Category Archive: Press

  1. The Pop-Up Museum of Queer History Announces Pop-Up Bloomington

    Leave a Comment

    For Immediate Release: The Pop-Up Museum of Queer History Announces Pop-Up Bloomington
    12 – 5pm, October 17th – 23rd
    Bloomington, Indiana

    http://www.queermuseum.com/home/nextpopup/

    The Pop-Up Museum of Queer History is excited to announce Pop-Up Bloomington, a co-sponsored event between the Pop-Up Museum of Queer History, Indiana University’s GLBT Student Support Services Office, and the Kinsey Institute. The show will include works by over a dozen artists, on topics ranging from wimmin’s separatist land to the life of Billy Strayhorn.

    This exhibition is part of a larger Indiana University exploration of queer history through a number of different mediums, centered around the first collegiate production of Aaron Loeb’s play Abraham Lincoln’s Big, Gay Dance Party. ALBGDP will be a jumping off point into social, academic, artistic and political discourses that surround queer American history. Other events include an academic panel on doing queer history, artist talks, and a dance party. A full schedule of events is included at the end of this press release.

    Dr. Rachel Mattson, a board member of the Pop-Up Museum, will also be offering her workshop “Teaching Queer Histories: A Workshop for K-12 Educators.” If you are interested in attending, please email her atrachmattsom@gmail.com.

    The Pop-Up Museum will be open daily from noon to 5:00pm, October 17th – 23rd at:

    GLBT Student Support Services Office
    Indiana University
    705 E. 7th Street
    Bloomington, IN 47408-3809

    For more information about the show, please contact: biggayabe@gmail.com.

    For more information about the Pop-Up Museum of Queer History, please contact: info@queermuseum.com.

    List of exhibit makers: Sarah Jenny Bleviss, Samantha Box, Rodney Evans, Ariel Federow, Brian Ferrari, Avram Finkelstein, Alexis Handwerker/The Hear Me Roar Project, Amber Hollibaugh, Kate Huh, I’m From Driftwood, Jonathan Ned Katz, The Lesbian Herstory Archives, Emily North, Tavia Nyong’o, The Old Lesbian Oral History Project, Kate Redburn, Sarah G. Sharp, Michelle Temple


    A WEEKEND FULL OF QUEER HISTORY

    The creative team of Abraham Lincoln’s Big, Gay Dance Party is excited to announce the following events in Bloomington, Indiana this October:

    Friday, October 21

    4.30p Academic panel titled “Queer History in ‘Real America’; Subjugated Knowledges in 21st Century Education” (John Waldron Auditorium)
5.30p Artist’s talk by Len Prince and a gallery opening immediately following (Kinsey Institute)
8.00p ALBGDP opens (John Waldron Auditorium)

    Saturday, October 22

    12-1.30p Forum Theatre Session (Rachael’s Cafe)
2-6.00p Rachel Mattson presents: “Teaching Queer Histories: A Workshop for K-12 Educators” (IU’s campus – e-mail rallivin@indiana.edu to reserve a spot)
8.00p ALBGDP (John Waldron Auditorium)
11.00p A Big, Gay Dance Party (Rachael’s Cafe)

    Sunday, October 23

    11.00a Talkback with Cast and Creative Team (Kirkwood)
2.00p ALBGDP (John Waldron Auditorium)

    October 17-23

    Everyday Noon-5.00p The Pop-Up Museum of Queer History featuring art exhibits from around the nation, the Kinsey Institute, artists from Indiana, a timeline of local queer history and other pieces (IU GLBT Center)

    Looking for more information? Shoot a message to biggayabe@gmail.com, like us on facebook, follow us on twitter and hit our page up on tumblr.

    Looking for somewhere to stay for the weekend? Check out VisitBloomington for deals.

  2. August 6, 2011 – Opening Reception for the The Pop-Up Museum of Queer History

    Leave a Comment

    Michelle Temple and I have a piece in the show entitled In Memoriam. Please join us!

    The Pop-Up Museum of Queer History is here (and queer)!

    Please celebrate with us!

    Opening Reception
    6:30 – 9:30pm on Saturday, August 6th, 2011
    The Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation (26 Wooster Street, New York, NY)
    http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=178656272199648

    See more than twenty exhibits designed by more than forty artists, academics, and activists, on subjects ranging from wimmin’s separatist land, to Argentina’s same-sex marriage debate, to late 1800s responses to transgender identity. The show will be open Tuesdays – Saturday, 12-6pm. For more information on the exhibits and events, please visit www.queermuseum.org.

    And after the reception, please come to our “gay cave rave” after party, hosted by the fabulous downtown queer party, Judy!

    GAY CAVE RAVE: Judy at “the Hose”
    Saturday August 6th 10-4
    225 Avenue B – 2nd floor (btwn 13th/14th)
    Free B4 11, $5 after

    Pop-Up Soho is co-sponsored by the Center for Lesbian And Gay Studies at CUNY University, and has financial sponsorship through MIX NYC. It could not have been made possible without the time, money, and creativity of dozens of generous individuals. Please join us in celebrating all their hard work.

    Exhibit Makers: Heather Acs, Ivette Ale, Elvis Bakaitis, Stephen Barker, Al Benkin, Jason Bishop, Campbell X, Sarah Jenny Bleviss, Samantha Box and Alexis Handwerker/The Hear Me ROAR! Project, Anna Campbell, Danny Coeyman, Davina Cohen, Vaginal Davis, Rodney Evans, Daniel Farr, Ariel “Speedwagon” Federow, Brian Ferrari, Avram Finkelstein, Dan Fishback, Robert Giard,Crystal Gonzalez, Lauren Gutterman, Tobi Haberstroh, Jesse Harold, Morgan Hart, Kate Huh, I’m From Driftwood, Jonathan Ned Katz, Lauren Lehman, daniel lang/levitsky, Lesbian Herstory Archives, Kestryl Lowrey, Rachel Mattson, Tim McMath, Jeremy “Dingles” Mikush, Christopher Mitchell, Paul Moreno, Henry Narvaez, Emily North, Tavia Nyong’o, Old Lesbians Organizing for Change, Marissa Paternoster, Mariette Pathy-Allen, Daniel Pillis, Tara Polansky, Sunita Prasad, Kate Redburn, LJ Roberts, Eric-Michael Rodriguez, Daniel Sander, Carmine Santaniello, Nogga Schwartz, Sarah G. Sharp, Michelle Temple, Bernadette Torres, Boris Torres, Daniel Vilchis, Hugo Vilchis, Luis Vilchis, Lydia Warren, Sasha Wortzel

  3. Sex Workers Blow Spitzer a Farewell Kiss – March 2008

    1 Comment

    New York, NY – In the wake of former Governor Spitzer’s resignation, sex workers and human rights advocates remain concerned about the representation and future of “Kristen” and other sex workers, who do not have the legal and social privileges that will be afforded to Mr. Spitzer. The identity of the sex worker implicated in this case has already been made public, a situation mirroring many a sex worker’s worst nightmare. “Kristen’s” exposure may entail not only bring her legal repercussions, but invasion of privacy, financial hardship and social opprobrium.

    Rather than continuing to sensationalize Spitzer’s actions and those directly involved, we urge the press and the public to shift their focus to the legal climate under which sex workers operate, while respecting “Kristen’s” agency to have chosen sex work as a viable source of income. “Everyone wants to know how high her rates were, all the salacious details, but the real issue at stake here is that the hypocrisy of criminalizing sex work has been exposed! It’s a part of our society, of every society, and we need to take this opportunity to stop with the value judgments and start coming up with policies that respect the human dignity of all people, sex workers and all workers. ” says Dylan Wolfe of SWANK (Sex Workers Action New York).

    Former Governor Spitzer took a lead role in developing the NY State Anti-Trafficking Law as well as other initiatives that stigmatize sex workers and their clients. It is the stigma of sex work that leads many individuals like “Kristen” to keep their occupations a secret, creating further isolation and opportunities for exploitation. This same stigma compromises the safety and well-being of people like “Kristen” when their private lives become public knowledge. Sex workers are then forced to work further underground, rendering them more vulnerable to abuse, while denying them access to the basic civic participation, health and social
    services available to other people. “Hopefully Mr. Spitzer’s unfortunate public decline will send a message to all like him who pass laws that endanger the safety of sex workers while indulging in the service themselves,” Sarah Bleviss of SWOP said, “Sex workers clearly provide them a very valuable service; it’s time for lawmakers to return the favor.”

    Too little attention has been paid to what the repercussions of this case will be for those most directly concerned, sex workers, and more generally to the impact of laws and attitudes that marginalize them. It is time for a change.

    Spitzer pushed through penalty enhancements against clients of all sex workers. Sex worker advocates fought against such provisions because these policies drive people who need help further underground. Often prostitution is wrongly conflated with trafficking and vice-versa. People are trafficked for many kinds of work, be it domestic labor, farm work or other jobs, and this kind of exploitation undoubtedly needs to be addressed. The majority of men, women and transgendered people working in sex work, however, are ‘normal’ members of society who have used their own intellectual agency to decide to make a living in a sexually-oriented way. Laws, like the Mann Act (against inter-state transportation for the purposes of commercial sex), are too often used for punishing sex workers and their clients rather than those who profit from their exploitation.

    Sex workers make a living in an industry with the potential for high risks and little by way of protection from abuse. The stigma surrounding our work can be lethal at its most extreme: we are often the targets of notorious serial killers, like the Green River Killer, Gary Ridgway who targeted prostitutes because he thought he “could kill as many of them as [he] wanted without getting caught.” If sex work were decriminalized and legitimized as a form of paid labor like any other, or seen simply as an intimate exchange between consenting adults, the associated harms would be greatly diminished. Furthermore, sex workers could access their basic human rights and social services without fear of legal reprisal or personal upheaval. “Eliot Spitzer has represented himself to the public as a law and order man, and ironically, has been in the vanguard of further criminalizing sex workers and clients. . . However, it’s a shame that so much time, energy, and tax payer resources are being spent to criminalize consensual sex between adults. It’s time to decriminalize prostitution.” says Sarah Blake of Prostitutes of New York (PONY).

    Incoming Governor Paterson and other law-makers need to create policies that actually reflect the realities of their own lives and those of their constituents, including sex workers, rather than the harmful legislation of morality, whereby private matters become public scandals.

    # # # #

  4. WHAT ABOUT KRISTEN? New York Sex Worker Organizations Respond to Spitzer Scandal – March 2008

    Leave a Comment

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Shakti Ziller, Sex Workers Action New York (SWANK), swank@riseup.net 877-877-2004 x 2

    Audacia Ray, 718.554.1714

    Sarah Bleviss, Sex Workers Outreach Project NYC (SWOP-NYC), swop.nyc@gmail.com

    Prostitutes of New York (PONY), pony@panix.com

    Desiree Alliance, http://www.desireealliance.org/

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    New York, NY – In the last few days, Governor Eliot Spitzer has publicly admitted to being associated with an escort agency and is considering resignation. As sex worker advocates, we are concerned about the representation and fate of “Kristen” and sex workers who are being thrust into the spotlight because of the investigation into the Governor. We also share the widespread concern for Governor Spitzer’s family.

    Sex worker organizations urge the press and the public to focus on the violation of sex workers rights and the need to change these laws and policies, rather than simply on the story of one individual who has purchased sexual services.

    “Nobody is talking about the impact of this story on “Kristen” and other women, men and trans people who are currently working in the sex industry,” Shakti Ziller of SWANK in NYC added, “Prostitutes disproportionately face punitive action after arrest as compared to clients. Whether or not she will face prison time, “Kristen” has been dragged into the spotlight and will be subjected to public humiliation. Shouldn’t the police emphasis be on catching perpetrators of violent crime and protecting sex workers – not exposing adults who are consenting to a transaction? All she did was try to make a living.”

    “Governor Spitzer ran on a platform of being a different kind of politician and then portrayed an inaccurate image of himself. Being involved with the services of sex workers is a very common thing, if all forms of consensual sex work were decriminalized for adults involved in a consensual transaction, sex workers could access the services they need,” says Dylan Wolfe of SWANK (Sex Workers Action New York).

    Governor Spitzer took a lead role in developing the NY State Anti-Trafficking Law. Over the objections of advocates who worked directly with victims of human trafficking and with sex workers, Governor Spitzer pushed through penalty enhancements against clients of all sex workers. Sex worker advocates fought against such provisions because these policies drive people who need help further underground.

    “Spitzer has stood up for workers’ rights in certain capacities, but has not followed through with meeting the real needs of sex workers,” Audacia Ray, author of Naked on the Internet, noted, “It would be great if the government could use money towards services, not punitive measures.”

    The press has picked up on the relationship that inter-state trafficking laws (under the Mann Act) have to this case. This connection illustrates a point that sex worker advocates have been making for a long time: Laws against inter-state transportation for the purposes of commercial sex are too often used for punishing people working as sex workers and those who work with and patronize them.

    The exposure of Randall Tobias last year as a customer of an escort agency, Senator Vitter’s rumored association with sex workers and now this recent news of Governor Spitzer, the corruption and hypocrisy inherently associated with prohibiting consensual prostitution are again being brought to light. Shaming these men will do nothing to improve the nature of the sex industry and the deeply-rooted corruption that is associated with the prohibition of prostitution.

    “The criminalization of prostitution breeds this type of hypocrisy and makes our politicians (and other public figures) vulnerable,” says Carol Leigh of Sex Workers Outreach Project-USA. “This vulnerability exists until our society recognizes that consensual sexual behavior is private and these private acts should no longer be criminalized.”

    “Many of our clients are politicians, judges, lawyers and even police,” Monica S., 26 of Brooklyn said. “It’s odd that they spend so much effort putting us into jail, but then turn around and give us their money in exchange for sex. Why do they think they won’t get caught breaking the laws that they make?”

    The commentary on Dealbreaker.com, a Wall-Street news site, says about Wall-street’s anti-Spitzer reaction to the ‘Client 9’ story: “‘There is a God’ was the first thought on Wall Street. The next thought is, ‘Please don’t let it be revealed that I’m Lucky Number 7.'”

    # # # #

  5. Press

    Leave a Comment

    In The Press

    Press and Media Work