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Statement on Rentboy Raid: Criminalization is Economic, Racial, and Gender-based Violence.

SRLP staff Sasha Alexander and Mik Kinkead and SRLP members Xena and Natalia at City Hall for the Jails Action Coalition Rally (9/9/15) to raise visibility about the importance of visitation for TGNCI incarcerated folks and all people.


The Sylvia Rivera Law Project stands in solidarity with our sister organizations and allies against the criminalization of immigrants, LGB, trans, gender non-conforming and intersex people (TGNCI), low-income people, differently-abled folks, sex workers, currently and formerly incarcerated people, and people of color. From the recent federal raid on Rentboy to practices like arresting folks by using condoms as evidence of sex work, there are many laws that target quality-of-life crimes that not only fail to protect our communities but compounds the existing harm that our communities face. These laws, which form a pattern of racialized state violence against TGNCI people, put our communities at further risk by criminalizing survival work and the ways we take care of ourselves.

The ongoing murders of black trans women and TGNCI people, the silencing and erasure of our struggles and movement history, and the ongoing economic, state and police violence our communities experience reaffirm how crucial our commitment to transformative justice must be.

SRLP continues to name criminalization as economic, racial, and gender based violence in a world where our bodies and lives are deemed disposable. Our work is far from over.

During the media focus on Rentboy, many didn’t realize that the police regularly target sex workers with online ads, raid massage parlors and neighborhood motels, and arrest many undocumented, queer, gender-nonconforming, low-income people and people of color. While various large LGBTQ groups expressed vocal opposition to the raid, many people questioned the commitment of various LGBTQ groups in supporting the rights of sex workers and decriminalizing sex work due to their lack of focus and lack of advocacy for communities engaged in sex work. Meanwhile, there are plenty of community-based activists like Monica Jones and organizations like Streetwise and Safe that have been making ongoing efforts to advocate for the decriminalization of sex work.

SRLP stands committed to supporting TGNCI communities in thriving and working to dismantle the systems, laws, and practices that create barriers to our ability to live a life free of violence and harassment. By guaranteeing that all people are free to determine their gender identity and expression without harassment, violence, and discrimination, by providing our communities with direct legal support, and by organizing spaces and movements to address the issues we face, SRLP continues to play a crucial role in working towards racial, gender and economic justice.

We need your support as we work towards collective liberation! Find out about volunteer opportunities by becoming a member! Learn about our Prisoner Justice Project.  Join our Movement Building Team. Read about SRLP’s Prisoner Advisory Committee. Support our movement by sharing our work, learning more about the impacts of systems of inequality on our everyday lives, and contributing resources to organizations and folks who need it the most!


In love and justice,

Sasha Alexander,

SRLP Director of Membership

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