Proposition 60 looks great at first glance. I wouldn’t fault anyone who doesn’t know anything about it for voting “yes” if that’s all they knew about it. I can easily imagine myself getting suckered into voting for it if I didn’t have such strong connections to the sex worker communities. But the fact is, it’s a lousy law, the latest in a long string of attempts by the AIDS Health Foundation to profiteer off the fear of sex and the stigmatizing of sex work. I want to talk about why it’s a lousy law here, but I want to do more than that, too: I want to use it as a demonstration of why it’s important for everyone in this country who works for a living to pay attention to the organizing efforts of sex workers and support them.
Atheists and skeptics have provided some great commentary in the past couple of weeks Jill Stein’s anti-science crankery. It’s much needed: Stein has been let off the hook for far too long as someone who may, at worst, be kind of naïve, but is basically decent at heart. But her attempts to pander to anti-vaxxers using the well-worn “I’m just asking questions” dodge, in addition to a truly bizarre rant alleging that WiFi is destroying our childrens’ minds, has made a lot of people look askance at her. Even Dan Arel, who had previously supported her, finally threw up his hands in disgust.
But something has gotten lost in all the delightful fisking of Stein’s anti-science fear mongering, something which is at least as harmful, if not more: Both Stein and the Green Party have lousy positions on sex work.
I’m going through kind of a scary time, financially speaking. The company that I work for is struggling, and decided to boot me off the payroll and hire me back as a part-time “contractor.” That means that where I was getting over $2,000 a month take-home pay, I’m now getting $1,000, and over $300 of that will have to go into COBRA payments.
As co-organizers of Godless Perverts, Greta Christina and I have had the honor of working with Cinnamon Maxxine on several occasions. At one of the Godless Perverts Story Hours, Cinnamon did a great burlesque performance which they followed up with an improvised account of coming out to their parents about doing sex work and the consequences that followed. Since then, Cinnamon has co-hosted two Godless Perverts Social Clubs: One about sex work politics, and another about cultural appropriation in alternative sexuality communities. I think that I can speak for Greta as well as myself when I say that we both look forward to any opportunity to work with Cinnamon. They’re as passionate as they are insightful, and have a lot to say about issues that often are far too neglected even in social justice communities, such as body image, racism, sex work, mental health, and all the places that those topics intersect.
When I read on Facebook that Cinnamon was starting a Patreon page in order to support their own blogging and writing, I thought that it was an excellent opportunity to introduce them to people here. Check out the Q&A below for your first taste of a truly wonderful person and powerful activist. (Note: One of the pictures near the bottom of the article is a NSFW nude shot from one of Cinnamon’s porn shoots.)