Insulin & Opportunity: Overcoming the Challenges of Single-Parent Motherhood
A young teen and still in high school, Francine immediately lost the support of her family when they found out she was pregnant. Understanding that she was on her own, Francine decided to leave Houston in search of a better way to support her daughter. The transition led her to a path that included sex work and not paying attention to her overall wellness, both physically and mentally.
Landing in Atlanta, the fast-paced lifestyle eventually landed her in the E.R., where she was diagnosed with having Type 1 diabetes. This transition in health, along with the challenges of single-parent motherhood, contributed to the development of an eating disorder and housing insecurity. Wanting to reinvigorate herself, she moved to Los Angeles and joined Creative Future’s first cohort where she had the opportunity to intern for the World Surf League (WSL).
Using her narrative and lived experience as motivating factors, Francine focused on increasing the cultural awareness within the Black community and harboring a connection between WSL and Black Girls Surf. Her ideas of inclusivity and challenging the status quo ultimately landed her a position within the organization.
- Diabetes is 60% more common in black Americans than in white Americans. Black Americans are up to 2.5 times more likely to suffer a limb amputation and up to 5.6 times more likely to suffer kidney disease than other people with diabetes (WebMD)
- Nearly 44% of women age 18–25 who face homelessness report being a single parent or pregnant (Covenant House)
- Recurrent binge eating is more common among Black women than among white women (Striegel-Moore, Wilfley, Pike, Dohm, & Fairburn, 2000).
Here are tangible ways that you can support our fellows and combat the criminalization of sex work and housing insecurity:
- Using terms like sex work, sex workers, or sex professionals highlight and legitimize the labor context of sex work. Avoid using terms like “prostitute” because it can contribute to the criminalization of sex work
- Support employee classifications for strippers and erotic dancers so that they are not treated as independent contractors by their employees
- Support Safe Place for Youth; Directly contact Rachel Stich here