6 reasons why the gay community needs to stop marginalizing sex workers immediately

The next time you meet a sex worker, show respect, gratitude, tip him even. He may just be holding your precious relationship together.

HomoCulture Gay Culture Brian Webb

This article was published on August 23rd, 2021

Gays are a weird bunch. We’re what you’d consider a marginalized community, i.e.; We don’t “freely” enjoy all the freedoms accessible to the general population.

That’s challenging enough on its own.

Sadly, one of our biggest problems isn’t the discrimination WITHOUT; it’s the discrimination WITHIN.

It’s one thing getting rejected by society (you can show it the middle finger and move on with your life). Getting rejected by people you consider family, your community of peers, is a soul-crushing experience.

Gays discriminate on just about everything. Some well-earning queers look down upon less-endowed members; others don’t want any association with effeminate gays; there’s also the chiseled jock club who pukes at the mention of the word chubby.

It’s sad, honestly.

However, nowhere is the marginalization more pronounced than in sex work. Gays will drink, use drugs, party 24/7, hook up with countless guys from apps and weird places, and yet somehow draw the line on sex work and workers. They are like:

“Hold up now…I didn’t sign up for this sh*t!”

Here’s some news for you: YOU OWE THAT SEX WORKER A WHOLE DEAL OF GRATITUDE. In fact, tip him generously next time you meet.

People who work in the sex industry value their work just as any other person would their own work. But the gay community has been notorious for marginalizing, fetishizing, and mocking sex workers.

Here are six reasons this needs to stop right now:

1. Sex work is real work

The Merriam Webster online dictionary defines work as “an activity in which one exerts strength or faculties to do or perform something.” It breaks it down further as “an activity that a person engages in regularly to earn a livelihood.”

A sex worker “exerts strength and faculties” to satisfy clients. And they get paid for it.

Just as a writer (like yours truly), lawyer, musician, clown, or Uber driver, sex workers put in the effort to offer the best service to clients.

There are experts in their field. Just as you’d go to a psychotherapist to sort out your mental health problems, a sex worker can assist with your bedroom affairs.

People turn to sex work to earn a livelihood. Most, in fact, choose it because it is their best option.

A survey found that LGBTQ people of color, LGBTQ immigrants, and transgender people are more likely to be sex workersbecause that’s the best available option for them.

These people face increased discrimination, including getting employment, because of their gender identity and sexual orientation.

Without equal job rights, sex workers are more prone to police abuse, harassment, and arrests. Accepting sex workers and championing their rights as the LGBT community protects them

2. You have sex workers to thank for the freedoms you enjoy today

Most revolutions and movements start with misfits – marginalized people who’ve had it up to their necks and just can’t take it anymore.

The Stonewall riots that launched the gay rights movement started with sex workers, trans people, and other misfits who suffered sustained discrimination by the police.

One night they said ENOUGH is ENOUGH and decided to fight back for their right to work and gather without harassment. That single act of resistance birthed a movement whose fruits you enjoy today.

Indeed, two trans women of color – Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera-have been credited and honored for throwing the proverbial “first brick” at Stonewall and for activism.

One other thing they both had in common: They’d both SOLD SEX.

We owe sex workers a debt of gratitude.

Standing with them for their rights is the least we can do for all the sacrifices they have made on our behalf. They didn’t ask for it, but sometimes the battle comes to you. You either rise to the occasion as they did or get crushed.

3. Sex workers could be holding your relationship together

Think about it: Why do people, including those in long-term committed relationships, seek the services of sex workers? Because something is not working in their relationship.

Maybe you want to explore a fetish or kink but are too afraid to do it or even broach the subject with your partner. Or perhaps you want to try a different version of yourself but in a safe environment with no repercussions.

Most sex clients love their partners. However, they need something more. Going to a sex worker fills the missing piece, which starves off an affair or break up.

Sex workers do not judge. You can explore just about every version of yourself without judgment because, well, you’re paying for it. In most cases, seeking a sex worker is a last-ditch effort to save a waning relationship.

So, next time you meet a sex worker, show some appreciation. They might be the reason you’re still together with your boyfriend of ten plus years!

4. Sex workers rights = LGBTQ Rights

A community is as strong as its weakest member.

You might think: “Why should I care about sex worker rights? I do not seek or need their services.”

You’d be DEAD WRONG. The fight for LGBTQ rights was and still is intertwined with the fight for sex workers’ rights. You cannot separate the two.

Both movements stand on two critical premises:

1. The police have absolutely NO RIGHT telling two consenting adults how to use their bodies

2. The state has no business in marginalized peoples’ bedrooms.

There has been a concerted onslaught on sex worker rights in the recent past. The passage of SESTA/FOSTA in 2018, which the ACLU vehemently fought against, left sex workers vulnerable to abuse and attacks without any consequences on perpetrators.

SESTA/FOSTA banned numerous online platforms used by sex workers, including Redbook, which allowed them to share information on abusive or dangerous clients.

The law pushed sex workers onto the streets, leaving them vulnerable to attacks by clients or arrests by police.

Criminalizing sex work also means workers cannot access proper medical care or even employer-based health insurance. The fear of seeking medical care or carrying condoms on the streets because they can be used as evidence against them puts them at the risk of contracting HIV.

5. Incredible sex teachers

You seek a lawyer when you need legal advice. You go to a financial planner to get your finances in order. You seek these people because they are professionals and know what to do.

How different is that from seeking sexual expertise from a sex worker? They see clients every day and know what ails most bedrooms.

They can help you explore versions of yourself, fetishes, and sexual acts you’re too afraid to try with your partner. Are you trying to be submissive, more of an animal in bed? Do you wish to explore your sexual fantasies with someone neutral who won’t judge?

Sex workers can teach you a lot through their experiences. They also accommodate just about any lifestyle.

6. Sex workers provide a valuable service

Prostitution is the oldest profession. Go figure!

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