Hero(es) of the Month: Honoring the Dancers of the Lusty Lady

In 1996, the Lusty Lady in San Francisco became the first strip club in the country to successfully unionize, making history for the entire informal labor sector, including sex work. Despite the club’s closure in 2013, “Lusties,” as the dancers call themselves, remain a symbol of resilience and empowerment in an industry so often criticized…Continue reading Hero(es) of the Month: Honoring the Dancers of the Lusty Lady

DSW’s Melissa Broudo Featured in Film Series on Inspirational Women

DSW’s Melissa Broudo was featured in “As a Woman,” an interview-based film series diving into the lives of six inspirational, female-identifying New Yorkers. Written and produced by Majella Productions, the documentary explores how these individuals relate to their womanhood, and the ways this identity impacts their lived experience. The production is a beautiful examination of…Continue reading DSW’s Melissa Broudo Featured in Film Series on Inspirational Women

Hero(es) of the Month: TS Candii, SX Noir, and Gizelle Marie Organize the Largest Sex Worker March in U.S. History

More than six hundred activists, community members, and allies, including DSW’s Ceyenne Doroshow and Frances Steele, filled Manhattan’s Times Square on a Saturday at 5 p.m. The crowd gathered for the Black Sex Worker Liberation March & Vigil. When the event concluded five hours later, it was conclusively the largest demonstration for sex worker rights…Continue reading Hero(es) of the Month: TS Candii, SX Noir, and Gizelle Marie Organize the Largest Sex Worker March in U.S. History

DSW’s Kaytlin Bailey on Sex Work and Police Reform

The Cape Cod, MA, chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America asked DSW’s Kaytlin Bailey to present on police reform, accountability, and gendered violence from a sex worker’s perspective. The talk started with a brief history of policing prostitution, and the social narratives we have constructed to allow police abuse to proliferate. Bailey then outlined…Continue reading DSW’s Kaytlin Bailey on Sex Work and Police Reform

DSW Supports Criminal Justice Reform Bills in New York

DSW’s Melissa Broudo and Frances Steele attended a rally in New York City supporting five state-level criminal justice reform bills that will be voted on — and hopefully passed — this legislative session. The rally featured impacted community members who shared personal experiences and state-wide data to explain the critical issues addressed by each bill….Continue reading DSW Supports Criminal Justice Reform Bills in New York

Fighting and Winning: Ceyenne Doroshow and the state of TGNCNB rights

DSW consultant, cornerstone figure of the transgender, nonconforming, nonbinary rights movement, and founder of Gays and Lesbians Living In a Transgender Society (G.L.I.T.S.), Ceyenne Doroshow set out to raise a million dollars to support trans women of color last month. The fundraiser reached its goal in one short week and the momentum has not stopped. The…Continue reading Fighting and Winning: Ceyenne Doroshow and the state of TGNCNB rights

Hero of the Month: Ceyenne Doroshow, Celebrating Pride Through Justice

DSW’s Hero of the Month for June is Ceyenne Doroshow — activist, organizer, and a cornerstone of the international sex worker and transgender, gender nonconforming, non-binary (TGNC) rights movements. Ceyenne, a Black transwoman, is also the founder and executive director of Gays and Lesbians Living in a Transgender Society (GLITS) in NYC. GLITS helps to…Continue reading Hero of the Month: Ceyenne Doroshow, Celebrating Pride Through Justice

DSW’s J. Leigh Brantly Co-founds Sex Worker Group in Vermont

A new sex worker rights organization was co-founded in VT by J. Leigh Brantly of DSW, along with local human rights advocate Henri. The Ishtar Collective is the first-ever anti-trafficking and sex-worker-rights organization to be based in Vermont. The organization is run by and for current and former sex workers, industry allies, and survivors of…Continue reading DSW’s J. Leigh Brantly Co-founds Sex Worker Group in Vermont

International Whore’s Day 2020: Virtual and Vibrant

The 45th annual celebration of International Whore’s Day (IWD) departed from the usual, where sex workers and their allies don red attire and march through city streets across the country. This year, the IWDNYC Coalition collaborated with Kink Out Events to launch an online rally and social media takeover honoring protests for sex worker rights…Continue reading International Whore’s Day 2020: Virtual and Vibrant

“Six Feet Apart” Podcast With Alex Wagner Features J. Leigh Brantly

DSW’s J. Leigh Brantly was a guest on the Crooked Media podcast “Six Feet Apart With Alex Wagner,” discussing sex work amidst the pandemic. Six Feet Apart is a weekly show that explores every aspect of the human experience during COVID-19 and how people are surviving this extraordinary and life-defining event. In the episode “Sex,”…Continue reading “Six Feet Apart” Podcast With Alex Wagner Features J. Leigh Brantly

DSW Joins Virtual Town Hall With Movement Experts

DSW’s Melissa Broudo and J. Leigh Brantly were featured in the latest edition of New Pride Agenda’s virtual town-hall series entitled, “Let’s Talk Sex & Sex Work.” The webinar brought together activists, policy experts, and community members to explore the economic and cultural impacts of social distancing for LGBTQ+ people in response to the COVID-19…Continue reading DSW Joins Virtual Town Hall With Movement Experts

DSW Participates in TGNC/NB Advocacy Day in NY

The New York State legislature is following social distancing protocol, and advocacy groups have organized virtual lobbying meetings to continue their activism. Through their work with the New York Gender Diversity Coalition and other organizations, DSW’s J. Leigh Brantly helped organize an historic day of activism. Transgender, Gender-Non Conforming, Non-Binary (TGNC/NB) Advocacy Day is an…Continue reading DSW Participates in TGNC/NB Advocacy Day in NY

Our Bodies, Our Labors, Our Streets: International Women’s Day in NYC

The International Women’s Strike, also known as Paró Internacional de Mujeres, is a global movement of coalitions in more than 50 countries, organizing around International Women’s Day each year. The movement began in 2017 to honor the work of women across the world, organizing against the criminalization of abortion, femicide, and gender-based violence. This year’s…Continue reading Our Bodies, Our Labors, Our Streets: International Women’s Day in NYC

DSW Rallies With Activists To Pass the #WalkingWhileTrans Repeal

On International Sex Worker Rights Day, the Walking While Trans Coalition gathered at the Million Dollar Staircase in the Albany Statehouse to speak out about trans rights in New York State. DSW’s J. Leigh Brantly joined activists representing the New York Transgender Advocacy Group (NYTAG) and the Sharmus Outlaw Advocacy and Rights (SOAR) Institute. The…Continue reading DSW Rallies With Activists To Pass the #WalkingWhileTrans Repeal

Honoring Our Movement: International Sex Worker Rights Day

Sex workers and allied communities celebrated International Sex Worker Rights Day, a holiday that commemorates the tireless efforts of harm-reduction advocates around the world. The holiday began in India in 2001 when over 25,000 sex workers from around the world gathered there for a festival organized by Durbar Mahila Samanwaya. The Durbar is a Kolkata-based…Continue reading Honoring Our Movement: International Sex Worker Rights Day

DSW Travels To Nairobi To Meet With the African Sex Workers Alliance

DSW’s Kaytlin Bailey sat down with the African Sex Work Alliance (ASWA) at its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. ASWA is a Pan-African alliance of sex worker-led organizations. The group was formed in 2009 and has grown to include members from 33 countries. Bailey and ASWA discussed the overlap between what sex workers around the world…Continue reading DSW Travels To Nairobi To Meet With the African Sex Workers Alliance

Adult Entertainment Industry Supports DSW in the Fight Against Stigma

DSW attended the Adult Video News (AVN) Awards Conference in Las Vegas. At this annual expo, meet-and-greet, and awards show, members of the adult entertainment industry exhibit their latest work, newest products, and talk about business initiatives. J. Leigh Brantly, Melissa Broudo, and Kaytlin Bailey presented on DSW’s work at the expo. DSW’s presence highlighted…Continue reading Adult Entertainment Industry Supports DSW in the Fight Against Stigma

Cato Institute podcast: “Understanding Models of Legal Sex Work”

“Understanding Models of Legal Sex Work” (Cato Institute podcast, December 28, 2019) DSW’s Kaytlin Bailey is featured. “Sex work [is] only legal in parts of Nevada, and there it is highly restricted. What are some of the other models for legal sex work, and which models best respect the individuals involved? Kaytlin Bailey is with…Continue reading Cato Institute podcast: “Understanding Models of Legal Sex Work”

DSW Staffers Participate in LGBTQI and Sex Worker Rights Panel

DSW’s Melissa Broudo and J. Leigh Brantly participated in the NY Transgender Advocacy Group’s LGBTQI Winter Cocktail Policy Series. Melissa and J spoke on a panel entitled “Reclaiming Our Bodies,” the first of three community-building, focused policy discussions. The event brought together LGBTQI community members and allies to learn about the intersection between sex workers’…Continue reading DSW Staffers Participate in LGBTQI and Sex Worker Rights Panel

DSW Honors International Day To End Violence Against Sex Workers

DSW joined sex-worker-rights activists around the world in honoring the International Day To End Violence Against Sex Workers, which takes place annually on December 17. This holiday mourns the lives of far too many sex workers who are lost to violence, stigma, and discrimination in a criminalized environment. DSW participated in three events across the…Continue reading DSW Honors International Day To End Violence Against Sex Workers

DSW Attends Two Key Conferences

Kaytlin Bailey shared DSW’s work at the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC’s) Annual Policy Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona. ALEC is the largest voluntary membership organization of state legislators and private-sector representatives in the U.S. DSW also attended the National Organization for Women’s (NOW’s) New York state conference to learn and exchange ideas around current efforts…Continue reading DSW Attends Two Key Conferences

DSW Welcomes Two Incredible New Team Members

DSW has gained two invaluable colleagues. Ceyenne Doroshow and J. Leigh Brantly will be joining the organization as Community Engagement Consultant and Research and Project Manager, respectively. Ceyenne Doroshow is an author, activist, organizer, performer, and public figure in the trans and sex worker rights movements. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Gays and…Continue reading DSW Welcomes Two Incredible New Team Members

DSW's Communications Director Kaytlin Bailey

Podcast: “You’re Wrong About… Human Trafficking”

“You’re Wrong About… Human Trafficking” (“You’re Wrong About…” podcast, November 25, 2019) DSW’s Kaytlin Bailey is featured: “Mike tells Sarah how NGOs, activists and George W. Bush resurrected the ‘stranger danger’ panic for the modern era. Digressions include Reply All, muffins and Yelp for massage parlors. Mike’s vocal fry is worse than usual.”

Defense Lawyers Understand the Harms of Criminalization

DSW attended the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ (NACDL’s) 2019 Defending Sex Crimes Seminar, an annual event that brings together defense attorneys and criminal justice reform advocates. NACDL is an opportunity for experts to exchange knowledge around protecting the rights of defendants and promoting a more equitable justice process. This year’s seminar, “Zealous Advocacy in Sexual…Continue reading Defense Lawyers Understand the Harms of Criminalization

DSW Joins NYC Activists To Educate the Next Generation of Social-Justice Lawyers on Decriminalization

Melissa Broudo joined fellow activists and attorneys for a panel discussion on the whats, whys, and hows of sex-work decriminalization. The panel was organized by the NYU Law School chapter of If/When/How—Lawyering for Reproductive Justice. Fellow guests included Tiffany Cabán, who is a career public defender, recent candidate for Queens District Attorney, and national organizer…Continue reading DSW Joins NYC Activists To Educate the Next Generation of Social-Justice Lawyers on Decriminalization

DSW and Allies Gear Up for Legislative Session in Rhode Island

DSW grantee COYOTE-RI (Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics) hosted a coalition meeting with human-rights activists in Providence, RI. DSW’s Melissa Broudo met with local organizations that are working to improve the lives of Rhode Island’s most vulnerable communities. The coalition outlined a strategy for the upcoming state legislative session. DSW and allies are proposing…Continue reading DSW and Allies Gear Up for Legislative Session in Rhode Island

DSW Presents at the American Public Health Association Expo

DSW highlighted the public-health implications of decriminalizing sex work at the American Public Health Association’s (APHA’s) annual international conference in Philadelphia. Attendees conduct harm-prevention research on STI prevention, drug use, the environment, migration, sexual health, and violence on national and global scales. The vast majority of public-health professionals who approached DSW’s table agreed that the…Continue reading DSW Presents at the American Public Health Association Expo

No Vote Planned for Decrim Bill in D.C.

The District of Columbia City Council held a hearing on the Community Safety and Health Act of 2019 (Bill 23-0318), which would decriminalize sex work in the nation’s capital. This would-be historic measure addresses health risks, violence against women, and human trafficking in Washington, D.C. DSW Communications Director Kaytlin Bailey testified at the 14-hour hearing…Continue reading No Vote Planned for Decrim Bill in D.C.

VICE

“Girls Do Porn” Was a Crime Ring, Not a Porn Site, Industry Experts Say

“Girls Do Porn’’ Was a Crime Ring, Not a Porn Site, Industry Experts Say (VICE, October 16, 2019) DSW’s Kaytlin Bailey is quoted: “To pretend that this is what the entire porn industry is like denigrates exactly the people that they claim to be speaking for,” Kaytlin Bailey, communications director for advocacy group Decriminalize Sex…Continue reading “Girls Do Porn” Was a Crime Ring, Not a Porn Site, Industry Experts Say

DSW Joins Community Organizers at a Trans/Sex Workers Rights Mixer

The New York State Gender Diversity Coalition convened at the Brooklyn Night Bazaar to exchange ideas about how to support gender diversity, equality, and sex worker rights in New York. This new coalition of sex workers’ rights and LGBTQIA* activists highlights the important overlap between DSW’s mission and the rights and safety of the LGBTQ…Continue reading DSW Joins Community Organizers at a Trans/Sex Workers Rights Mixer

DSW Supports the Fight Against FOSTA in U.S. Court of Appeals

Earlier this year, DSW filed an amicus brief in support of the lawsuit brought against the U.S. government by the Woodhull Freedom Foundation (WFF), Human Rights Watch, The Internet Archive, and two other plaintiffs in reaction to the terrible federal law known as the “Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act” (FOSTA). FOSTA chills speech and harms sex…Continue reading DSW Supports the Fight Against FOSTA in U.S. Court of Appeals

DSW in the News

September 19: DSW’s Kaytlin Bailey was invited onto Newsmax TV with John Tobacco and Frank Morano to chat about sex work, Robert Kraft, and why handcuffs almost never help. https://www.youtube.com/embed/rpURBEaQd2k September 22: Kaytlin Bailey appeared on “Morano in the Morning” to expand on the Robert Kraft case, why it matters for sex workers’ rights, and field…Continue reading DSW in the News

DSW Attends International Human Trafficking and Social Justice Conference

DSW attended the International Human Trafficking and Social Justice Conference in Toledo, Ohio. The conference has been an annual event since 2004, bringing together researchers, survivors, allies, and service practitioners to exchange expertise and ideas and collaborate on future initiatives to fight human trafficking and social injustice worldwide. As anti-trafficking work is central to DSW’s…Continue reading DSW Attends International Human Trafficking and Social Justice Conference

DSW Participates in Woodhull’s 2019 Sexual Freedom Summit

DSW’s Kaytlin Bailey attended the 10th annual Woodhull’s Sexual Freedom Summit hosted in Washington, DC. She connected to sex worker rights activists and sexual freedom advocates from all over the country. Attending panels, presentations, and performances, Kaytlin was able to get a broad perspective on the issues plaguing sex workers and their allies in different…Continue reading DSW Participates in Woodhull’s 2019 Sexual Freedom Summit

DSW Makes Its Case at National Conference of State Legislatures

Melissa Broudo, DSW’s general council and RI coordinator, and Kaytlin Bailey, DSW’s communications director, met with state legislators from all over the country at the National Conference of State Legislatures annual meeting, which was hosted this year in Nashville, TN. DSW handed out fliers, t-shirts and buttons, and we started conversations with lawmakers pressing the…Continue reading DSW Makes Its Case at National Conference of State Legislatures

Nevertheless She Existed: Kaytlin Bailey Presents a Sex Worker From History

DSW’s Kaytlin Bailey participated in Nevertheless She Existed, a live show and podcast produced at Caveat Theater. She told the story of Phryne, a famous courtesan in the classical Greek period who defended herself against blasphemy charges by disrobing in front of the all-male jury and declaring her perfect body a gift from the gods….Continue reading Nevertheless She Existed: Kaytlin Bailey Presents a Sex Worker From History

2020 Candidates Consider Decriminalizing Sex Work

Democratic 2020 Candidates Struggle Over Whether To Legalize Sex Work (CBS News, July 11, 2019) DSW’s Kaytlin Bailey is quoted: “You have violence, you have exploitation, and you have blackmail. You have people operating outside the law, because legal protections are not extended to the entire industry.”

DIGNITY — Law and Society Association Conference

DSW’s Kaytlin Bailey and Melissa Broudo attended this year’s Law and Society Association Conference in Washington, DC. Bailey attended an incredible meeting hosted by National Ugly Mugs, a peer-based group in the United Kingdom that helps sex workers exchange information about dangerous clients, and Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive (HIPS), a peer-based community support organization in…Continue reading DIGNITY — Law and Society Association Conference

Experts Urge RI Legislators to Study Decriminalization

After months of planning and inviting an all-star cast of witnesses, DSW had its first hearing before the House Judiciary Committee of the Rhode Island Legislature. State Rep. Anastasia Williams (D) presented bill H5354, which would create a temporary commission to study the effects of laws prohibiting commercial sexual activity. Approximately 15 witnesses, invited by…Continue reading Experts Urge RI Legislators to Study Decriminalization

DSW Billboard Challenges Lawmakers in Florida

Multiple police departments in Florida have recently staged news conferences to cast themselves as heroes who have “rescued” women from “slavery” … by handcuffing them.  Devastating stings that result in criminal records and broken families are common, but when Robert Kraft, the widowed owner of the New England Patriots, received a high-profile hand job it…Continue reading DSW Billboard Challenges Lawmakers in Florida

DSW Hosts Soiree With Dan Savage

DSW hosted in Austin a soiree with Dan Savage, donors, local activists, and panelists, where advocates for decriminalization shared strategies and stories. Libertarians, progressives, harm reduction advocates, anarchists and provocateurs mingled despite their philosophical and tactical differences. Alex Andrews, Kaytlin Bailey & Dan Savage gave a toast to our shared goal of ending the prohibition…Continue reading DSW Hosts Soiree With Dan Savage

DSW Files Legal Brief in Federal Court Case

DSW drafted and submitted to a federal CA court a spirited amicus brief that challenges the constitutionality of the devastating FOSTA/SESTA law. This “friend of the court” brief was cosigned by an impressive array of organizations, including Sex Workers Project, National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, Brooklyn Defender Services, St. James Infirmary, and other allies. DSW Newsletter Archive

Recorded Interview

Melissa has participated in dozens of interviews on video, podcasts, and in print. Here she is being interviewed in her home as part of a video for the website of GLITS, a sex workers’ rights and transgender rights organization for which she serves on the advisory board.