Conferences

October 26: APHA’s Annual Meeting

DSW’s J. Leigh Oshiro-Brantly, Melissa Broudo, and Frances Steele attended the American Public Health Association’s Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, and presented on the role of sex work decriminalization in promoting public health and safety for sex workers and communities at large. The meeting and expo was entitled “Creating the Healthiest Nation: Strengthening Social Connectedness,” emphasizing the need for holistic social wellness in the formulation of public health policy.

Oshiro-Brantly and Steele attended the conference in person and had the pleasure of connecting with public health educators and policymakers, practitioners, government representatives, and students from around the country. Broudo joined them for a virtual round-table presentation entitled “Sex Work, Identity, and Decriminalization.” The discussion explored the different policy models currently used to regulate sex work and combat human trafficking around the world, what data and qualitative evidence show us about each model and the communities that are most impacted by these laws.

The public health community has demonstrated great support of DSW’s mission to promote physical and social wellness and allow all individuals access to resources, regardless of their profession. This meeting was no different. DSW was encouraged by the enthusiasm and interest that conference attendees showed and we look forward to returning next year.

October 28: New Orleans’ DomCon

For the first time, DSW staffers Rebecca Cleary, J. Leigh Oshiro-Brantly, and Frances Steele attended New Orleans’ Domination Convention (DomCon). The event was a fantastic way for staffers to connect with sex workers from the kink and BDSM communities. DSW exhibited at the event and gave two presentations over the course of the three days. In the first, Cleary and Oshiro-Brantly co-taught a class entitled “Sex Work, Fetish Work, and the Law,” reviewing how law and policy have been used to censor sexual expression in the United States, as well as the history of consent. The class gave an overview of best practices in keeping oneself safe while engaging in kink. Attendees were incredibly engaged and shared anecdotes of their own experiences with censorship and legal retaliation. Oshiro-Brantly and Steele also co-taught a class on decriminalization and sex worker rights advocacy, focusing specifically on online sexual censorship since the passage of SESTA-FOSTA, which has deeply impacted the lifestyle communities at DomCon.

Folks from the kink and BDSM communities face similar stigma, discrimination, and many have been fighting alongside sex workers to maintain access to free speech in the face of increasingly stringent online regulation of sexual content. Many individuals voiced their appreciation of DSW’s presence at the conference and the opportunity to exchange ideas around sexual rights, identity, and advocacy.

November 3: NCSL Legislative Summit

Ariela Moscowitz and Melissa Broudo traveled to Tampa for the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) Legislative Summit. The conference gathers bipartisan state legislators, staff, and other policy officials and experts each year, providing a platform for inter-state and inter-agency collaboration and innovation in a multitude of policy areas.

Moscowitz and Broudo were also joined by Alex Andrews, co-founder of SWOP Behind Bars.  Andrews also sits on the Board of Directors of the Global Network of Sex Projects (NSWP) as the North American Representative. She works with men, women, and trans folks who have been incarcerated and have experience in the sex industry, combatting shame, discrimination, and stigma around sex work. DSW is so thankful for all the support shown by legislators at the meeting and we look forward to returning next year.

November 18: NACDL annual defending sex crimes seminar

Rebecca Cleary and J. Leigh Oshiro-Brantly attended the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) 12th Annual Defending Sex Crimes Seminar in Las Vegas Nevada. This year’s event, entitled “Zealous Advocacy in Sexual Assault and Child Victims Cases,” brought together nationally-renowned attorneys and experts to discuss issues related to cases involving sex crimes. This was the second NACDL event where DSW exhibited this year.

Oshiro-Brantly and Steele are pictured at DSW’s booth at APHA.

Oshiro-Brantly and Steele are pictured at DSW’s booth at APHA.

Cleary, Steele, and Oshiro-Brantly pose at DomCon’s opening ceremony.

Cleary, Steele, and Oshiro-Brantly pose at DomCon’s opening ceremony.

DSW staffers dress up for Halloween on the last day of the conference. 

DSW staffers dress up for Halloween on the last day of the conference.

Oshiro-Brantly and Cleary co-teaching “Sex Work, Fetish Work, and the Law.”

Oshiro-Brantly and Cleary co-teaching “Sex Work, Fetish Work, and the Law.”

Oshiro-Brantly and Steele present on sex work and decriminalization.

Oshiro-Brantly and Steele present on sex work and decriminalization.

Broudo and Moscowitz are pictured at DSW’s booth at NCSL. (DSW, 2021)

Broudo and Moscowitz are pictured at DSW’s booth at NCSL. (DSW, 2021)

Andrews and Broudo are pictured at DSW’s booth at NCSL. (DSW, 2021)

Andrews and Broudo are pictured at DSW’s booth at NCSL. (DSW, 2021)

DSW Newsletter #30 (November 2021)

Gov. Hochul Signs START Act Into Law

November 16, 2021 In a historic and long-fought victory, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed the Survivors of Trafficking Attaining Relief Together (START) Act into law. The START Act (A459/S674), sponsored by Senator Jessica Ramos and Representative...
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Gov. Hochul Signs START Act Into Law

Commission Studying Sex Work Law and Policy Convenes in Rhode Island

November 16, 2021 A commission to study the health and safety impact of laws related to sex work met for its first official hearing at the Rhode Island Statehouse. Officially called the “Commission to Study Ensuring Racial...
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Commission Studying Sex Work Law and Policy Convenes in Rhode Island

Decriminalization Gaining Momentum in Oregon

November 16, 2021 Advocates in Oregon filed a petition on the Sex Worker Rights Act which would decriminalize consensual adult sex work with the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office. The petition will ideally allow voters in the...
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Decriminalization Gaining Momentum in Oregon

Conferences

October 26: APHA’s Annual Meeting DSW’s J. Leigh Oshiro-Brantly, Melissa Broudo, and Frances Steele attended the American Public Health Association’s Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, and presented on the role of sex work decriminalization in promoting public...
Read More
Conferences

Transgender Day of Remembrance

November 20, 2021 Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is observed each year to commemorate and honor lives lost to acts of anti-transgender violence. TDOR originated in 1999, following the murder of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who...
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Transgender Day of Remembrance

Hero of the Month: Gwendolyn Ann Smith

November 20, 2021 For Gwendolyn Ann Smith, the end of Rita Hester’s life was a beginning. Smith was living in San Francisco, working as a computer programmer when Hester was found, with more than twenty stab wounds...
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Hero of the Month: Gwendolyn Ann Smith

Save the Dates

December 2: Panel Discussion The Center for Public Health and Human Rights at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) is hosting a panel entitled “Beyond Sex Work Decriminalization: Possibilities and Priorities for...
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Save the Dates

DSW Newsletter Archive