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A response to sex worker activists pondering how to respond to “partial decriminalization” proposal

Date: May 11, 2023

Below is written as part of an email in response to sex worker activists pondering how they should respond to a State bill for “partial decriminalization” of sex trade, i.e. the proposal to decriminalize commercial sale of sex but not purchase or facilitation of it, often promoted as “Nordic model,” “End Demand,” or “Equality Model.”


I would apply the principle of non-reformist reforms promoted by Critical Resistance and others in the prison abolitionist movement. I believe that there is a way partial decriminalization can provide material benefits without increasing harm or further entrenching surveillance, policing, and control of our lives, but most such proposals fail to do so in fact.

My approach is not to support or oppose partial decriminalization per se, but to establish conditions under which such proposal can be considered a non-reformist reform. We would set up criteria, such as:

  • The proposal must provide material relief to people who are currently harmed.
  • The proposal must most benefit people experiencing most marginalization.
  • The proposal must not take away or reduce rights and autonomy of people who are affected.
  • The proposal must not increase surveillance, policing, and control over people who are affected.
  • The proposal must not legitimize or expand the system that is currently causing the harm.
  • The proposal must give more voice to impacted communities and create a room for further organizing.

These are just examples, and should be further developed. That said, we need to force this conversation on people who support further empowering the very institutions that they acknowledge have caused and continue to cause harms.

Judith Herman’s new book “Truth and Repair” is life-changingly profound and is also hurtful

Date: March 16, 2023

Truth and Repair,” Judith Lewis Herman’s first general audience book (I think) since the classic “Trauma and Recovery” (1992) just came out this week, and I read it as quickly as I could get my hands on it. It’s a profound book, showing how our criminal justice system, even when it functions as best as feminists have imagined it could, often (usually) does not lead to justice for survivors of sexual violence. Justice, according to Herman, is the fourth and final stage of healing, updating the three-stage theory she first proposed in “Trauma and Recovery.”

In the popular imagination, survivors are perceived to be primarily demanding retribution and financial compensation because these are the only things our (and probably any other democratic) legal system is capable of delivering. But what many survivors actually want is justice, which requires community-wide acknowledgement of truth, sincere reflection, remorse, and pledge to not reoffend on the part of the person and institutions that have caused harm, as well as financial and psychological redress.

Herman’s new book shares many examples of healing justice practices that are being experimented, some of which are projects that my friends are engaging in (yay Love WITH Accountability!). There are also dangers to some of these approaches, for example when restorative justice is institutionalized by the same criminal justice system with its own baggages, or when liberal criminal justice reform efforts overlook real needs of survivors. While Herman distances herself from police and prison abolitionism as she believes that the criminal justice approach can be combined with alternative practices that are often promoted by abolitionists, she does recognize the criminal justice system’s failure to deliver justice for vast majority of sexual violence survivors or to encourage sincere reflection and remorse on those who have caused harm, often exacerbating violence in our communities.

So much of the book resonates with me, as a survivor who came of age during the 1990s first becoming an activist as a volunteer for a local rape crisis center. I did not have the emotional capacity to work as a crisis counselor at the time, so I worked at the office editing newsletters, writing press releases, and helping domestic violence survivors with updating and printing their resume on WordPerfect for MS-DOS, which took skill. Because “Trauma and Recovery” and the awareness it proliferated in the 90s was important to me, it is all the more saddening to me that Herman heavily mischaracterizes the feminist debate over sex trade in favor of her own position, which she (and her allies) refer to as the equality model.

“Equality model,” which is also called the “Nordic model,” refers to the policy of asymmetrically criminalizing prostitution, decriminalizing people who perform sexual labor as “victims” rather than criminals while increasing criminalization for buyers and facilitators of commercial sex. In contrast, growing number of human rights, feminist, and anti-trafficking organizations, along with sex worker groups, call for the full decriminalization, which means removing all laws against commercial sex trade among consenting adults. Organizations such as Amnesty International, American Civil Liberties Union, anti-trafficking coalition Freedom Network, and trafficking survivor organization National Survivor Network endorse full decriminalization, not because they think buying and selling sex is great, but because they believe that it is the best way to reduce abuse and exploitation of people engaged in the sex trade. Proponents of “equality model” believe that full decriminalization would legitimize and expand the commercial sex trade, leading to more trafficking and exploitation.

Which approach better protects health, safety, and dignity of people in the sex trade is an empirical question, and reasonable people can disagree over this, as it is difficult for social science research to unequivocally answer questions such as these. I believe that it is safe to assume that either approach would not sufficiently protect people who are currently in or may potentially be drawn into the sex trade by itself: we need broader societal, economic, and cultural transformation to end poverty, extreme economic disparities, racism, sexism, homophobia/transphobia, inhumane immigration policies, etc. rather than a simple change to the criminal code (see my thoughts on this).

I may have been disappointed, but would not have felt hurt, if Herman had advocated for her chosen position in a manner that was intellectually honest, which is to say that reasonable people, including many survivors and anti-sexual violence advocates, disagree with her. But instead, she characterizes those who support full decriminalization as “neoliberal or libertarian or ‘sex-positive’ feminists” and “global sex industry” that advocate for the “market forces to rule.” She dismissively refers to the term “sex worker” as an inappropriate euphemism (preferring the phrase “prostituted people”), ignoring that the term was coined by sex workers organizing for rights and dignity as workers and is now being used by workers around the world in that effort in refusal to simply let “market forces to rule” over them.

In the conclusion, Herman applauds the Survivor’s Agenda, a 2020 collective national statement endorsed by dozens of organizations that are fighting sexual violence. Inconveniently for her, Survivor’s Agenda explicitly calls for the full decriminalization of sex trade as one of the seven key policies that would “move us forward.” And yet, Herman claims that “Nordic model is quite compatible with the Survivor’s Agenda.” She points out that the Survivor’s Agenda is only calling for the decriminalization of “consensual” sex trade (standard in any advocacy for full decriminalization, as none of us support legalizing unconsensual sexual acts), and interprets this wording to support her own position, arguing that almost all prostitution is actually non-consensual “since they are mostly recruited from situations of racial subordination, desperate poverty, childhood abuse, and homelessness.”

This is plainly dishonest reading of the Survivor’s Agenda. Indeed, the actual web page displaying the Survivor’s Agenda links the word “decriminalization” to the official web page of the New York State Senate Bill S6419 which she criticizes earlier in the book. So it is clear that she is completely mischaracterizing the Survivor’s Agenda.

It would have been different if Herman honestly stated “I support the Survivor’s Agenda, but disagree with this one particular part.” Instead, she distorted the clear meaning of the statement, which is based on countless hours of conversations among survivors and survivor advocates led by women of color survivors and leaders Tarana Burke (me too International, Mónica Ramírez (Justice for Migrant Women), Fatima Goss Graves (National Women’s Law Center), and Ai-jen Poo (National Domestic Workers Alliance). But why? My guess is that if she had admitted that the Survivor’s Agenda, which reflects voices of many survivors, survivor advocates, and prominent women of color survivor activists, supports the full decriminalization of adult consensual sex trade, it would expose her earlier deception that it was supported by “neoliberal or libertarian or ‘sex positive’ feminists” who want “market forces to rule.”

If she were to accurately express her genuine disagreement with the Survivor’s Agenda, she would also have to acknowledge that this is a debate in which reasonable people, including survivors of sexual violence, disagree. She would not be able to mischaracterize them as representatives of the interests of pimps and sex buyers or dismiss them as market fundamentalists, and instead she would be forced to engage with a substantial number of survivors and survivor advocates who support full decriminalization because they want to reduce and end sexual violence as much as she does.

As a survivor who was tremendously influenced by her earlier work and also still find this book deeply affirming and life-changing despite its flaws, I feel hurt by this apparent dishonesty and the lack of respect for survivors who spent countless hours developing and building consensus for the Survivor’s Agenda. If anyone is listening, I call on endorsers of the Survivor’s Agenda to contact Herman to set the record straight, and want to ask someone close to Herman to ask her to make amends to survivors she felt convenient to dismiss and distort.

Why Decriminalizing Sex Work is more than just Decriminalizing Sex Work: a manifesto

Date: August 31, 2022

Decriminalizing Sex Work

After 10+ years of constant assault on the livelihood of sex workers under the pretense of fighting sex trafficking, sex work decriminalization is finally being discussed in presidential primaries and state legislatures. But much of the conversations center around abstract arguments around individual liberties or how a small tweak in the criminal law might help or harm vulnerable people. We want more. A whole lot more. Because to us, decriminalizing sex work means:

  • End all the ways the state criminalizes poverty and survival, not just sex work. We reject sex work exceptionalism that leaves behind poor people, homeless people, people who use drugs, etc.
  • Divest from the criminal justice system as the primary means of addressing sexual violence, gender-based violence, sex trafficking, and hate violence. We need community-based solutions that prevent abuses, care for survivors, and surround wrongdoers with supportive change agents.
  • If you cannot support the sex trade for whatever moral or political reason, at least do not support the criminal justice system. Whatever problems exist within the sex trade, more policing, surveillance, and prosecution excerbate them rather than mitigating them.
  • Center BIPOC, queer and trans, disabled, immigrant, etc. sex workers in any policy conversations that impact sex workers and people who trade sex, including those around sexual violence, sex trafficking, infectious diseases, and others.
  • Defend freedom and anonymity against the surveillance capitalist state that monitors, censors, and profits off of how we live our lives, including how we make a living to survive within it.
  • Provide universal basic income and universal basic services which include housing, healthcare, child and elder care, and education for everyone to have full range of options to determine how we live.
  • Strengthen rights and protections of workers regardless of the industry. For example, migrant women massage parlor workers have a lot in common with domestic workers and hotel cleaners and they can all benefit from worker organizing and advocacy.
  • Abandon colonial extraction industry on indigenous lands as well as U.S. occupations and bases around the world that create environments in which sexual violence and sex trafficking against indigenous and colonized peoples proliferate. End colonial legal arrangements that give U.S. footsoldiers immunity from local rules.

The oft-repeated statement “sex work is work” does not imply that everything is fine with sex work as is. It means that sex work is a site of survival, of struggles and accomplishments, of exploitation and resistance, of degredation and dignity, like any other work. Decriminalizing sex work does not begin and end with decriminalizing sex work: rather, it is a framework that proposes a radical transformation of social, economic, and political structures to enable full lives and opportunities for all.

Combahee River Collective once stated that “if Black women were free, it would mean that everyone else would have to be free since our freedom would necessitate the destruction of all the systems of oppression.” We argue that if sex workers were free, it would mean that all workers would have to be free since our freedom would necessitate the destruction of all ways in which workers are harmed and exploited.

Sex work decriminalization for its own sake does not lead to that. It would simply mean that there would be one less tool to target sex workers among many such tools. True decriminalization of sex work must therefore mean decriminalization of the whole society so that crime is not the category that the society uses to address inherent contradictions and consequences of unequal, unjust structures. It must mean all workers and all people are finally free.

comments and questions to:

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Updated and Expanded Edition of “Adrie’s Guide to Service Animals” Released!

Date: August 28, 2022

After being in hibernation for the last two years, I am tabling at upcoming San Francisco Zine Fest and Portland Zine Symposium (Saturday only) in September. If you are local, please come say hi!

Just in time for the zine events, I have created an updated and expanded second edition of “Adrie’s Guide to Service Animals: Laws, Rights, and Maneuvers for People with Disabilities.” Certain rights have been eliminated or weakened during the Trump years, so the new edition reflects revised regulations, and also adds further details regarding Fair Housing Act and Air Carrier Access Act in addition to Americans with Disabilities Act. It also includes a section discussing the politics of service animals and emotional support animals in the context of full-throttled assault on our civil rights (Roe, Voting Rights Act, anti-trans legislations, etc.).

Adrie's Guide to Service Animals 2022

The new zine is available for order at Stuff by Emi & Co. and for free of charge to my monthly supporters on Patreon (in fact, supporters will receive a couple of additional zines along with it!).

Letter to Seattle Public Safety Chair Herbold on Seattle’s Suspension of Sexual Assault Investigations

Date: June 14, 2022

Reposted from Coalition for Rights & Safety for People in the Sex Trade

Below is a letter sent to Seattle City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who chairs the Public Safety committee on the recent revelation about the Seattle Police Department’s suspension of sexual assault investigations.


June 14, 2022

Councilmember Herbold,

This is Emi from the Coalition for Rights & Safety for People in the Sex Trade. I’ve been in conversation with community members about the recent revelation about the Seattle Police Department’s suspension of adult sexual assault investigations, and I’d like to share some thoughts:

1. As others have already pointed out, SPD’s decision to abandon sexual assault victims is not a result of the “defund” movement, but that of a conscious decision to prioritize homeless encampment sweeps and low-level misdemeanor crimes such as small scale shoplifting.

2. SPD’s prioritization of anti-homeless and anti-poor enforcement didn’t just take resources away from investigating sexual assaults. It increases sexual assaults by making homeless and poor women (among others) more vulnerable to sexual coercion, exploitation, and violence.

3. Some observers have mentioned how there are many women working along Aurora who are vulnerable to sexual exploitation and violence, and argued the police had better pay more attention to them. However, the reality is that the police has been paying extra attention to Aurora ever since the election to the detriment of the very women who are experiencing risk. After years of mostly benign neglect, SPD has ramped up targeted harassment of people suspected of walking while woman (of color) on Aurora under the same policy of targeting those “unwanted” by “neighborhood” NIMBY activists.

4) SPD’s deprioritization of sexual assaults demonstrates its misogyny and lack of understanding of harms of sexual violence, but it also shows the law enforcement’s internal logic: sexual violence is notoriously difficult to prosecute, compared to other crimes like shoplifting and trespass that they are prioritizing, because it often relies on the cooperation and perceived credibleness of traumatized and often confused or conflicting victims. The law enforcement prefers to focus on something where they can score points more easily.

…which brings us to 5) even in the best of circumstances, which we definitely are not in, but even in the best of circumstances, law enforcement cannot be the primary or effective solution for vast majority of sexual assault cases. Hence, regardless of SPD’s priorities, we cannot rely on the police as the primary vehicle to prevent sexual violence, support survivors, hold perpetrators accountable, etc. We need to reject attempts to use survivors to increase funding for the police, which would make more people vulnerable to sexual violence, and instead call for more funding for preventitive efforts at schools, communities, and workplaces, as well as for survivor support, restorative and transformative justice practices, etc.


Emi Koyama
Coalition for Rights & Safety for People in the Sex Trade

Update: Emi’s Buttons + Zine Shipping Again after 7-month COVID moratorium

Date: October 12, 2020

Hello friends,

When the COVID-19 crisis began, I was forced to move rather quickly into a studio set up in the garage of my family home to isolate myself, as I have multiple high risk factors. All of my buttons, zines, and supplies were left behind in my old room (in a shared house) and packed up by others. I have also almost completely avoided going out of house at all (less than once a month) until last month, when the swimming pool I go to opened in limited capacity. So as a result, I have not been able to fill any orders you’ve placed since March.

That is about to change. Because I don’t want to keep you waiting any longer, especially since the crisis is likely to continue for a while longer, I ordered more supplies and decided to begin making and shipping the stuff again. So:

1. If you have ordered my buttons and zines and have not received them, I’m sorry for the delay. I am planning to ship them in the next week or two, so please confirm your shipping address (include the order number if you have it) to make sure that the address still works.

2. If you were thinking about placing an order but was discouraged because of the message on the site stating that I’m not going to able to fill them anytime soon, *now* is the time to order. After this batch, I will likely not be able to do another batch of shipments until 2021 because I’m not ready to go out regularly yet.

If you have any questions about your order or anything else, please feel free to email me.

Thank you for your understanding,


[Updated on 11/18/2020] All orders placed before November 10th, 2020 have been shipped. I likely won’t be making another shipment for the rest of the year. Please contact me if you have any questions. Thank you!

USPS Receipt

Seattle Unanimously Repeals Prostitution & Drug Traffic Loitering Laws

Date: June 26, 2020

Reposted from Coalition for Rights & Safety for People in the Sex Trade.

Seattle City Council has just unanimously approved a pair of bills repealing prostitution loitering and drug traffic loitering laws after dozens sex workers and allies gave testimonies in support. We have been working on this issue since 2018, meeting with Councilmembers as well as folks from Seattle City Attorney’s Office, and it feels really good to hear so many of our sex worker and ally friends speaking out and see the entire Council agreeing with us today.

Both ordinances have negatively impacted communities of color, but prostitution loitering law in particular have been used as a pretext for the Seattle Police Department to profile young women of color as suspected “prostitutes,” leading to unnecessary and unwarranted police interactions, background checks, unconsented and possibly illegal searches, harassment, and other harms. The City’s own Reentry Workgroup released a report to the Council in October 2018 which recommended repealing these ordinances because they disproportionately target communities of color based on who and where they are.

During the Council discussion, Councilmembers Andrew Lewis and others pointed out that it would be incorrect to say that these ordinances are “outdated.” To say so implies that they served a worthwhile purpose at some point in the past before they became obsolete since then. The truth is, they always had racially disparate impact and have always been wrong, serving no good purpose worth defending.

But the Council needs to go further. As long as the crime of prostitution (offering sex in exchange for money or other items of value) remains on the books, even if it is rarely prosecuted, similar profiling and harassment of young women of color will continue. Further, the City needs to stop the police from enforcing SOAP (Stay Out of Areas of Prostitution) and SODA (Stay Out of Drug Areas) orders, which are used exactly the same way as the loitering ordinances against exactly the same population despite having no basis in Seattle Municipal Code.

Also during the discussion, Councilmember Tammy Morales expressed willingness to work with sex workers (yes she used the phrase multiple times) to decriminalize sex work in Seattle so that sex workers and people in the sex trade can be safer and have access to emergency assistance. Other Councilmembers also committed to continue working with sex workers to improve safety and health for people in the sex trade. We are excited to be involved in these future conversations.

We also want to respond to a point made by a couple of people who identified themselves as survivors of trafficking and testified in opposition to repealing the loitering ordinances. Their concern was that repealing prostitution loitering ordinance would also prevent “johns” or buyers of sex, whom they consider perpetrators of harm against people in the sex trade, from being arrested or charged with prostitution loitering.

We generally believe that criminalization of clients of sex workers for purchasing sex from a consenting adult diminishes safety for people in the sex trade, but that beside the point here. Prostitution loitering ordinance has been used disproportionately against men of color (as suspected sex buyers) as well as cis and trans women of color (as suspected “prostitutes”), both for being in the wrong place as someone of a wrong race and gender, and therefore it needs to be abolished for that reason regardless of what one believes about paying for sex. Nothing in the bills passed today will legalize or decriminalize buying sex, human trafficking, or sexual violence in any way. That said, their voices belong at the policy table and we hope they will be part of future conversations about keeping our communities safe without over-reliance on the violent police system.

Thank you for your continued support, and thank you to POC SWOP/Green Light Project, UTOPIA-Seattle, Surge Reproductive Justice, Legal Voice, Coalition Ending Gender-Based Violence, and other allies as well! Join our email list by contacting us or follow our facebook page for future updates.

Seattle: Uprising’s early victories & further opportunities to participate

Date: June 15, 2020

Reposted from Coalition for Rights & Safety for People in the Sex Trade.

As many of you know, things are happening at the Seattle City Hall and around the country as a direct result of #BlackLivesMatter organizing in response to the police murders of George Floyd and countless other Black and indigenous people. For example, here is a (very partial) list of victories documented by Chicago-based activist collective Rampant: Rebellions Get Results: A List So Far (note this post was written on June 8th, and there have been many more victories since then, not to mention victories before June 8th that were not included in the list!)

In seattle, here are some of the victories that we are aware of:

  1. Mayor Durkan issued curfews to stop demonstrations, but demonstrations continued and she was forced to withdraw the curfew.
  2. Mayor ordered a 30-day moratorium on the use of tear gas. The order came with the caveat that Chief Best could still order its use if she felt the necessity, which she did just a couple of days ago, but still both leaders faced criticisms for going back on their promises.
  3. City of Seattle is withdrawing a lawsuit against King County which had prevented inquest into killing of civilians by the police for the last two years.
  4. City of Seattle withdraws its petition to be free from federal oversight placed on its police forces due to patterns of racial profiling and civil rights violations.
  5. Peaceful demonstrators persisted in Capitol Hill for over a week despite being attacked by the police with chemical weapons, flash bangs, stan grenades, etc. and forced SPD to retreat, creating what became known as Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone or Capitol Hill Occupied/Organized Protest.
  6. Seattle City Council unanimously passed a resolution rebuking President Trump’s threat to send in active duty military to Seattle.
  7. Chief Best ordered officers to stop concealing badge numbers with “mourning bands.” They did not follow the order, so the City Council is working on a legislation.
  8. City of Seattle agreed to transfer old fire station in Central District to the local African American community to use as a community center.
  9. City Council member Kshama Sawant proposes ordinances to ban the use of chokehold by police officers and the ownership, purchase, rent, storage, or use of “crowd control weapons” such as tear gas and flash bangs. [Update: Both bills passed unanimously!]
  10. City Council member Lisa Herbold proposes an ordinance to prohibit police officers from covering their badge numbers. [Update: Passed unanimously!]
  11. City council members Lewis, Pederson, and Morales propose an ordinance to abolish the crime of prostitution loitering (which the SPD uses to profile and harass women of color). [Update: Passed unanimously!]
  12. City council members Lewis and Morales propose an ordinance to abolish the crime of drug loitering. [Update: Passed unanimously!]

Do you have more? Please send it to us so we can add to this list!

ANYWAYS, Today (Monday, June 15th) at 2pm the City Council is discussing CMs Sawant and Herbold’s bills on banning certain police behaviors that have been used against protesters. The Council meetings are held online due to COVID-19, but you can sign up to testify and/or watch the meeting (direct YouTube link) live.

We are VERY interested in CMs Lewis, Pederson, and Morales’ bills to eliminate prostitution and drug loitering ordinances. City’s own working group had recommended repealing these ordinances TWO YEARS AGO and we’ve met with council members to ask them to follow up on the recommendation, but the Council has so far failed to act on it. The ordinances are likely to be discussed at a later time, but you can submit comments on them NOW on the link above.

Lastly, the Coalition for Rights & Safety for People in the Sex Trade has endorsed “Defund Seattle Police” campaign, which seeks to immediately cut at least 50% of SPD budget to fund community-based programs that prioritize health and safety strategies and free all protesters arrested during the recent protests. If you agree, please sign on to the campaign as an individual or as an organization.

Not another bs PR statement about #BlackLivesMatter

Date: June 5, 2020

Reposted from Coalition for Rights & Safety for People in the Sex Trade

It’s been a rough week of sadness and outrage. I am forced to be in quarantine to avoid coronavirus because I have many compromising medical conditions but every day I’ve been following many of my friends fight for systemic changes we seek, whether they are on the street or online. I feel heavy yet hopeful that this time, the national uprising will lead to lasting movement toward a more just society. When the coronavirus is sufficiently contained or vaccine becomes available, I anticipate that the struggle for racial justice and liberation of Black and other marginalized people will still be ongoing, and I look forward to joining you out there.

On behalf of the Coalition for Rights & Safety for People in the Sex Trade, I signed on to the call to Defund the Seattle Police Department, which demands the City of Seattle to: 1. defund Seattle Police Department (at least 50% of $363 already budgeted for SPD); 2. fund community-based health and safety initiatives that diminish reliance on the police to solve social problems; and 3. drop charges against protesters. You can join the call as an individual or as an organization by clicking on the link below: (individual) (organization)

As the subject of this post says, I am getting fed up with bunch of self-serving PR statements arriving on my inbox from corporations and organizations expressing support for Black lives that do not reflect their day-to-day operations. Today, I received an email from a local (predominantly white, police-friendly) “anti-trafficking” coalition soliciting donations to themselves, claiming that their mission aligns with the goals of Black Lives Matter, after years of promoting more policing and prosecution of those involved in sex trade which further criminalize Black, indigenous, and people of color. They even quote a white academic “expert” who equates prostitution to slavery, comparing their white supremacist carceral politics to actual abolitionists who fought against American chattel slavery and continue to fight against the unjust criminal justice system and the Prison Industrial Complex. And of course they had to stress that they only supported “peaceful” protest by doubly emphasizing the word “peaceful” by italicizing and then underlining the word. This is opportunistic and shameful. You cannot promote carceral approach to social problems and then claim to be in the movement for Black lives at the same time.

I hesitated making a formal statement on behalf of the Coalition for Rights & Safety about recent police murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and many other Black men and women that we have not even heard about because so many of those statements are fake and I wanted to focus on mourning and fighting and supporting my friends rather than taking part in the PR fray. But when I saw anti-trafficking organizations using the national attention to their own advantage, I had to say something. But this is not just a statement; we commit to continue prioritizing the rights and safety for the most marginalized sex workers and people in the sex trade, especially sex workers who are Black, indigenous, or people of color, sex workers who are trans, are immigrants, are disabled, and/or lack housing.

Thank you for being in the movement with us. Please call me if you want to talk more about how we can continue to (and better) advocate for Black lives and the lives of other marginalized communities.

Emi Koyama
The Coordinatrix
Coalition for Rights & Safety for People in the Sex Trade

Also read:

You Can’t Say Black Lives Matter Without Including Black Sex Workers by Suprihmbé
Stop Calling Human Trafficking “Modern Day Slavery”

My multi-year struggle with self-doubt to start a Patreon page (it’s up now!)

Date: June 29, 2018

After years of contemplating and doubting myself I’ve finally set up a Patreon page where readers can pledge monthly contributions to support my work. If you find my work (most of which you can find or read about on this website for free) worthwhile please consider becoming an inaugural supporter. Also: zine and button purchases and college invitations also helps!

Below is the first post I made on the Patreon page as I set it up:

people who know me know that i have very low self-esteem and i have come to feel ok about it rather than thinking of it as a deficiency, but it still keeps me from promoting myself or demanding for what (some people tell me) i deserve, which means i am constantly struggling financially.

on the other hand i’ve heard from many people who use my work (zines, articles, ideas/frameworks, etc.) in their work in academia or nonprofit world or for their own survival and have asked for a way to contribute back to me. so after resisting it for several years, i’ve finally decided to set up a patreon site.

will this work? i don’t know. but if i can supplement limited income from my 10hr/wk job (coordinating the Coalition for Rights & Safety for People in the Sex Trade) with anything at all, it would stabilize my life so much and i will be able to spend more time writing and doing my activism.

anyway, i really can’t bring myself to engage in any more self-promotion or self-engrossment, so i’ll just post a cute picture of my baby Adrie (play fighting with my baby seal stuffie Stickyrice).

also – if you don’t have resources yourself but want to help me, please try to get your local college or university to bring me there to speak! see my website for list of my previous presentations.


Please visit my Patreon page to support my work and learn about my zine club (rewards)!