The limits of being out on campus

The state of academic organising of the November 2nd protest at SFU

What Brought Us Here?

It’s been a while since I’ve published to Medium, and unfortunately I find myself in the uncomfortable situation of returning to this platform in a way that will draw attention to some oversights by a local organisation. I don’t write this piece with any wish for harm or judgement towards Out on Campus or their leadership, but rather in order to prepare people, particularly trans people and people of colour, wishing to attend the protest against the Meghan Murphy event being hosted at SFU. …

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Illustration by Sam Bradd

Authors note: These are speakers notes for a speech given at the Safer Province For Everybody conference in Vancouver on May 28th. While I consult my notes during my talks, I mostly speak from the heart, so these notes are not a verbatim retelling of the speech.

We’re here to talk about responding to violence against sex workers.

That’s a very sensitive and personal subject.

It’s a subject that requires sex workers to make ourselves vulnerable.

It requires us to curb our ego.

Asking a dominatrix to curb her ego is a tall order.

We're also…

Report to New Westminster City Council

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Image description: burning tea lights. Source: unsplash.

Mr Mayor, councillors, my name is Hailey Heartless. I have been a resident of this city for 10 years.

I also sit on the board of directors at PACE Society, a nonprofit in Vancouver's downtown eastside that offers programming and support to some of the regions most vulnerable sex workers.

PACE Society has sent me here today as a delegate to speak about the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance was founded in 1999, originally to memorialize Rita Hester, a black trans woman who was murdered on November 28th 1998…

I guess “used sex toy library” isn’t as appealing

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A closeup of a sex doll’s foot holding a vibrator between her toes. Source: Wikimedia Commons

The headline of this article might be seen as kink shaming, sex negative or radical feminist, but I don’t necessarily want to deride the idea of visiting a sex doll brothel, but rather give it some context within a zeitgeist of sex worker stigma.

Within sex work spaces, accounts of sex doll brothels are often shared with nervous bewilderment. I feel depending on our own hustle, and our own relationship with internalized whorephobia, we might have varying and complex feelings. Some of us feel replaced, while to others it’s a joke. …

How “abolitionists” are using deception to sway the narrative

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Image Description: A cable closet filled with a tangled mass of wires. Source: Wikimedia commons.

I’ve noticed a troubling trend recently of Australian and British politicians, as well as sex worker exclusionary radical feminists, proclaiming that they support the decriminalization of sex work. Normally this is welcome news, but when pressed for answers they start to describe asymmetric criminalization models, like the Nordic Model, and not the decriminalization model that is being promoted by the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, Amnesty International, harm reduction organisations, sex workers and allies.

So why would people who wish to end sex work want to…

“See What You Made Me Do!”

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Image Description: A doll’s face covered in cracks. Source: unsplash.

As trans activism and anti-trans activism comes further into the consciousness of the public, the general public will also undoubtedly see some aspects of trans activism that make them uncomfortable, or downright afraid.

There are certain discussions that trans people are torn over. Many of those discussions we don’t usually have in mixed company because we know the discussion might be too much too fast for potential allies, or that we don’t have solid answers just yet. …

Please don't

because I’m a goddamn adult

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Image description: Lenin with big wide eyes and rosy cheeks crudely graffitied over his face. This image isn’t really that related to the article, but I don’t know if I’ll ever have a chance to use it. Source unknown.

It was in fall of 2017 when I made the realization that I had to pick between my sex worker advocacy or my small leftist community. I was always somewhat involved in the left. I think of my politics as “taking care of my communities,” but I’ve heard others describe me as anarcho-syndicalist. …

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Image source: Wikimedia

Over the weekend, a small group of trans antagonist protesters showed up at the San Francisco Dyke March in order to harass attendees and provoke a conflict. Once confronted and asked to leave, the conflict escalated and transphobic activists began assaulting March attendees with a cane. The trans antagonist group called the police and hid behind them when they arrived. …

Activism is a Marathon

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Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

When we get involved in activism, we often hear the warnings about burnout, and the way it’s framed, it sounds like when you burn out, you simply run out of fuel and stop working. While quitting activism is certainly one way that burnout can manifest, for most seasoned activists, by the time you quit, you’ve already been working through burnout for a very long time.

The word itself invokes images of a candle or a match, and if you think of it like that, when you burnout it means your flame has been extinguished. As someone…

And other frequently asked questions about this transphobic hate group

Recently, Teespring decided to end the fundraising campaign of a trans woman when a group of TERFs emailed them and told them that “TERF is a slur.” The backlash from that decision resulted in a boycott of teespring as well as a shattering of trust between that company and the LGBTQ community at the beginning of pride month.

As this played out on social media, many people were just beginning to learn about the TERF community, and had questions about the word TERF and how it's used. …

Hailey Heartless

Transsexual dominatrix & sex worker rights activist. BC Canada.

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