Celebrate International Sex Worker Rights Day with SWOP Denver!

March 3rd is International Sex Worker Rights Day! SWOP Denver is thrilled to announce not one, but two events to celebrate our diverse experiences in the sex industry, and call attention to the marginalization, stigmatization and oppression that sex workers face in the US and internationally.

On the evening of March 2nd, we will be holding our first ever SWOP SWAP, a sex worker only clothing swap and social gathering. The event will begin at 6pm and run until about 9pm, and will be located at the SOL offices, located at 4114 Tejon St in Denver. This event is limited to current sex workers only, but if you are a former sex worker or ally please feel free to contact us about volunteering.

And on the afternoon of March 3rd, we will be holding a Sex Worker Rights Rally at 1:30pm on the west steps of the State Capitol. Bring a red umbrella if you have one, and disguises are welcome (and encouraged for those currently in the industry or concerned about privacy). We need as many people to show up for this as possible so that we can have an impact! Please come whether you are a current or former worker, and ally, an accomplice, or just have an interest in showing your solidarity with the sex worker rights movement.

Looking forward to a smashing Sex Worker Rights Day!

PROS (Providers and Resources Offering Services to Sex Workers) Network Training February 11th, 7pm

We are having another be nice to sex workers 101 PROS Network training coming up on February 11th, 7pm at the Bakery Arts Warehouse, 2132 Market St. Denver 80205.

This event is open to anyone who provides a service that sex workers would take advantage of. Currently our network is small and we would especially like more physicians, lawyers and accountants in the network. But all service providers are welcome! The training is 100% free and lasts about an hour. Please RSVP to SWOPDenver@gmail.com if you plan on coming so we know how many folks to expect.

We are also available to provide this training to groups at your office or in your community. Contact us if you are interested and we will find a time.

Street Outreach

SWOP Denver will be doing outreach to street-based and survival sex workers throughout 2016. As of this posting, we are planning on doing our outreach around 8pm on the 2nd and 4th Friday of every month. Where we do outreach varies, so please contact us if your community would like us to bring our supplies and friendly faces to your neighborhood. You may also contact us to find out where we are planning on doing outreach any particular week.

Below, please find a list of outreach materials we commonly have available:

  • We always have condoms, lube and other safer sex supplies
  • Water
  • Coffee or hot cocoa (on cold nights)
  • Snacks
  • Hats/ gloves/ hand warmers (during winter)
  • Bleach kits (supplies to reduce harm for injection drug users)
  • Crack kits (supplies to reduce harm for crack users and smokers)
  • Various hygiene items, including feminine hygiene products
  • Copies of our Bad Date List

What supplies we have available is often based on in-kind or financial donations, so if you would like to donate anything for our street outreach efforts please let us know! And if you are a current or former sex worker, or a person who is currently or has experienced homelessness, we would love to have you as a volunteer. The dates for street outreach coming up in February are 2/12 and 2/26.

 

PROS Network Training 7pm January 14th

We are happy to announce that we will be holding another PROS Network Sex Work 101 Training on January 14th, 2016.

One of SWOP’s core beliefs is that trading sex for money or to meet other needs is not inherently harmful, damaging, degrading or empowering. When sex workers experience harm through the sex industry it is often a byproduct of stigma and criminalization, and we want to help those who are providing much needed services to sex workers to better understand how to help us. We seek rights, not rescue!

This training is being held Thursday, January 14th at the Bakery Arts Warehouse, 2132 Market St, Denver, CO 80205. We do not anticipate the training lasting more than an hour- the event is 1.5 hours long in order to make sure there is time for questions and discussion. This training is open to all service providers, which may include (but is not limited to): physicians, sexual health service providers, mental health professionals and social workers, alternative/ Eastern medicine practitioners, lawyers and legal professionals, accountants and bookkeepers, social service providers, harm reduction service providers, those servicing homeless and marginalized communities, LGBTQ organizations, etc. Please invite other professionals if you believe they might be interested.

If you have a large group of individuals who would like to be trained, we are also open to making a special visit to your office or other location to get your whole group trained up.

If you are interested in attending the January 14th training, please RSVP to SWOPDenver@gmail.com so we can get a head count. We look forward to this opportunity to give you a view into the world of individuals in the sex trade, and to adding you to our network of friendly professionals.

SWOP Denver Holds Vigil in Remembrance for International Day to End Violence, December 17th, 2015

List of memorialized names.  Warning:  contains details of deaths as well as names and in some cases images of the deceased.

December 17 names 2015

 

Media coverage of event.

KGNU covers Denver event

 

2015 Events.

 

Videos shown.

 

Additional videos.

(Above includes 8 linked videos from APNSW)

 

http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/highlight/5429abd678c90a9d67000891

 

Graphics.

December 17th, International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

Join Sex Workers Outreach Project Denver in remembering sex workers who have been survivors and victims of violence. We ask that you stand with us in the fight against criminalization, incarceration, oppression, assault, and murder of sex workers and those perceived as sex workers. We will be  holding a vigil and speak-out at 7pm on December 17th at the 6th Avenue United Church of Christ, 3250 E 6th Avenue, Denver.

December 17th, The International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers was first recognized in 2003, in memoriam for the victims of Washington State serial killer Gary Ridgway. [TW, CW: violence and extreme whorephobia]………… Ridgway preyed on sex workers and underage runaways, stating that he “picked prostitutes as my victims because I hate most prostitutes and I did not want to pay them for sex,” and that he “also picked prostitutes as victims because they were easy to pick up without being noticed. I knew they would not be reported missing right away and might never be reported missing. I picked prostitutes because I thought I could kill as many of them as I wanted without getting caught.” ……………………….

It is now recognized internationally as a day to come together as sex workers, advocates, allies, friends and family, and call for an end to violence rooted in misogyny, racism, transphobia, colonialism, xenophobia and economic oppression. Let’s end the stigma HERE and NOW.

The evening will include a vigil, presentation of the names and stories of victims in 2015, and a speak-out for sex workers and allies. Bring your poetry, words, or anything else you’d like to share in solidarity- but please keep in mind that space will be held at this event for those most affected by violence and marginalization.

This is a very heavy event, but SWOP Denver is committed to bringing warmth, levity and solidarity to all who attend. Please come if you can and show your support! And if you know any sex workers (or are one and know others) please be sure to hug them and tell them you love them on this and every single day.

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2015

Today, November 20th 2015, marks the 17th Transgender Day of Remembrance. SWOP Denver joins trans communities, locally and globally, in honoring and remembering the lives of those we have lost to violence, hatred, stigma, oppression and fear.

Every year, many of the trans lives lost to murder and violence are also the lives of sex workers. We must continue to fight together for the rights of trans individuals- especially trans women and especially trans women of color- and for the rights of trans sex workers. We are committed to creating a world in which basic human rights and safety are taken as a given for trans individuals and sex workers everywhere.

Below, please find the memorial list for 2015, in addition to information on vigils occurring in Colorado this evening.

 

Link to the memorial list for 2015

Link to SWOP USA’s TDOR Fact Sheet

Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil hosted by One Colorado

The above event is located in Golden, CO and begins at 7pm

Transgender Day of Remembrance March and Vigil hosted by Out Boulder

The above event is located in Boulder, CO and begins at 6:30pm

Grand Junction Event hosted by One Colorado and First Congressional United Church of Christ

The above event is located in Grand Junction and begins at 7pm