A petition has gone live asking for occupations, like adult entertainment to be added to protected characteristics, like sexuality, race and gender identity.
The petition which has been created by the ManyVids platform which aims to provide “an oasis for sex workers to thrive independently” has been launched to ask the government to make changes to the Equality Act 2010.
The organisation has said it would like to “challenge the UK government to protect and safeguard the rights of adult entertainers, who make a legal income just like other workers in many industries across the UK”.
A worker, Epiphany Jones (link NSFW), uses the platform, and said that she is “repulsed by how much hate and discrimination there still is against sex workers, especially in this day in age”.
Explaining some of the issues she faced working within the adult industry, she wrote,
“When I first started camming on a few different sites, I offered PayPal as another way for my customers to safely and securely buy content from me. Unfortunately, a customer reported me to PayPal for using their service for sex work and my account was banned, deleted and the money was given back to the purchaser.
“As I had already delivered the video in question (which was delivered on time and without any issues), I can only assume the customer did this vindictively, knowing they would get a free video out of it. As you can imagine I was furious that this had been allowed to happen, and that I wasn’t given any chance to explain my situation
She continued, “What upset me most is the fact that prejudices surrounding my occupation stopped a thorough investigation from taking place. If I was selling craft videos on how to make daisy chains and a customer had complained, PayPal would have fairly investigated both sides of the argument and helped to resolve the situation, as opposed to banning the account out of hand and penalizing the creator”.
Jones says the incident has left her feeling “ostracized and alone”.
“No right-minded person would ever “lend a stripper money to do better shows.”
Speaking about her experience of getting a bank loan is even more depressing, she said,
“A couple of years ago I wanted to improve my business by upgrading my software and equipment. As I’m a registered business I decided to do what anyone else would do and met with the bank to discuss business loans. When I explained to the manager what my business was and why I needed the money I was practically laughed out of the office and told that no right-minded person would ever “lend a stripper money to do better shows.”
“Putting aside the fact that I earn consistently more via camming than I did in my previous job, this completely demoralized me and belittled my worth. The fact that a bank manager felt justified in demeaning me, just because of my occupation was sickening. All the money I’d earned and the profile I’d worked hard to build up meant nothing, he couldn’t see past my job title.
“Just because I’m in the adult industry doesn’t mean I’m any less of a human being. Having my hard-earned money taken from me being banished from sites is so demoralizing, especially since it’s nothing to do with me as a person – it’s just because of the prejudice surrounding my job.
People say the world will never change, but it can happen, and since I’ve been a ManyVids member I’ve seen such a positive improvement, especially within the LGBTQ community. I’d encourage all sex workers to keep being resilient and to have the courage to speak up and stand for what is right”.