You would have to be living under a rock in order to not know that COVID 19 has become a threat to the lives of everyone on the planet. We are trying our best to stay updated on the latest news from trusted sources like The World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control. We know FOR SURE that you want to try to keep from getting it and we know FOR SURE that there are people at higher risk than others and we know that the symptoms can be mild to severe, depending on your individual health circumstances. Be sure the information you get and give is accurate and can be sourced back to someone or somewhere credible!
What isn’t so obvious is that there are a lot of people who have lost their jobs already and many have been asked to work from home. A lot of folks don’t know what’s next but we can tell you that our sex worker community started suffering financial loss more than a month ago as clients started becoming aware of the COVID 19 virus making its way into the USA. And its gotten worse. You have probably seen Sex Worker Mutual Aid Support fundraisers pop up out of what seems like no where but please know that these are small organizations that are providing real resources in the form of cash, food, harm reduction supplies and community and they are a vital resource. If there is a sex worker rights organization that you prefer – please donate to them right away!
If you are like so many and self isolating – or even on lockdown or in quarantine right now, take a moment to read this list of 10 WAYS TO HELP SEX WORKERS DURING COVID 19. There are a lot of ways you could make a difference in someone’s life! We hope that you will make a difference on behalf of our community!
Here is out Top Ten Ways to Help Sex Workers Survive the COVID 19 Virus
10. Buy something from a sex workers Amazon Wishlist! You can find their wish lists on their webpage and sometimes on their twitter profile. If you want to brighten an incarcerated sex workers wish list, We have a list of several hundred incarcerated sex workers wish lists here! Try to remember to send a gift receipt so it doesn’t get turned away!
9. Sign up to be a pen pal with an incarcerated sex worker with SWOP Behind Bars, or with Black and Pink! If you think self isolation is bad, imagine how bad it is to NOT be able to self isolate!
8. Donate to Mutual Aid Funds run by sex workers. These funds are popping up everywhere and they are doing their best to meet basic needs locally. Lysistratahas been doing this direct mutual aid work for many years and they are able to respond to requests quickly and efficiently. Detroit Mutual Aid Fund, SWOP Brooklyn, POCSWOP and Whose Corner is it Anyway. There are many more and you can follow us on Twitter as we try to amplify their voices!
7. Pay for your porn! You should ALWAYS be paying for your porn but during this time of self isolation, porn and cam folks are seeing an increase in “clicks”, but don’t stop there – tip them, subscribe to their channels, have live chat sessions with them and pay for their content!
6. Check up on sex workers who are disabled or chronically ill. They are suffering the most right now and need your help now more than ever! But don’t stop at just checking in – donate money to them! And amplify their CashApp’s and Venmo accounts by signal boosting and tagging the celebrity’s you follow!
5. Call on your local LGBT organizations and ask them how they are helping sex workers get through this crisis. Forty percent of sex workers identify as LGBTQ and if they don’t know if they are serving any sex workers, they aren’t doing their job! Ask them if they are handing out soap or condoms or hand sanitizer! Make your community accountable for treating sex workers with dignity and respect.
4.Call your local health department and ask them what they are doing to help sex workers during the COVID 19 crisis. If they say they aren’t doing anything to help sex workers specifically, tell them about SWOP and that they can call our National Community Support Line to find out how they can connect with sex workers and help them stay safe.
3. Call your local food bank and tell them you want to make sure their organization is helping sex workers. Just ask! “Does your group help feed sex workers?” If the answer is no – pick another food bank or community based organization that feeds people directly or provides groceries.
2. Don’t think that donating $5 or $10 isn’t “worth it”. IT IS!
AND THE NUMBER 1 WAY TO SUPPORT SEX WORKERS DURING THE COVID 19 CRISIS IS…
Donate money DIRECTLY to a sex worker using the CashApp or Venmo of their choice. Most Sex Workers have their CashApp or Venmo in their Twitter and Instagram profiles and if not, scroll through the SBB (@swopbehindbars) twitter feed and you’ll find plenty of sex workers who follow us that really need those dollars. GO DOWN THAT RABBIT HOLE and find a sex worker who is flat out asking for cash so they can eat or better manage their current lives. If you have a local chapter of SWOP, go to their twitter feed and find a LOCAL sex worker that follows them and donate DIRECTLY to them.
We hope this helps you find ways to help sex workers as our country – and our planet – figures out what to do next. Its going to be a trying time, by we are all connected to each other in one way or another and people are really noticing all of the fractures in our society right now because of COVID 19. Hopefully we will learn to trust and respect each other more when this is over!