Sex Workers Unite! and Against Equality Authors Discussion and Book Signing- Sunday, November 2

Leather Archives & Museum, SWOP-Chicago and RAD Remedy present an author discussion on Sex Workers Unite: A History of the Movement from Stonewall to Slutwalk by Melinda Chateauvert and on Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex complex and Against Equality: Queer Critiques of Gay Marriage by contributor Yasmin Nair.

FREE and open to the adult public 18+ Join the authors, read and discuss their books. Sex Workers Unite (Beacon Press, 2014) is a provocative history that reveals how sex workers have been at the vanguard of social justice movements for the past fifty years while building a movement of their own that challenges our ideas about labor, sexuality, feminism, and freedom.

Captive genders: trans embodiment and the prison industrial complex (AK Press, 2011) are essays about trans/gender non-conforming and queer folks who have always struggled against the enormity of the prison industrial complex by current and former prisoners, activists, and academics. The collection offers new ways for understanding how race, gender, ability, and sexuality are lived under the crushing weight of captivity, through a politic of gender self-determination that argues that trans/queer liberation and prison abolition must be grown together.

When: Sunday, November 2

Location: Leather Archives and Museum

6418 N. Greenview Ave. (at Devon)

Chicago, IL

Street parking available

Time: 6:00pm-8:30pm

Cost: Free

18 and older


RSVP on Facebook here

Stand with SWOP-Chicago in Supporting Amnesty International’s Proposal on Decriminalization of Sex Work

April 3, 2014

For Immediate Release


The Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP)-Chicago supports the proposal put forth by Amnesty International to decriminalize prostitution.  We believe that the criminalization of actors participating in the sex trade contributes to a host of negative effects for both sellers and buyers of sexual services: it alienates them from communities that support their health and human rights, precludes the development of social services that can help them address issues of concern, undermines their ability to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS and other STIs, and eliminates the agency of individual sex workers.  In countries where sex work is decriminalized, violence against sex workers is reduced and access to health and human services is increased.

The removal of punitive laws and policies targeting sex workers is crucial.  SWOP-Chicago is not alone in this belief.  International agencies such as The Global Commission on HIV and the Law, UNAIDS , the World Health Organization, the Global Alliance Against the Trafficking in Women (GAATW) and the Human Rights Watch have called for or support the decriminalization of sex work. Contrary to what some may have you believe, decriminalization is NOT an attempt to legalize ‘pimps’, nor does it increase exploitation of sex workers. Such arguments are made with a limited understanding of the sex trade, a limited understanding of global capitalism, and undermines the struggle for sex workers to live healthy, safe, stigma-free lives.  

Decriminalization will help sex workers address all forms of exploitation, including abusive or sub-standard working conditions instituted by both state and non-state actors. In countries such as the United States where sex work is criminalized, sex workers are often afraid to come forth   Criminalization of buyers of sex will not eliminate this concern, but would instead drive the industry further underground. Clients will be more likely to withhold personal information that sex workers need to keep them safe in order to prevent the police from using this information.  

Finally, SWOP-Chicago is committed to ending human trafficking within the sex trade.  Criminalization of prostitution hampers the anti-trafficking efforts of organizations working with people in the sex trade and makes it easier for sex workers to be wrongly categorized as trafficked persons.  Moreover, under criminalization, there is a reduced chance that those who are trafficked into the sex trade will come forward against their traffickers.  Criminalizing the buyers of sex is tantamount to eliminating the agency of individual sex workers, and creates an environment conducive to the proliferation of human trafficking.

SWOP-Chicago and other members of the sex worker rights movement are in agreement with with other human rights movements in condemning the abuse and violation of the rights of all individuals, including sex workers.  Thus, we stand in solidarity with Amnesty International in calling for the full decriminalization of prostitution.  

Please join us in posting this statement and spreading the word via social media using the hashtags on Friday, April 4 in support of Amnesty International’s consultation of the decriminalization of sex work.

#YESamnestyDECRIM #Amnesty2014

#NotYourRescueProject #Amnesty2014

#StandWithYouthWhoTrade #Amnesty2014



Members of SWOP-Chicago



Spend Labor Day with SWOP! South Side BBQ and Movie Night

SWOP invites all sex workers to help us close out the summer with a south side BBQ and movie night! We’re firing up the grill and having an impromptu meet and greet for current and former industry workers. Later in the evening, we’ll be showing some choice selections from 2011’s Sex Worker Film Festival on an outdoor screen. Please bring your own booze/beverages, a dish to share, and whatever you’d like our sexy grillmaster to fire up for you.

This is a SEX WORKER ONLY event, open to current or former workers of all genders. Sorry, no allies or partners allowed. blog-retro-bbq-girl


The Deets…

Date- Monday, September 2 – Labor Day

Time- 3pm- ???

Location- South Side Chicago (near Hyde Park)

There is a Metra train stop nearby, but we encourage folks to carpool to this event if possible. SWOP members will be available to pick people up at train stations nearby at different times.

Please email- or call (312) 252-3880 to RSVP and get location information


“Taxes, Tea & Coffee” – Tax/Money Management Worshop Saturday, January 26

Working in the Adult Entertainment Biz and want to get 2013 off to a good financial start?
Join SWOP-Chicago for a tax and money management workshop this January 26!
tax flyer - Big
Saturday, January 26, 2013
2-4:30 p.m.
Rogers Park (near Loyola redline)
RSVP for address
William Enmark, a CPA with an investment/finance background and over 17 years of experience as a tax professional, will lead the workshop. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and share their experiences.
Workshop will cover topics including:
* The benefits of filing taxes
* Tax deductions sex workers can claim
* Budgeting your income and managing your money for the year
* How to stay legal and who can help
* Dealing with a “cash-only” income and how much to set aside for taxes

After the workshop, we will be hosting a coffee/tea/social hour for networking and to share information.

This event is free to attend!

RSVP: via email ( or phone (312) 252-3880

December 17th 2012, Memoriam Video

The Sex Worker Outreach Project of Chicago (SWOP-Chicago) hosted the 10th Annual December 17th, International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers celebration & candlelight vigil in Chicago…

Over 70 individuals involved in the sex trade internationally were documented as falling to violence in 2012.
This year these persons were honored in a video memoriam, played during the vigil event in Chicago.

Song is Deep Red Bells, by Neko Case.
Video editing by John Rodriguez

The Veneration of Whores! December 17th…

The Veneration of Whores ~ Celebration & Candlelight Vigil
10th Annual, International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers
Come enjoy a beautiful evening of celebration & community in Chicago!
Join us as we pay respect to life by honoring our dead and firmly resist ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­the
 institutional and physical violence committed against sex workers worldwide.


• Speakers (TBA)
• Community Commemoration Graffiti Wall
• Special Burlesque & Art Performances
• Robyn Few “Patron Saint of Sex Workers” Shrine 
• Featuring queer DJ All the Way Kay
• Candlelight vigil for sex worker victims in 2012
• Wine & Tea by donation

✔ Bring yourself
✔ … and bring a Friend!
✔ Bring some positive energy
✔ Bring solidarity
✔ Please also consider bringing something healing ,or personal, or special to share/commemorate & glue/write on the community wall; or leave at the “Patron Saint of Sex Workers” Shrine. —-> feather boas, candles, mementos, condoms, poetry, hotel key cards… (get creative!) (glue & markers provided)

This is an ALL-AGES event, which is Open to the Public.
• Light Snacks & Refreshments will be Provided!
For more information contact the SWOP-Chicago: |  312-252-3800  |

Support SWOP-Chicago AND Women With A Vision on June 14!

SWOP-Chicago will be donating a portion of the proceeds from our June 14 benefit party to Women With A Vision, a New Orleans based organization that was burned down two weeks ago in a direct attack on women’s reproductive rights. to find out more about how you can help Women With A Vision, please go here.

Additionally, Chicago Recovery Alliance will be offering FREE vaccinations and STD testing, as well as condoms, clean needles, and lube from @8:30-10:30 in front of Beauty Bar the evening of our event. Look for the silver van.