The Gay Porn Times alerted me to this story (which by the way is a really good/useful site) about Hustlaball in New York last week. The event is global and there’s a London event for UK fans. Essentially, it’s a wild party, or in the words of their website: ‘The Hustlaball is a World of Hustlers, Hookers, Pimps, streetwalkers, Flesh-Peddlers, Porn Stars and other scandalous Sorts’. GPT was flagging up a feature on The Advocate’s website with a number of sex workers who were present at the event. I found the little snippet with William Rockwell and Mistress Veronica (both pictured right) particularly interesting.
William comments: ‘When I was 15, I was kicked out of my parents’ home and living out of friends’ and tricks’ houses. A lot of the hooking up I did is what I would now consider informal sex work. Down the street there was a Human Rights Campaign building being rebuilt for a $3 million addition, and there wasn’t one LGBTQ-sponsored place prepared for me could go to sleep as a youth in need. Never once did the HRC open their doors to me.’
It’s an interesting insight and we should remember William seems happy enough now. However, it also highlights how groups such as the Human Rights Campaign can sometimes become removed from the very groups they are seeking to help.
William and Mistress Veronica are linked by their fantastic work with $spread magazine. The magazine has a website here where you can donate, subscribe to a mailing list and some stories. The magazine is for sex workers, by sex workers and has the following mission statement:
‘We believe that all sex workers have a right to self-determination; to choose how we make a living and what we do with our bodies. We aim to build community and destigmatize sex work by providing a forum for the diverse voices of individuals working in the sex industry.’
Read the full interview with William and Mistress Veronica (and more about their work on $spread) on page four of the interviews. Read all the interviews here.