Prostitution – transgender people working as prostitutes
[Abstract] Full Text [PDF]
“It takes a village to make a prostitute” (Old Saying)
“When a trans person cannot utilize resources to maintain a healthy living, like being able to pay the rent, buy food, clothes, and other necessities, a trans woman or man will resort to whatever is necessary to secure their livelihood. The T community is often criticized and ridiculed resulting in some people becoming belligerent, hostile, and not taken seriously, creating a catch 22 within the LGBT community.” (Transgender Institute)
In transgender terms it is society that ‘makes’ a prostitute. Prostitution is about the right to choose, but often transgender people have little or no choice. This can be due to poor and inadequate gender identity clinical services, ignorant mental health care practitioners coupled with the social ‘leprosy’ that transgender people can often face. It is therefore unsurprising when you have nowhere to turn and face poverty how attractive the sex trade can appear to be.
Many successful prostitutes have funded transition and surgery, have a nice home and enjoy life – but if you are considering becoming an escort or a sex worker then you should be aware of the law and how this will affect you.
Transgender people that lack funds for transition and surgery can find prostitution an attractive alternative source of obtaining money for their surgery and transition costs more quickly. It also can be tempting because you may feel being sexually desired as your new found gender and be paid for the pleasure of it overwhelmingly exciting!!!
The cost of living in more tolerant population centres can be prohibitively expensive and income can be supplemented by escorting and ‘part-time’ sex work.
However, this can have long term consequences. You may become a registered ‘sex offender’, and find future work with vulnerable groups more difficult – and the term ‘sex offender’ does have unsavory and unfortunate connections with pedophilia.
You can be assaulted, raped or worse. You may contract sexually transmitted diseases. You may loose your home if owned by a landlord – if owned by a local council for example.
The NHS provide free STD information here:
Call free and confidentially 0800 567 123
Prostitution and the Law!
It is not illegal to sell sex in Britain. However, the laws that exist make it almost impossible to do so legally, and criminalise those involved.
British Laws on Prostitution were laid down to suppress vice, based on the morality of the time. Reform is due and this has been recognised by various bodies such as the Royal College of Nursing.
The current laws have very little to do with the present situation, and some councils have taken the law into their own hands: Birmingham and Edinburgh licence massage parlours and Edinburgh operates a tolerated zone for street work. The police use their own discretion – sometimes tolerating and sometimes abusing their power, sometimes crying out for a change in the law as Keith Halliwell, Chief Constable of West Yorkshire did in 1996.
Abolitionists – that is those who want prostitution abolished argue that prostitution is violence against women. Even those who hold this view must surely agree that current laws criminalise and penalise the people who they identify as victims.
Disorderly Houses Act 1751
This criminalises brothels and sex parties. Off street work is much safer than street work, but escort agencies, massage parlours and saunas are criminalised by aspects of this legislation, making them areas that attract organised crime.
Sex workers are also vulnerable to this law at private addresses and in their own homes, especially if they work in groups of two or more. This legislation undermines sex workers’ ability to occupy living premises, so it undermines family life and promotes personal isolation and homelessness.
Brothel legislation also affects street workers, as many prefer to take clients indoors. Indoor locations offer far more safety for the sex worker, reduce neighbourhood nuisance, and allow for basic hygiene practices to take place. Indoor premises can also incorporate security devices to monitor clients.
Vagrancy Act 1824
It is an offence for a common prostitute to wander in a public street. It also covers riotous and indecent behaviour by a common prostitute in public.
Town Police Clause Act 1847
It is an offence for any person keeping any house, shop, room or any place of public resort for the sale or consumption of refreshments of any kind, knowingly to suffer common prostitutes to assemble and continue there. An example of this could be making it technically impossible for sex workers to sit together in a cafe. It could also be used against organisations offering drop-in facilities for sex workers where refreshments are available.
Offences Against the Person Act 1861
This criminalises the marking of a person during S&M and piercing for pleasure. It is a human right to consent to having your body marked or decorated as you wish. Many transgender prostitutes offer S&M and domanatrix also offer such services at considerable legal risk to themselves and others.
Sexual offences Act 1956
The Sexual offences Act 1956 prohibits controlling prostitution and living off immoral earnings.
Support groups argue that the appropriate legislation to use against exploitative pimping are the laws against rape, kidnap, assault, threats to kill and abduction. Currently, an abusive male may claim in defence that his victim was a sex worker. Instead of counting in his defence, this should count as an aggravating factor, especially if the victim was also a minor.
Nobody has the right to coerce anyone else into doing what they don’t want to do and appropriate legislation should be used. The European Convention will be useful in this.
Moreover, current legislation aimed at controlling prostitutes can in principle be used against maids and employed health workers who advise sex workers on ways to practise prostitution more safely and/or provide items such as condoms.
The controlling prostitution aspect can also be used against those running massage parlours, saunas or escort agencies. The role of the manager or manageress can be very important in protecting sex workers, for example by making condoms available, providing security devices, keeping records of abusive customers.
Street Offences Act 1959
The Street Offences Act 1959 criminalises soliciting. Street work is dangerous and this legislation (together with the Sexual Offences Act 1985) increases the vulnerability of street workers by criminalising this activity. These laws do not prevent prostitution. Even when enforced with maximum police resources, street activity is simply moved from one place to another.
The Licensing Act 1964
The The Licensing Act 1964 prohibits landlords and bar staff serving a working prostitute.
Additional – Also see **The Sexual Offenses Bill…
Sexual activity in a public lavatory
(1) A person commits an offence if—
(a) he is in a public lavatory,
(b) he intentionally engages in activity within subsection (2),
(c) the activity is sexual.
An activity is within this subsection if it involves—
(a) a person, with a part of that person’s body or anything
that or another person’s vagina or anus;
(b) a person, with his penis, penetrating the mouth of
(c) a person touching that person’s vagina, anus or penis,
through that person’s clothes; or
(d) a person touching another person’s vagina, anus or
penis, other than
through that person’s clothes.
**The Sexual Offenses Bill >>>
Redefining Prostitution as Sex Work on the
Keywords: transgender, transvestite prostitutes, rent boys, transsexual and Crossdressers Sex offences, prostitutes, prostitution, escorts, escorting, risks.