On September 22, 2023, from the heart of Jackson Heights, Queens, New York, the Colectivo Intercultural Transgrediendo, together with the Sex Worker community in the area, want to make public the harassment, persecution, and intimidation faced by sex workers, which is perpetrated by the police, neighbors, Mayor Adams, Councilman Moya, and society at large who promote highly discriminatory and stigmatizing rhetoric against our community.
It is unheard of that even in the United States, we continue to be victims of discrimination and stigmatization for engaging in sex work, an activity that, for those of us who identify as sex workers, is the only economic support. Many members of our community lack documentation or immigration status to find other employment opportunities.
It is necessary for the state of New York to support and/or promote the creation of educational programs and initiatives that involve sex workers.
New York needs to promote an initiative that advocates for employment opportunities for TransGNB and QTBIPOC individuals. This way, those of us who choose to access these initiatives can make the decision, and those who want to continue engaging in sex work can do so freely and safely. Because sex work is work!
The lack of security that New York City is experiencing, a situation that worsens day by day, are not the responsibility of sex workers. We will not allow ourselves to continue being oppressed and stigmatized, as has historically been the case. In a city where some politicians exhibit double standards, where they do not understand our life stories, our means of survival, and where all sex workers do is work and survive in a highly expensive city.
It is important to emphasize that the police will never be our allies as sex workers. For decades, the NYPD has been and will continue to be a punisher, persecutor, and harasser of us, sex workers. For years, we have witnessed the brutality with which they arrest our comrades and humiliate them in public and in New York prisons, where many TransGNB and QTBIPOC sex workers have lost their lives.
We call on the authorities to ensure the safety and well-being of our fellow sex workers. We must not allow more politicians and the NYPD to infringe upon our right to decide about our bodies, our rights, and our identities. This is the time; we must raise our voices as one and demand the rights that have been denied to us throughout our existence. Our voice matters; our bodies are political! There is no political freedom without sexual freedom.