Volunteer Opportunity: Street Outreach

SWOP Denver is seeking volunteers to help out with our street outreach program! We go out 3-4 Friday nights a month, approximately between 8-10pm but timing varies based on sunset and weather conditions. We would love volunteers who have experience with sex work or working in street economies, but if you are a sensitive ally you also qualify for this. Our primary goal during outreach is to deliver condoms, hygiene supplies and other harm reduction materials to survival sex workers and their communities. Even if you can only commit to one night a month we could really use some help! Email SWOPDenver@gmail.com if you’re interested.

Sex Worker Rights are LGBTQ Rights!

This past Sunday, SWOP Denver marched in the annual Denver Pridefest parade! We had about 15 sex workers and allies show up for the march. While we would like to strongly state that we did not feel comfortable with the law enforcement presence at the parade, we also want to state that we were very  happy to be included in the parade and glad that the Center here in Colorado recognizes the intersections between LGBTQ rights and sex worker rights.

For more information on how LGBTQ and sex worker rights go hand in hand, visit some of these links.

HuffPo

Think Progress

Lambda Legal

And please enjoy these photos of us from the parade!13450792_1274491449235695_5821123942339258902_n IMG_2333 13442620_1271286572889516_8209955035119873356_o

Denver Health STD Clinic

We are very happy to announce that Denver Health’s STD clinic is now a member of our pros network! Their clinic offers sliding scale fees, and will not turn away patients who are unable to pay for services.

We would also like to thank them and Trojan for a very generous donation of a great deal of condoms for our street outreach efforts. Thanks for being an ally to the Denver and Colorado sex worker community, Denver Health!

SWOP Denver June 2016 Events

We have a variety of events happening this June that we’d love for y’all to come check out!

On June 2nd we will be hosting the second Denver SWOP Swap, a sex worker clothing exchange and social event. It will be held at the SOL offices, 4130 Tejon St. 80211- building is *off* Tejon and behind some other offices, from 6pm-9pm. Free food and clothes for all current sex workers in or visiting Denver. More information on this event can be found here.

On June 19th SWOP Denver will be marching in Denver’s annual Pridefest Parade! Meet us in Cheesman Park between 9am-9:30am- all sex workers, current and former, plus accomplices, friends and family are encouraged to march with us. We should be pretty easy to find- we’ll be the bunch with the red umbrellas and SWOP Denver banner😀 More info on the parade can be found here.

And as always, we meet at the American Friends Service Committee offices, 901 W 14th Ave #7, Denver, CO 80204, at 6:30pm every third Tuesday. A general SWOP Denver meeting runs the gamut between discussing business, events and action plans, plus offering support and friendship to one another. Accomplices are also welcome in this space, but please do your best to be sensitive to the needs of any sex workers in this space. This month the meeting will be on June 21st.

We would love to see all of your smiling faces!

The Global Sex Worker Rights Movement and it’s Relation to Anti-Trafficking

When it comes to discussions of sex work vs. sex trafficking, there are a lot of problems with conflation between the two and misinformation about the motives of the sex worker rights movement. Many sex workers who are advocating for decrimalization and human rights are often accused of only advocating for those things out for their own self-interest, rather than what we believe is best for our community. Some opponents of sex worker rights even go so far as to call the rights movement the pimp lobby, in an attempt to further silence the voices of sex workers and marginalized communities.

The fact is that the sex worker rights movement is also very much against all forms of labor trafficking, sex trafficking and child exploitation. Not only that, but research has shown that sex worker organizations and other peer support groups have the best success in providing services to both trafficking victims and consensual sex workers.

SWOP Denver was pleased to have the opportunity to present on the Global Sex Worker Rights Movement and it’s Relation to Anti-Trafficking at Metro State University’s Anti-Trafficking course yesterday and today. The presentation covers the history of the sex worker rights movement over the past 45 years, in addition to some information on decriminalization vs. legalization and the spectrum of consent, circumstance and coercion.  A Google Drive copy of our presentation can be found here, and we can also provide a PDF of the presentation upon request.

We believe that survivors of trafficking are best served when sex workers and anti-trafficking groups can work together instead of against one another, whether that be through knowledge and skill sharing, or through teaming up to offer direct services. If you are interested in having SWOP Denver members give this presentation in your class or to members of your organization/ community, please contact us at SWOPDenver@gmail.com. We are also available for other education and peer outreach opportunities, so don’t hesitate to contact us with any ideas you may have for working with us. We look forward to meeting more of you and continuing our work in the Denver and Colorado sex worker communities!

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.