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For Immediate Release 7/02/07: SF Sex Worker Film and Arts Festival
Event: The 5th San Francisco Sex Worker Film and Arts Festival presented by Desiree Alliance, BAYSWAN, COYOTE and SWOP-USA

Sponsored by: San Francisco Bay Times, Shake Radio: America's LGBT Radio Talk Show, Spread Magazine, Film Arts Foundation, Media Alliance, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Other Magazine, Bound Not Gagged, TrannyFest,, and Toys in Babeland
Dates: July 14th-22nd
Media Contacts: (415) 751-1659
Festival Information Line: (415) 861-1157
Prices: All Movie Pass (AR+Space and Roxie) $45.00; Roxie Movie Day Pass $35.00; All Movie and Party pass $75.00; Individual event prices vary-see website
Press Info and Photos:
Schedule: See schedule below and at



The San Francisco Sex Workers Festival was established in 1999. This year the response from sex workers has been greater than ever before. The 2007 Festival includes a number of contributions from male artists including Konrad Product's 'Natural Born Hooker,' as well as 'Dis Closure: The Hearts and Minds of Gay Male Escorts,' from Jeff Ball at Another ground breaking exhibit is 'We, Asian Sex Workers,' curated by Gennifer M. Hirano, asian princess at AR+SPACE. SWOP-USA's 'School for Johns,' offers a stimulating day for all who are curious, culminating in a Lap-Dance Graduation Party (everyone invited) with special guest, Margo St. James. 'Sex on Wheels' presents a historical dramatized bike tour co-sponsored by the SF Bike Coalition. The Film Festival at the Roxie features a number of San Francisco Premieres including Railroad Allstars and Frau Mercedes. The 2007 Festival is held in conjunction with the Desiree Alliance San Francisco West Coast Convergence (a sex worker conference) taking place at The Women's Building, July 19th and 20th.

Full Version:
The San Francisco Sex Worker Festival was established to provide a forum for the accomplishments of sex worker artists and filmmakers and to show work about sex workers and sex industries from around the world. The Sex Worker Festival provides an opportunity to recognize and honor prostitutes, dancers, porn performers and other sex workers who have historically been a dynamic part of arts communities. The Festival includes performance events, parties and art exhibitions as well as screenings. The 2007 Festival is held in conjunction with the Desiree Alliance San Francisco West Coast Convergence, a sex worker conference, taking place at The Women's Building July 19th and 20th.This year marks our 5th biennial event and the response by sex workers has been greater than ever before. The 2007 Fest highlights a ground breaking exhibit, "We, Asian Sex Workers" featuring artists including Banteay Srei, Reagan Louie, Mariko Passion, Ivy, Annie Chen, Surgeon Scofflaw and Tracy Quan, work submitted by COSWAS (Taiwan) and Ziteng (Hong Kong) curated by Gennifer M. Hirano, asian princess at Ar+Space Gallery.

Unique to this year is a response from men working in the industry. We are featuring a number of their works including a live performance of Konrad Product's play "Natural Born Hooker," about his own experience as a hustler as a benefit for the St. James Infirmary at Counterpulse; an installation by Jeff Ball ( "Dis Closure: The Hearts and Minds of Gay Male Escorts;" as well as a panel of male artists in sex work which also features Kirk Read, Reginald M Lamar and Mattilda a.k.a. Matt Bernstein Sycamore at the Desiree Alliance Convergence.

We are presenting the "Lick My Kitty: Kitty Kastro Memorial Cabaret," dedicated to Kitty, who recently died in a traffic accident and who had been the emcee for our cabarets since the first Sex Worker Festival in 1999. Festival performers include: emcee Annie Danger; Mariko Passion; Shawna Virago; Reginald M. Lamar, Simon de la Getto; Ginger Virago; Julep; Kirk Read; Sadie Lune; EcstaScene; Lady Monster and more.


The Festival will take place from July 14th-22nd, with films at the Roxie including: "Otras Vias" about Latin American immigrant prostitutes in Germany who emerge from their stereotypes as 'helpless victims' to discuss the possibilities of resistance in their everyday lives. Karen Gehres' "Begging Naked" which allows a glimpse at the effects of Guiliani's repressive sex industry polices on one woman's life as she survives homelessness, drug addiction, prostitution, mental illness, all in the context of her incredible life as an artist; and "The Railroad Allstars," (2006) by Producer/Director Chema Rodriguez, in which three Guatemalan prostitutes establish a football team to publicize the condition of their lives in "La Linea."

Launching the week will be an all day seminar 'School for Johns,' finishing up with a Lap-Dance Graduation Party Benefit at night presented by SWOP-USA. The "Roaming Hookerfest," a traveling outdoor caravan of sex workers, will be bringing films to the street via outdoor projection with a Hookerfest Afterparty featuring the fabulous DJ Bent direct from DC."Sex on Wheels" presents a dramatized historical tour of the Barbary Coast on bicycles! This year's festival also includes the Desiree Alliance West Coast Convergence at the Women's Building with topics from academia to activism, as well as many, many more exciting events.

See our in-progress calendar to get an idea of additional events at

This year we dedicate our Festival to the memory of Kitty Kastro, who has been with the Festival since 1999, who died this year in a traffic accident, as well as three other sex worker activist/artists who have participated in a number of festivals: Heather McAllister, founder of Fat Bottom Review (Big Burlesque), who died after a long struggle with cancer; Duran Ruiz, long time activist, painter and writer who suffered from kidney failure; Andy Dill, a beautiful, generous sex worker and supporter of the St. James Infirmary, who passed from a brief, sudden illness this year and Guan Xiou Qin of COSWAS, the first sex worker leader of the movement for the rights of prostitutes in Taipei who committed suicide as a culmination of her struggles fighting the new repressive approach to prostitution in Taiwan.


Sex Worker Festival Background

From artists' models to muses, from hetaera to geishas, sex workers have been vital participants in arts communities through the centuries. Despite their influence on the arts and culture, polite societies rarely acknowledge the contributions of the demimonde who have also been painters and poets themselves. A growing number are working in contemporary media, film and video, and performing in solo, ensemble theater and in burlesque revues.

The San Francisco Sex Workers Festival was established in 1999 to provide a forum for the accomplishments of sex worker film and video makers and to screen works by and about sex workers and the sex industries from around the world. The Sex Worker Festivals have screened nearly two hundred works and generated much interest from the media. In addition, the festival presents performances and events. The Sex Worker Fest promotes sex worker rights, community building, outreach, as well as educational and cultural empowerment.

Over the past decade, sex worker art and culture festivals have sprouted up around the globe from Calcutta to Israel to Taiwan to Montreal, from Portland to Cleveland and Arizona. Sex worker film, art and performance events span the globe, chronicling contemporary sexual politics and mores with a vision that penetrates our hypocrisies.

The Sex Worker Festival has screened nearly two hundred films since 1999. Films focus on: sex; prostitutes' rights; organizing efforts and working conditions for strippers; more sex; global sex work and sex work as a labor issue on the international agenda; sex workers as heroes and heroines; sex workers as saints; sex workers as jerks and perverts; sex work and gender identities; queer sex workers; sex education; sex art; sex panic; sexual orientation; sexual identity; porn and erotica; portraits of strippers, prostitutes, doms, madams and much more.


July 14th-Saturday- 10-6 School For Johns at The Power Exchange, 74 Otis St. 7 PM-?, SWOP Lap-Dance Benefit and John's School Graduation Party at Sweeties, 475 Francisco St.
July 15th-Sunday-7-9 PM 'We, Asian Sex Workers' Opening at Ar+Space, plus gallery hours all the week (1286 Folsom)
July 16-17th-Monday and Tuesday- Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP-USA) National Conference, Anti racism/Anti-oppression Diversity Training and Action
July 18th-Wednesday-St. James Infirmary Fantasy Sex-Me Academy -formerly Whore College(NOT at the Infirmary-Location TBA);
7-9PM 'We, Asian Sex Workers' Immigration Panel and screening trat AR+Space
July 19th-Thursday- 8 PM, 10:30 PM 'Natural Born Hooker,' a play by Konrad Product starring Aaron Orr at Counterpulse 1310 Mission. Benefit for St. James Infirmary.
July 19th & 20th- Thursday & Friday-Desiree Alliance West Coast Convergence (a sex worker conference at the Women's Building 3543 18t St. -See
July 20th-Friday-Roaming Hookerfest films projected at outdoor locations 9Pm Meet at 16th and Folsom. Additionl times to be posted at

July 20th-Friday-Red Light Night AfterParty for Hookerfest at Lipo Lounge 916 Grant @ 11 PM
July 21st-Saturday-12noon-2 am Sex Worker Movies at the Roxie (3117 16th Street)
July 22nd-Sunday-11am-2PM 'Sex On Wheels' Barbary Coast Historical Dramatized Bicycle Tour (Meet at Main library, Fulton Street)
July 22nd Sunday 3-5PM, Tour of the St. James Infirmary and Exhibit MachoSissy presents Dis Closure: The Hearts and Minds of Gay Male Escorts, 1372 Mission Street
July 22nd-Sunday- 8PM-Midnight Lick My Kitty: Kitty Kastro Memorial Cabaret at SOMARTS (934 Brannan Street) with Emcee Annie Danger, featuring Shawna Virago, Simone de la Getto, Reginald M. Lamar, Gennifer M. Hirano, asian princess., Sadie Lune, Julep, Ginger Virago, historical vignettes from 'Sex on Wheels' by Jennifer Worley, Kirk Read, Scarlot Harlot, Seely Quest, Courtney Trouble, Dee Dee Russell, Lady Monster and Wendy Vinaigrette.

We, Asian Sex Workers Schedule

Saturday 7/14 8pm: “Asian Prostitute Sensitivity Training”
Sunday 7/15 7pm: Opening Reception with performances by Surgeon Scofflaw and Mariko Passion
Wednesday 7/18 7pm: Migrant Sex Work Panel
8pm Urban Justice Center presents “Taking the Pledge” USAID money, anti-prostitution pledges and migrant sex work presentation/discussion
9pm Melissa Gira: Report Back from Cambodia
Friday 7/20 7pm: Asian Sex Worker Film Fest

Festival Co-Directors: Carol Leigh (AKA Scarlot Harlot) and Erica Fabulous (AKA Fabulous)

Producers: Carol Leigh, Erica Fabulous, Madeline Lowe, Justina Because and Annie Danger
Festival Co-ordinators: Tess Trueheart and Valerie Feldman
Curators: Erica Fabulous and Justina Because
Locations: Roxie Cinema, 3117 16 St., SomArts Gallery 934 Brannan Street, Sweeties 475 Francisco Street, The Power Exchange, 74 Otis and AR+SPACE 1286 Folsom, The Women's Building. Plus, "Roaming Hooker Fest" outdoor locations TBA.About Festival founder and Co-director-Carol Leigh AKA Scarlot Harlot

Carol Leigh has been a sex worker and activist since the late seventies when she coined the term "sex worker" in 1979. Leigh is webmistress at Prostitutes Education Network, the most extensive sex worker rights site on the web. Leigh was seated on the San Francisco Board of Supervisor's Task Force on Prostitution representing San Francisco's Commission on the Status of Women. She won many awards for her videos including three at the American Film Institute. She teaches multimedia production at several schools in the Bay Area including the Center for Electronic Arts. Last Gasp released Leigh's new book, Unrepentant Whore: The Collected Work of Scarlot Harlot, Spring, 2004.

Erica Fabulous AKA Fabulous
Erica is a San Francisco native, activist, harm reductionist, cab driver, and event producer.She is featured in the upcoming movie 'Jaded Consumer Looking for Something More' and is half of 'Waste Management Productions' a queer cabaret/drag revue production company.Erica joined the Sex Worker Festival in 2005. An accomplished producer and artist, Erica (AKA Fabulous) brought a new level of professionalism and community participation to the project. In 2007 she became Festival curator and, along with Justina Barron, programmed one of the best programs since the 1999 Festival. Fabulous is going to school to study healing arts and hopes someday to help start a collectively run retreat space in the country for hookers and witches.