Hello everyone, on Friday afternoon I covered a rather unique press conference held by Sex Workers Outreach Project - Los Angeles. Apparently efforts have been underway to decriminalize sex work for trans folk. The argument being made is transsexual/transgender people can't find more mainstream work. Sex work (transactional sex) could be a job opportunity or career option for some.
Several trans women, not present at press conference but engaged in sex work, do not support this limited effort. Instead they feel complete legalization of transactional sex and sovereignty of ones body would better serve all sex workers.
I'm working on getting video uploaded for all to see.
That is all,
Here is text of complete press release: ---
Transgender Community Demands An End to Criminalization!
Today, a coalition of transgender people and allies are demanding an end to Los Angeles Police Department sweeps that target our communities. The LAPD routinely profiles and targets transgender people for arrest and criminalization on charges of sex work. Typically, this is done through city wide sweeps, often conducted at night, where transgender people, in particular transgender women of color, are arrested and put in jail often simply for being outside. Our coalition demands an end to LAPD criminalization of transgender communities as well as an end to prosecution of people engaged in sex work. We are urging the City Council of Los Angeles to redirect resources away from law enforcement into the vital social services transgender people need to help overcome systemic discrimination.
One of these sweeps was scheduled for tonight. The LAPD recruited community organizations to be available at the Hollywood police station at 4am to provide “information and resources” to those who were detained during the night. If the LAPD wants to help members of our community access other forms of employment, they can do so without the trauma of arrest at 4am. We believe that arrest is not a useful form of outreach. An arrest record simply makes it harder for transgender people to access employment. The LAPD even acknowledges that given the lack of services available to the transgender community, the likelihood of arrest leading leading to positive outcomes is virtually non-existent.
While California has strong anti-discrimination laws, transgender people and gender nonconforming people face systemic discrimination in multiple areas including education, housing, healthcare and employment. Many employers do not know those laws protect transgender people, and few transgender people have the resources to fight discrimination. These barriers are compounded if you are a transgender person of color. Often, the only stable work available to transgender women, particularly transgender women of color, is sex work. Instead of addressing these disparities through investment in social services, the City of Los Angeles, as with most cities, has typically dealt with transgender women through criminalization.
After decades of mistreatment at the hands of LAPD, a coalition of organizations including transgender people and our allies has formed to address ongoing criminalization of our local community. “Members of the trans community continue to experience violence and mistreatment by the police department that is supposed to protect us. Targeting and criminalizing our community simply for who we are is unfair and unjust. Instead of putting us in jail, our city needs to create opportunities for us”, said Bamby Salcedo, a Latina transgender activist and member of our coalition.
We demand an end to LAPD’s efforts to profile and arrest us. Join our fight to decriminalize sex work and shift the budget of Los Angeles away from law enforcement and towards social services for marginalized communities. ¡Ya basta! Enough is enough!