COVID-19: Emergency Support Fund for Sex Workers
Help Maggie's Toronto and Butterfly: Asian/Migrant Sex Worker Support Network build an emergency fund for sex workers in crisis.
COVID-19 & Sex Work
COVID-19 is a global pandemic that has threatened the health, safety and livelihood of sex workers everywhere, placing many of us in a precarious situation. The impact of COVID-19 continues to demonstrate the impact of Toronto’s wealth gap as poor and working class communities are hit hardest by the shutdown of vital services such as drop-in and meal programs, emergency shelter services and access to community services.
As precarious workers, sex workers are often barred from accessing basic labour rights and protections on the job. Many of us are experiencing loss of income due to appointment cancellations, a decreased demand for services, workplace closures, and sickness. Since sex industry jobs do not offer a salary, sick days, or benefits, there is little to no safety net when we are unable to work.
In the midst of a public health crisis our communities are marginalized and struggle to access necessary healthcare services and protections without facing stigma, shame or barriers due to cost. This is especially true for Queer and Trans, Black and Indigenous Communities of Colour (QTBIPOC), migrant sex workers, particular those who have precarious immigration status, and those living with illness or disabilities. Sex workers with precarious status, for example, are largely unable to access employee or COVID-related benefits.
While social distancing is strongly advised, it is particularly challenging for contact sex workers (full service workers, strippers, massage workers, professional dominants, etc), queer and trans sex workers, Black and Indigenous communities of colour at the margins, migrants and otherwise low-income workers to adhere to these recommendations. The loss of income that would result from such social distancing measures prevents them from working, and makes the difference between affording basic needs such as food, medicine, childcare, rent, etc. Accessing other forms of work and government relief efforts is difficult if not impossible for many sex workers given the criminalized nature of the industry, and migrant sex workers face the additional threat of imprisonment and deportation when making contact with any government agency or authority.
How can you support sex workers in crisis?
Donate to the COVID-19 Emergency Fund.
Please support the sex worker community during this difficult time. We know that times are tough and we welcome donations of all sizes from $5-$5000+. Please give at a level that is meaningful to you. What we give will depend on what we raise here.
We accept credit card payments below.
E-Transfers can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Share our fundraiser with your networks.
Sex workers are your community members, and providing support is a community effort. Our content gets shadow-banned and limited from wide online circulation because they relate to sex work. Helping to spread the word about this fund so that people can apply and donate, is a huge help.