” – raids of homes or hotels that aimed to “rescue” victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

I resisted taking part in these “operations” because I wasn’t sure what they were all about. For several months I managed to avoid the call to participate in the raids. Psychologists that did go along told me they were taken to a hotel. They had to speak to the women there to “calm them down” and explain to them that they would be taken to make a statement.

Eventually I could avoid the calls no longer. I took part in my first and only “operation”. I saw how the rights of the women found in the hotel were trampled on. I witnessed the physical maltreatment of sex workers found in the vicinity. This single experience made me resign my job.

The raid made me rethink several issues. Was setting out to rescue victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation the correct strategy for dealing with the problem? Was the problem really as serious as people made out, or was it being sensationalised?

Above all I started to think about real victims of the raids: women engaged in prostitution for whom mistreatment at the hands of the police was by no means a novelty. The only aspect of the “operation” that would perhaps have been new to them was seeing the role of people like myself – psychologists and social workers who were acting as undercover cops, sent in to win the confidence of the women and then use this information in an unethical way.

(Source: clarawebbwillcutoffyourhead)

366 notes

clarawebbwillcutoffyourhead:

The fact that no one gives a shit about trafficked domestic and agricultural workers—who are also vulnerable to sexual abuse!!—should tell you all you need to know about white westerners preoccupation with the metaphysical value of sex and chastity for women;

It should also tell you how little they care about brown people and people of colour if they’re being abused in an unsexy, unfunding hot way that westerners profit off of.

(via clarawebbwillcutoffyourhead)