On the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, December 17, 2019, a bill was introduced to study the impact of losing access to internet platforms on the health and safety of sex workers.

The “SAFETY & Health Impact Study Act: Surveying Affects of Frozen E-Platforms and Technology (SAFETY) and Health Impact Study Act”, introduced by Rep. Ro Khanna and Senator Elizabeth Warren, directs the National Institute of Health to assess the impact on sex workers of losing access to internet platforms following the enactment of FOSTA/SESTA.

Members of the sex worker community have anecdotally reported negative impacts of losing access to online platforms after FOSTA/SESTA, including that the loss off such platforms forces them into less safe venues, including street work, where they have less independence and control. The study called for in this legislation would be the first rigorous study of the impact of FOSTA/SESTA.

GLAD stands with other advocates, organizational partners, legislators and community members who are standing up for sex workers’ safety and well-being.

Read more about the legislation here.

Read a related post from Executive Director Janson Wu:

Everything is Rent

August 31, 2015

In the wake of the arrests of the CEO and several employees of Rentboy.com for federal charges of racketeering and promoting prostitution, I couldn’t help but think of a line from one of my favorite musicals, Rent. A show about the bohemian subculture of the East Village, which includes queer people, HIV+ people and yes, sex workers, the opening number about the struggles of paying rent and avoiding eviction, ends with: “‘Cause everything is rent.”

In the case of Rentboy.com, that line takes on new dimensions. For so many LGBT individuals, sex work is a necessity, in order to pay for rent… and food, healthcare and so on.

That is why GLAD, along with other LGBT legal organizations, supported Amnesty International’s resolution calling for the complete decriminalization of sex work. For so many LGBT people who have been rejected by families and experienced disproportionate rates of homelessness, poverty, discrimination and violence, participation in street economies is often critical to survival.

Read the full post