Woodhull logo in pink, green, and orange. Words reading

Bi-Weekly Sexual Freedom Newsletter
Wednesday, October 2, 2019


Top Stories This Week

1. Conversion therapy Instagram accounts;
2. Navigating fetishism as a queer, non-binary, Black sex worker;
3. Trans sex workers in D.C. protecting their own;
4. Barriers faced by low-income college students;
5. The critical services offered by abortion doulas;
6. Schools’ English-only and racist dress code policies; 
7. How trans journalists are challenging and changing journalism. 

Having trouble viewing this email? View it in your web browser


(Illustration - Jessica De Jesus: Photo - Getty Images)

Very Online: Instagram Has a Conversion Therapy Problem (Bitch Media) 

In April 2018, Changed Movement, a Christian organization that promotes conversion therapy, joined Instagram. Rachel Charlene Lewis understands conversion therapy to be “an extreme form of violence” and urges Instagram to take action against Changed Movement and all other pro-conversion therapy accounts: “Instagram may like to appear neutral, but it’s taken political stances before, whether it’s shadowbanning the accounts of sex workers or censoring images it deems inappropriate—often a loaded, politicized decision in and of itself. In the same way that Instagram recently banned weight-loss products on the platform, it’s time for the platform to recognize the damage done by conversion therapy and take a stance here, too.”
Read more.


(Wear Your Voice)

Navigating Fetishism as a Queer, Non-Binary, Black Sex Worker (Wear Your Voice) 

Cosima Smith is a self-identified queer, non-binary, Black sex worker, attempting to navigate festishization that negates their humanity: “Many Black people and other POC are well-versed in the exchange of their fetishized identities for their livelihoods and livability. As a sex-worker, I navigate this exchange perhaps more consciously and narrowly than others may. It has become a norm by now; I exchange my, or a, fetishized Black manliness for money, for food, for survival. The biggest problem with this exchange? I am forced to leave pieces of myself in the shadows and throw on identities and characteristics that do not belong to me as I fashion myself to match this hyper-fetishized identity.” Read more.


(J. Lawler Duggan:The Washington Post)

Transgender sex workers feel under attack. These women are working to protect their own. (The Washington Post) 

As Samantha Schmidt and Marissa J. Lang write, facing threats to their safety, trans sex workers in D.C. have created and sustained a network of community care and advocacy: “Federal measures that shuttered websites like Backpage and Craigslist’s personals eliminated a digital safety net that allowed sex workers to better control what clients they accepted. [...] transgender sex workers can’t afford to wait to see whether the District can find ways to better protect them. They’re doing it themselves. They keep watch at night, organize rallies, collect money on GoFundMe to provide emergency housing and services.” Read more.


(Rashaad McFadden: The New York Times)

I Was a Low-Income College Student. Classes Weren’t the Hard Part. (The New York Times Magazine) 

Low-come college students need more than financial aid to succeed, Anthony Abraham Jack contends: “We like to think that landing a coveted college spot is a golden ticket for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. We think less critically about what happens next. I lived this gap as a first-generation college student. [...] Admission alone, as it turns out, is not the great equalizer. Just walking through the campus gates unavoidably heightens [low-income] students’ awareness and experience of the deep inequalities around them...” Read more.



Abortion Doulas, With or Without the Title, Provide a Critical Service (Rewire.News) 

As S. Nicole Lane asserts, abortion doulas’ work is a labor of healing, justice, and freedom: in other words, it is “activism at its core”: “Creating a just and free world means offering services to marginalized communities that have to overcome barriers in order to access abortions. [...] Abortion doulas can provide complete emotional support through what can be a highly emotional and sometimes intense procedure.”
Read more.


 (Lauren Walker: Truthout)

Schools Should Do Away With English-Only Policies and Racist Dress Codes (Truthout) 

As Kim Wilson’s op-ed argues, English-only policies and racist dress codes in schools—and anywhere else—are decidedly unconscionable: “We cannot treat these policies as some benign product created by ‘apolitical’ school officials. It is not possible to disconnect current issues, such as the anti-immigrant movement, ICE raids, concentration camps, policing, the caging of millions of people in this country, the death of children in border prisons, anti-Muslim rhetoric, family separation policies, and the deportation of thousands of people, from educational language policies that target students from these groups.” Read more.


(Joey Guidone)

How Trans Journalists are Challenging—and Changing—Journalism (Nieman Reports) 

As a trans reporter, Lewis Raven Wallace, like many other trans journalists, has faced—and challenged—many barriers in the profession, including being tokenized and asked for information on trans issues. Wallace writes, “I was called the wrong pronouns, was scared or unable to use bathrooms in many reporting situations, and never had an active ally or support while navigating that at work. My composed outer shell was important to me and helped me do a complicated job. Why should I be asked to be vulnerable in ways that my colleagues rarely were?” Read more.


Follow Us

Communication Preferences

© 2019 The Woodhull Freedom Foundation All rights reserved