Underserved. Overpoliced. Invisibilised. LGBT Sex Workers Do Matter


This ICRSE briefing paper explores the diverse experiences and realities of LGBT sex workers and the intersection of LGBT rights and sex workers’ rights. It also calls upon the LGBT movement to build an alliance with sex workers and their organisations and actively support sex workers’ rights and the decriminalisation of sex work.

The struggle for sex workers’ rights intersects with many other social movements. Sex workers are male, female and non-binary, LGBTQ, migrants and workers. Supporting sex workers’ rights means understanding the diversity and complexity of our lives and involving sex workers from diverse communities in decision making, policy making and debates. This is the first in a series of ICRSE briefing papers that will give sex workers, activists from other social movements and policy makers the tools to explore the intersection of sex workers’ rights with other rights and social struggles such as those connected with LGBT people, women, workers, migrants and health. Contents of this paper include:

  • For an intersectional perspective on sex workers' rights
  • About ICRSE
  • Facts and figures
    • What is the ratio of LGBT people among sex workers in Europe
    • What forms of violence are experienced by LGBT sex workers
    • Are LGBT sex workers reached by adequate services?
    • What are the issues faced by migrant LGBT sex workers?
  • The most pressing threats to the human rights of the LGBT and sex worker communities
    • Criminalisation of sex work, sexual orientation and gender identity
    • The interlocking system of LGBT-phobic and whorephobic violence
    • Denial of agency and the right to self-determination
    • Pathologisation and medical mistreatment of sex workers and LGBT people
  • Examples of succesful mobilisation of LGBT and sex worker organisations
  • Seven steps to make an LGBT organisation more sex worker-inclusive

You can download this 20-page PDF above. This resource is available in English and Spanish.