There is an increasing amount of evidence regarding the need for increases in health and social services for trans individuals [i], as well as the need for human rights framework for sex workers [ii], but there is still a lack of empirical research documenting the unique overlaps and disjunctures between transgender, sex worker, and labor and immigrant rights stakeholders. This pilot research is one very few to attempt an inclusive study of trans and genderqueer sex workers, Knowledge about the social context of trans sex workers is important for thoughtful crafting and implementation of prostitution and trafficking policies and interventions, particularly at the local level (including city, county, state policing, health services, and community based organizations).
The Principle Investigator (PI) for this project is Kari Lerum. Kari has a PhD in sociology from University of Washington, and is a longtime advocate for individuals in the sex trade, and trans & queer identified individuals. Find out more about Kari at her website.
Funding for this project provided by the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies and the Pride Foundation.
To document the social, cultural, and economic contexts in which Seattle-area trans & genderqueer sex workers live and work.
To assess the available resources and social service needs of contemporary Seattle-area trans & genderqueer sex workers.
To observe the impact of current local (Seattle-area), Washington State, and federal prostitution policies on trans & genderqueer sex workers.
To develop evidence-based strategies for local and state prostitution and human trafficking policies.
This is a community-based research partnership between faculty and staff at University of Washington and members of several community based organizations serving trans and sex worker communities. Former and current trans and genderqueer sex workers are involved in many aspects of this study, including study design, recruitment, interviewing, and data collection and analysis. Confidential interviews will be conducted in Seattle and will last approximately 1 hour each. Participants receive $20 and a copy of the St. James Infirmary Occupational Health & Safety Manual.
This study has been approved by the UW Human Subjects Division.