A Summer Shindig With Austin’s Sex Workers Outreach Project

SWOP hosts a fundraiser for housing, employment, and safety

According to Kita Khan and Rainny Daze, two members of Austin’s Sex Workers Outreach Project, the group grew out of an online platform used by local sex workers to trade stories, support folks just starting out, and provide advice.

In May, local members met together for the first time in the wake of FOSTA/SESTA (aka the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act and Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act) being signed into law. Once law, the packaged federal bill prompted the shutdown of sites such as Backpage and Craigslists Personals leaving sex workers to resort to new and potentially riskier avenues to find work or face unemployment.

Since May, SWOP has been organizing with four main initiatives in mind.

1) Support incarcerated and criminalized sex workers by building a jail bail-out fund for Travis County residents.

2) Connect with street workers in Austin. (Most of SWOP met online because they were working in online spaces.)

3) Raise emergency funds for those in the industry who find themselves in need of cash.

4) The operation of a helpline.

Through the helpline, workers can reach out for emergency fund access and information on local resources, including health care. SWOP is already receiving calls for resources. Thanks to past fundraisers, they’ve been able to distribute funds to folks who weren’t able to make rent or people who needed money posting ads, because, as Khan notes, “the price of ads are really expensive and exploitative.”

Now they’re back on the fundraising grind. On Saturday, SWOP ATX hosts a Summer Swim Benefit at the Museum of Human Achievement. Aside from featuring resource tables, attendees can expect a literal water slide along with performances by Austin favorites Chulita Vinyl Club, Jeva, Miss Kenzo v mid^heaven, and p1nkstar. Proceeds raised go toward outreach and post-FOSTA relief efforts for those in the industry.

Along with welcoming former sex workers and allies, SWOP also invites those who are not high earners in the industry to join them. The SWOP helpline can be reached at 512/537-7573. Donations can be made via their gofundme.


SWOP’s Summer Swim Benefit is Saturday, Aug. 25, at the Museum of Human Achievement (Springdale & Lyons) from 5pm-midnight. $5-15 suggested donation (you can donate online in advance). Follow @SWOPATX on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More by Charlie Neddo
Reading Group Welcomes Trans Qmmunity Knowledge
Reading Group Welcomes Trans Qmmunity Knowledge
Lived experience meets theory at Transgender Feminisms Reading Group

Sept. 24, 2018

New Documentary Highlights the Legacy of a Black Queer TV Pioneer
New Documentary Highlights the Legacy of a Black Queer TV Pioneer
Ellis Haizlip is the unapologetic Mr. Soul!

Sept. 7, 2018

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

SWOP ATX, Chulita Vinyl Club, p1nkstar, Austin’s Sex Workers Outreach Project

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle