The stigma around sex work means our industry has often been overlooked when it comes to workers’ rights. But however you look at it, sex work is work, and we deserve the same protections all workers need. We need healthy, safe working environments. We need financial stability. And we need to know our rights & how to exercise them.

Because sex work is so stigmatized, even well-intentioned attempts to regulate our industry often have adverse effects for workers. Historically, lawmakers have tried to create regulations that make it harder to make money, like rules prohibiting close contact or governing how we’re allowed to interact with customers.

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That’s part of why the WA dancers safety & security bill (HB 1756) is such a big deal — it’s an example of what happens when dancers actually make our voices heard & legislators work for us. There should be nothing about us without us, and the bill we helped create is proof that we can make change from the ground up and make legislators listen to our needs.

The stigma against sex work doesn’t serve sex workers in any way. It makes our jobs harder, prevents us from making money, and keeps us from being open about issues we’re facing. Ending this stigma is a vital part of fighting for workers’ rights.

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