In the run-up to the presidential election, leading sex worker rights advocates are trying to anticipate the impact of either candidate’s win—and it’s the possibility of a Biden presidency that elicits both deep concern and cautious optimism.

While most of the advocates I spoke with strongly favored Biden over Trump as a candidate, none considered his theoretical presidency to be a default win for sex worker rights. Penelope Saunders, executive director of Best Practices Policy Project, a group dedicated to supporting sex work advocacy, observes that many of the politicians running against Trumpism are aiming for the restoration of the Obama-era.

“The hope is that politics will return to normal—and ‘normal’ for sex workers’ rights is not good,” said Saunders. “We have to hold in our minds that [a Biden victory] is not a victory for sex workers.”

— Read on