Mixtapes for Hookers

RIP $pread
August 24, 2010, 3:11 pm
Filed under: hookers, magazines | Tags: , , ,

This November marks the one-year anniversary of the change in Rhode Island’s prostitution law, and I was thinking the other day about writing a story to see what change, if any, the law’s had on Ocean State sex workers.  Obviously my first idea was to send the story to $pread, especially since I had just read the interview with editor Will Rockwell in Mother Jones last week.

So I e-mailed over my idea, but just hours later I found out, via Gchat status update, that $pread had just announced that it would be closing its doors after the next two issues come out.

I first encountered $pread when it was brand new, and someone was selling it at the Sex Workers Art Show merch table.  “I’d like to write for this,” I said, as the person selling it stated at me like I had seven heads, or maybe didn’t understand what a sex worker actually was.  In fairness, I was probably looking at him like he had seven heads, too, and also my social skills around strangers were kind of lacking at that point in my life.  I was brand new to sex work and probably didn’t even have a story to tell, anyway.

But that was a long time ago.  I’m very fond of $pread for a lot of reasons.  Because I’m fond of magazines in general, of course, and because they were the first (and, okay, only) national magazine to publish me.  And they were, I think, the first blog to put Mixtapes For Hookers in their blogroll.  But also because it gave a voice to a community that, six years ago, was almost totally misunderstood and ignored.  And it is such a large and disparate community.  Through the magazine, and the $pread blog, and the people that put Lord knows how many hours into volunteering for it, I have met and e-mailed and talked to a group of people that are genuinely empowering.

The official release is here, and there’s also some parting words here from Audacia Ray, who was the magazine’s executive editor until 2008.

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