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I am not a sex industry activist.

Date: February 18, 2011

Sex-positive news site SEXIS (part of EdenFantasys) has an article (02/16/2011) about the successful burlesque cabaret fundraiser for the LA chapter of Sex Workers Outreach Project. The fundraiser sounds a lot of fun, and Mariko Passion who organized it is a friend of mine, so I’m glad to see the event got a good coverage.

But I was surprised to see my name pop up in a paragraph that goes like this:

The most common depiction of a sex worker in popular cultural is the down and out, victimized, street walker who needs saving. Interestingly enough, only ten percent of the entire sex industry is comprised of street sex workers and thanks to a “Whore Revolution” being waged by industry activists like Emi Koyama and Passion, they don’t need your saving. What they do need; however, is your support in their fight for rights, respect, and the ability to do their work without prejudice.

“Whore revolution” refers to the ‘zine I made in 2004 titled “Instigations from the Whore Revolutions: A Third Wave Feminist Response to the Sex Work ‘Controversy’,” but if this writer is mistaken if she thinks that “whore revolution” is just about achieving rights and respect for sex workers. Whore revolution that I’m calling for, and I believe Mariko is too, is aimed at bringing down all forms of violence and oppressions that make sex work dangerous, disrespected, stigmatized, exploitative, coerced into, and/or illegal.

Beside, I don’t like that the article refers to me as (sex) “industry activist.” I’m not a sex industry activist; I am a sex worker activist and advocate. It astonishes me that many people equate advocacy for sex workers with supporting the sex industry, as if workers and the bosses that leech off of our work share the same interest. The sex industry is incredibly sexist, racist, classist, ableist, transphobic, fatphobic, etc. and I don’t advocate for it. I advocate for workers, not industry.

cf. Why I’m more like “sex-neutral” rather than sex-positive.

fuck survivor poems

Date: February 1, 2011

fuck survivor poems

i don’t write survivor poems
i don’t write about the journey
from a survivor to a thriver
from a wounded child to a
bad-ass feminist revolutionary
that is not me most of the time

i don’t write about healing
about forgiveness
about grief and letting go

i don’t write about strength
i don’t write about the courage to heal
and i never want to hear again
oh you are so courageous to speak out
about your story
that i haven’t even began to tell

i don’t write to inspire

i don’t write about finding purpose
about finding jesus
about finding self-love

i don’t write about the truth
because truth is too fragile
like a particle whose location and velocity
cannot be simultaneously observed

i write instead
about the lack of counseling
that is actually competent and affordable

i write about the fake sympathy
and the lynch mob that robs me of my rage
and repurposes it to build more prisons

i write about the need for validation
even if our survival involves slashing on the wrist
not eating overeating and purging alcohol drugs
avoiding sex having too much sex

i write, in fact, about survival
through not just the abuse from the past
but survival in the society that doesn’t give a fuck

i don’t write survivor poems
because my story is not for your consumption
i don’t write a coherent and compelling narrative
and i don’t exist to demonstrate the resilience of the human spirit

i write survival poems
i survive

31 january 2011