International Sex Worker's Day is observed on June 2 every year to focus on the rights of sex workers who are often marginalized and stigmatized in society.

The day marks the historic protest in 1975 at Saint-Nizier Church in Lyon, France, during which hundreds of sex workers gathered to express their frustration at their exploitative living conditions and criminalization of their work.

The protestors occupied the church for eight days and launched a campaign asking for the legalization of sex work in the country. Although the police arrested and removed the protestors from the church and the campaign could not bring in any reform as envisioned, it drew international media attention to the issues faced by sex workers. Since then, June 2nd was chosen as the day to focus on the rights of sex workers.

Sex workers all over the world still struggle with several basic human rights and health challenges including the risk of HIV infection, financial insecurity, and labor rights violation.

Here are some quotes about prostitution that will help you understand the lives of sex workers:

courtesy -A-Z quotes

  1. "Sex work may be an illegal thing, but it's far from being a bad thing. Quite a few of us on the male-to-female side of the coin have done sex work. I've done it myself for a couple of years. It's a place we can make a living and have some fun doing it. It's a place we seem to fit in"- Kate Bornstein
  2. "I don't like people telling other people what to do. Sex work for a lot of women is really important, especially in countries where women don't have a lot of power. Here we can have at least some form ... of making money."- Margaret Cho
  3. "It occurs to me that there's been a relatively recent tendency in the media to see prostitutes as victims and johns as exploiters. I don't think most prostitutes see themselves as victims or see their clients as exploiters, but that way of seeing prostitutes and johns is pretty common now outside of sex-work circles, and it's more shameful to be the exploiter than the exploited."-Chester Brown
  4. "Besides the money aspect, I guess I was curious about sex work. In the way that most people are, but also because ever since I was a teen I had read feminist writers like Dworkin and Mackinnon and the way they wrote about sex work had an enormous impact on me. Was it really as horrible as they said?"-Marie Calloway
  5. "I would never want to take away the option of sex work from someone, but I would want to create more options so that everyone can make the decision whether they want to do sex work or they don't want to do sex work and that people who do sex work can do it safely."-Emily Symons
  6. I think in certain ways sex work has been romanticized. I can only speak from my experience, but what surprised me about escorting was how boring it mostly is. it seemed like an assembly line process of cleaning my apartment, dressing up, making awkward small talk, having mundane mechanical sex, making more awkward small talk, and then closing the door after them. There's also a lot of frustration and annoyance with it that I feel isn't discussed (a lot of flaky potential clients for instance."-Marie Calloway
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