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We Are Dancers: Exotic dancers’ grassroots organizing

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The history of activism for the rights of exotic dancers in the United States is rich, complex and powerful. Dancers have organized, via groups such as the Exotic Dancers’ Alliance, challenging exploitative “stage fees” imposed by club management and their misclassification as “independent contractors” by employers wishing to avoid paying work-related benefits. The documentary Live Nude Girls Unite chronicled some of these organizing efforts and is an essential part of the sex worker rights film canon. Exotic dancing, unlike many …

The World’s Oldest Debate: Gabriela talks with lawyers, lawmakers and activists about legislative proposals to change prostitution related laws in Brazil

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“Everyone has a right to be a protagonist…I’ve been talking about prostitution for 30 years, and then I arrive here and have to hear these things, it’s screwed up, isn’t?  I listen to Alana say that politicized prostitutes “are something else”.  We can’t even be politicized! Poor politicized whores cannot exist. I talked, and I felt like I was invisible.” – Gabriela Leite “Prostitution is not a crime, but it is not free.” – Maira Fernandes These quotes are from …

Some considerations about prostitution, Aids and life

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[Translation of Gabriela’s blog post sharing an email she sent to the directorate of the STD/HIV/AIDS and Viral Hepatitis Department of the Ministry of Health] Today (10/30/2012) I watched the expanded meeting of the AIDS and Viral Hepatitis Department online.  I advised my colleagues from the Brazilian Prostitute’s Network about the importance of participating in the meeting and including some of our questions in the agenda. Maria de Lourdes Barreto (leader from Para) was brilliant in the two comments that …

Election night in the United States

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A group of prison abolitionists and sex worker rights advocates gathered to watch a preview of A Kiss for Gabriela after polls closed in Phoenix, Arizona. We watched as Gabi cried at the polls in Brazil in 2010 and we pondered the power of claiming the identities of “wife, mother, grandmother and sex worker” in the electoral process. 9.30 pm: we heard someone shouting what we thought was “Arpaio, Arpaio” loudly in the street nearby. Had Sheriff Joe Arpaio (who …

Gabriela Leite wins WISE Award 2012

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In October, Gabriela Leite was awarded the prestigious WISE Award 2012  – Women in Social Enterprise. Nicole Etchart from Chile, the Co-Founder and co-CEO of NESsTpresented the award to Gabriela. Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Direcor of UN Women, sent a video dedicating the award to Gabriela and thanking her for her fight in against the discrimination of prostitutes.  Congratulations to Gabriela and thank you to Friederike Strack for the photo and report from the event!

Civil Society denounces the misuse of money earmarked to HIV and AIDS

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[Reposting an incredibly important letter written by Brazilian AIDS activists. See original post on Brazilian NGO, Gestos, site in Portuguese and in English on UNGASS AIDS Forum] The Ministry of Health of Brazil is about to publish an ordinance that allows states and municipalities to use, for “general health purposes”, those funds that had been originally transferred by the Union for the exclusive use of AIDS programs but were not used until december 2011, because of either inefficiency or lack …

Thoughts from Gabriela how to be political

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I am sitting here in front of the computer thinking about sex tourism and my intense anger. Why so much anger if I already know the ins and outs of the topic and where it is going? Why do the issues of sex tourism, trafficking and sexual exploitation leave me feeling so sad? Here at home alone, I’ve thought a lot. I have some small responses and I’m sure that I’ll find others. Ever since I started my political militancy, …

News from the District of Columbia, a kiss for Gabriela

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US sex worker rights advocates have made connections with government officials, including representatives of the State Department, since successfully campaigning in 2010/2011 for the US government to accept UPR Recommendation 86. September 18, 2012 representatives of two organizations (BPPP and Desiree Alliance) met with the TIP office to share the concerns of a wider network of organizations about the US government’s approaches to trafficking. Darby Hickey and Sharmus Outlaw sent a kiss to Gabriela Leite, a Brazilian sex worker, who has so inspired activists globally to pressure to be …

Papos da Gabi

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[Translation of Gabriela’s first post on the Portuguese blog]. Papos da Gabi (Chatting with Gabi), seeks to be a committed/non-committed space to talk about issues and day to day topics without any sort of political correctness. The objects of my chats will be everything from President Dilma’s most recent hairstyle to Carminha’s meltdowns on the 9 o’clock telenovela, to –  of course –  prostitution in Brazil and the world. Wait for me starting on September 1st! Kisses for everyone!

The first time

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It is exciting to write this first blog post on the English, “A Kiss for Gabriela” site. The blog, like the film itself, will be driven by passion, and an idea that supporting sex worker rights is pleasurable, fundamental and can be as simple as sending a kiss.  The issues raised by Gabriela in the film – sex worker rights, legal and safe abortion, LGBT rights, women’s rights, and HIV/AIDS will be the primary focus of posts. Yet general social …