Last Saturday, I sat on the floor of a queer art space in Ridgewood, watching a Democratic congressional candidate make his case to an audience of two hundred people who were, for the most part, sex workers. It felt a bit like something historic was taking place.
I had been involved in sex-worker activism on and off for over a decade, starting back when I was a naked model inking illustrations for the dearly departed $pread Magazine, and I knew all the usual modes politicians usually used to address this community. At best, condescending pity. More often, sneers and condemnation. Yet here was Suraj Patel, running for New York’s Twelfth Congressional District, talking to a roomful of sex workers as if they had votes he had to win. Read More