CYBERSPACE — More than 50 sex workers and experts — including educators, policymakers and researchers, among others — are coming together for an AMA on Reddit tomorrow, starting at 11 a.m. (PDT).
Reddit.com/r/IAmA is a subreddit that follows an interactive question-and-answer format. Previous AMAs have featured celebrities, ER doctors, porn stars and even President Obama.
Many participants, as well as industry peers, took to Twitter to spread the word and encourage questions. To join the AMA, one must simply visit IAmA.reddit.com tomorrow and look for the thread posted by Liara Roux, who organized the AMA alongside Ashley Lake.
"I periodically get asked probing questions by fans on Reddit, and I’ve told them to 'save it for the AMA' for years, honestly mostly as a way to brush off prying fans and even avoid legal liability," Roux told XBIZ. "Eventually they started asking when the AMA would be. Ashley came up with the idea of using that fan interest to spark a political event and here we are!"
Lake added, "The first few participants came about in the old fashioned way — probing contacts and asking them directly if they could participate. We prioritized people who could talk about their whole organization a little, and people who represented marginalized groups. We also wanted to get a couple allies in important political positions in there — it’s good to grill them! But we wanted to avoid gatekeeping and also worked to publicize the call as much as possible. It’s honestly not that hard to get 50 sex workers together on the internet — Liara follows over 1000 just on their own Twitter."
Join me and over 50(!!) sex workers, educators, policy makers, and trafficking survivors for a Reddit AMA starting at 1pm EST on Thu. June 21st!— Liara Roux (@LiaraRoux) June 18, 2018
Look out for my post that day at https://t.co/P9NMBXjS7a - anyone can participate in the discussion! #SexWorkAMA! Ask us anything! pic.twitter.com/pgN1ytC5WD
I’m excited to participate in the #SexWorkAMA with ????@LiaraRoux????, to talk about how sex workers can be married and have good relationships too, how I was once approved for lifetime disability because my issues were so bad but feel the sex industry saved my life & anything asked!— Ashley Lake (@_AshLake_) June 19, 2018
Join me, @LiaraRoux and 50+ other sex workers for a Reddit #SexWorkAMA starting at 1pm EST tomorrow, Thu June 21st!— YEVGENIYA (@YEVGEN1YA) June 20, 2018
I'll be speaking on the unique challenges of being a fully-out sex worker who's known by their legal name. Pop by https://t.co/FPDHbyfdBf - anyone can participate! pic.twitter.com/EKAQ8sjXSd
Twitter!— Amber Ashton ???????????? (@xxxescortamber) June 18, 2018
This Thursday from 1pm EST join myself, @LiaraRoux and 25+ other amazing people from all areas of the sex industry for the official @reddit "I am a sex worker - ask me anything"!.
Look I even made a dorky video invite for you below!
RT = Major ???? pic.twitter.com/dLz6onMnNj
Join @LiaraRoux and over 50 #SexWorkers, educators, policy makers, and trafficking survivors for a Reddit AMA starting at 1pm EST on Thu. June 21st!— SpankChain (@SpankChain) June 20, 2018
Look out for her post that day at https://t.co/WuUIuMeJKl. We encourage everyone to participate!#SexWorkAMA | Ask them Anything! pic.twitter.com/KFGkl3QpeB
Roux, additionally, expressed that for those unable to visit Reddit.com, they could follow the hashtag #SexWorkerAMA on Twitter.
If you can't go on reddit yourself for whatever reason, but still want to follow and participate in the massive sex worker AMA just follow the tag #SexWorkerAMA! @_AshLake_ will try to link some responses in tagged tweets and will bring in your questions from twitter to reddit!
— Liara Roux (@LiaraRoux) June 20, 2018
As for what questions the duo expects, Roux said, "I expect a lot of the questions will be titilating! But, Reddit actually has audiences that are very interested in politics and human rights. The event will be crossposted by the Reddit staff to r/politics and r/twoXchromosomes, which is the biggest woman’s issues community on the site. The audience is in the tens of millions, so expect diverse engagement!"
Lake concluded, "We do want people to be curious about bad laws like FOSTA/SESTA and their actual impact on us, but we also aren’t discouraging silly and banal questions! Humanizing sex workers is so so so important. We need to fight against stigma as much as any specific law. Talking about our personal lives and connecting directly with 'civilians' is important — that’s why we are fighting so hard to maintain our right to be on social media with the rest of society."
Picture courtesy of SpankChain.