Sex work is work. The mere fact that this phrase has to be used as a slogan to get people to believe this community exists, means we have a lot of work to do. Advocacy and education should not fall entirely to those who work in this profession, they have jobs to do, as do we.
Fatso intentionally carves out time to work with marginalized groups because we believe that they shouldn’t have to fight alone. They have enough to deal with. You might think that we have stuff to deal with too, but guess what? Peanut butter isn’t stigmatized, marginalized or criminalized. So yes, we have stuff to deal with but we are able to deal with it because our lives are not in danger, and we can do our job in a healthy, safe and loving environment in a community that embraces us. Sex workers do not have this luxury but they do have Peers Victoria.
Peers Victoria is an innovative, multi-service grassroots agency that was established by, with, and for sex workers in Victoria, British Columbia, to support current and former workers in this industry. People in sex work are members of our communities and deserve the same access to safety, supports, and resources as everyone else. Recognizing that communities nurture success, Fatso is conscious that the idea of community doesn’t always include marginalized and invisible groups and the organizations that seek to support them. Funding is limited and tenuous, hobbling the ability of a critical non-profit like Peers Victoria to expand their night outreach, counseling, education, and employment programming, etc.
Since 1995 Peers has responded and supported a cross-section of grossly minimized social issues including sexuality, stigma and identity, the impact of colonization, community-building, health, housing, substance use and gender and sexual violence. Since 1995, the agency has provided support, night outreach, drop-in services, harm reduction supplies, education and employment programs, meals and much more to those in need.
Writing a blog about it doesn’t do much so we are being active in our support for this much-needed agency. In collaboration with Peers Victoria, we have developed an initiative to shed light on the importance of safe and decriminalized sex work and to help address the stigma that so profoundly harms people in the sex industry. You will be able to meet the advocates, support workers, and former and current sex workers on our website and we encourage everyone to have a sincere look at who these wonderful people are.
By donating 100% of all apparel profits indefinitely to Peers Victoria, hopes to encourage other businesses to dedicate some or all of their philanthropic efforts to marginalized and/or stigmatized organizations. It’s important to contribute when you can, and Fatso is proud to be in a position to facilitate change and education with their support and fellowship.
Owning a business like Fatso is a privilege. Yes, there is hard work, dedication, and sacrifice but it’s not a solo mission and not one that we at Fatso believe we did all by ourselves. We look to the community that supported us, nurtured us and embraced us. The least we can do is return the favour.
So, with all of that said advocacy, allyship and agitation go together like sex work and peanut butter.