Now I'm pregnant, I wanted to talk about the complexities of being trans, non-binary, and having a big bump - not to mention a bigger chest... As if that wasn't complicated enough, I'm also a sex worker. I couldn't find many resources about being non-binary and pregnant, never mind a non-binary pregnant sex worker, so I thought I'd put something out there. Well, I don't know if I can call this a "resource", it's mostly me talking about why things are VERY CONFUSING in my head right now, but if you're in the same situation hopefully it'll show you're not alone (hiiii) and if you're not trans or not pregnant, maybe it will give you a bit of an insight into what it's like.
Good news for those who care about consent: this week 'upskirting' became illegal in the UK. This refers to the act of photographing under someone's clothing without their consent and usually without their knowledge. The new law makes it illegal for anyone of any gender to violate someone's consent in this way, if the intention is sexual gratification, or to cause distress and humiliation. Click here for the government page explaining the changes.
Fans of fetish porn will be familiar with the "upskirt" genre, photos taken of someone's genitals or buttocks, with or without underwear, in a voyeuristic style, often staged as if the performer was unaware that the photo was being taken. It's an innocent fantasy, which for many people harks back to the first accidental glimpses they caught under someone's clothing as a child. But I hope that all fans of this fetish genre would insist that the performers pictured did actually consent to the photos being taken.
I'm participating in a regional meeting for the Bristol University research on sex work in the UK tomorrow. I responded to this consultation in July last year; I haven’t shared my response here because it goes into detail about the way I work as a sex worker, which is too private to share in this forum, but I did send a response talking not only about the work I do, but about the ways that criminalising sex work harms more marginalised workers. Backlash also sent a response, advocating for the decriminalisation of sex work as a harm reduction measure.
The researchers are holding a number of regional consultation meetings across England on Thursday, and I’m attending the London regional meeting as a representative of Backlash. It will involve a presentation by the research team on their draft findings, followed by a group discussion on the findings, then an opportunity for presentations and a plenary discussion. My colleague Rosie Hodsdon will be attending the Leeds meeting; she is an academic at the University of Northumbria who has been very active and vocal on issues around porn and sex work law, and is also a volunteer for Backlash.