In case you missed it, earlier this week I won the award of Sex Worker of the Year – I was nominated by industry professionals and I’m totally freakin’ thrilled and honoured to have won.
Here’s my acceptance speech which I tried to utter out on the night. A couple of important things to say… Please read and share where appropriate.
I’m very blessed to be able to stand here tonight and it’s worth taking a moment to acknowledge that across the world, sex workers and other sexuality professionals can’t benefit from being out and public in the same way I can.
Sex work is illegal in a lot of places and most sex workers live in sexist and whorephobic societies where the very work we do is outlawed and where ‘whore’ is still used as an insult.
Due to unjust laws and backward-looking societies, there are sex workers who simply don’t have the privilege of being out and visible like I do and really this award belongs to them more than me. Some of the problems many in the industry face include street violence, family ostracisation, police harrassment and more.
Violence against sex workers is a real problem for a lot of people and unjust laws forcing the industry underground really exacerbate a lot of these problems.
As a male sex worker, I get very little of the flack that sex workers of other genders get and for that I’m really quite privileged. If anyone thinks it’s really cool that a male(cis) can be a successful sex worker but they have judgements around women or others working in the industry then that’s a sure fire sign that there’s some inner world sexism to start deconstructing. It’s something we all have to do.
Confronting and deconstructing our inner and buried prejudices is such a vital piece of work not just in the sex industry but in industries and cultures everywhere. The struggle isn’t just for sex workers but for the full sexual liberation of our species. FFS, homosexual acts are still illegal in 73 countries around the world. Homophobia, sexism and transphobia are still rampant in our own culture here. Sexual shame permeates our institutions, religions, legal frameworks and media.
And so while we are in this room celebrating what we have accomplished, it’s worth acknowledging that we as a species still have a long way to go and it’s this collective journey that compels me deeply. Together we can change all of these things. Indeed, together we are changing them.
Tonight I’d like to share some love to the other awesome finalists, the judges and organisers. It takes guts to publicly start honouring sexuality professionals in a largely sex negative culture and so full extension of appreciation for putting this event on year after year. Most of all I want to honour those sex workers who don’t have the benefits I do and who can’t be standing here tonight even though they’re in many cases harder working and more deserving.
With ceremonies like this, and with events like those mentioned earlier, we are making the world safer and sexier for everyone. Together we are changing the world and so on that note, I send out heaps of love to you all. Thank you! Keep shining! x x x
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Full list of winners and finalists here: http://bit.ly/1Q5fiio