Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Hos Up! Haters Down!

I need to start today's post with this statement: My life has been changed today. I went to Museo Frida Kahlo, the house where Frida and Diego Rivera lived, and my mind was completely destroyed. I am so completely in love with Frida Kahlo, there are no words for it. I am obsessed. OK, Diego Rivera is OK, but Frida Kahlo is OFF THE HOOK!!!!!

Otherwise, I wandered about Mexico city, buying many great CDs and even some vinyl! OMG! I found this sidewalk vendor stall with probably 3,000 records for sale - they said for 1 peso each but in the end most cost closer to 2 or 3 pesos - it was just too bad that I had already spent most of my money.

Tonight, after all this, I got to attend a fancy dinner with lots of big-wigs and speeches, but at least my good friends from EMPOWER were there- we had great times last nite at the same exact place, drinking and dancing. The hos and the drug users always bring the party, what can I say. But EMPOWER did deserve to get honored tonight for sure. They are a huge example to all of us in the sex worker/HIV/human rights world, and I know that we in DC at least unabashedly copy them. Their latest amazing work is the creation of a popular education game/show about the 7:55 that we sex workers are not actually having sex (as opposed to the 5 minutes of sex that most people are obsessed with).

Today I took a break from the conference, but tomorrow I will be back in action, as I have to present a poster an there are many exciting things going on. Then at night, otra fiesta! I spent a lot of time on the Mexico City Metro today (funny that it is called the same as in DC) and I like although some fucker was sticking his hand down my pants when we were really packed in but I held my anger in and simply moved. Kind of like when UNAIDS head Peter Piot was talking tonight at the reception of the Red Ribbon awards about supporting the rights of marginalized people and I wanted to scream "Why doesn't the UN have a coherent platform supporting sex worker rights!?!?!?!" but I didn't.
Ok see yall soon at wild times party the nite of the 8th when I make a crazy appearance after 9 hours of travel!!!!!! Expet much new musica!!!!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Sex Workers of the World Unite in Mexico City

This is my amazing new friend Samanta, who is one of the key organizers with an amazing sex worker organization in Guatemala that's called Mujeres en Superacion - they do rights organizing and leadership development as well as HIV prevention. Samanta is an incredible activist and we stayed up late last night drinking an entire bottle of rum, talking about sex work experiences, activism, children, and more. She is a mother of two, married, and a very public sex worker activist. One beautiful story she told is how she doesn't work for a pimp, in part because she works on a street where there are trans sex workers and all the sex workers there are human rights activists so they don't shit from anyone!

Wow, what an amazing couple of days it has been here, at the pre-conference event with all these incredible women and men, including trans people. It has been a little frustrating at times with too much talking in circles, but mostly amazing to see activists from other countries who i've met in the past, and to meet new ones from all over Latin America, the Caribbean, the Pacific, Asia, and Europe. Today we are having a march for sex worker rights and we all have these amazing shirts:

Then the conference (International AIDS Conference) begins soon and we get to cause troub le, learn from each other more, and try to make the foolish governments and international institutions listen to us and stop criminalizing sex work, stop arresting us in the name of saving us from traffickers, and support sex worker rights as an integral part of HIV prevention and the fight against AIDS.

I leave you with one last photo of new beautiful friends - Dino, Mariam and Princess, from Jamaica and Guyana.