I had the pleasure of chatting with someone who has been escorting for quite a few years this morning – while chatting isn’t the point of what we’re doing, it is an awfully nice perk. As we talked today we got on to the subject of how we discuss escorting with people in other areas of our lives. How do you reconcile bring proudly pro-choice with a sense of wanting to avoid having your volunteer work interfere with your career, or your relationships with family members who consider themselves pro-life? What are the potential negative consequences – exclusion from your family Christmas party, getting the cold shoulder from a buddy, getting fired?
In a way this is an extension of a conundrum that I have gone through many different times. Do I post about escorting on social media? (Yes, but I am more comfortable doing that after hiding my posts from some outspokenly anti-choice folks.) Do I talk about it at work? Bring it up in casual conversation with friends or acquaintances? When I chat with the employees at my favorite store I sometimes wonder, would telling them the whole story about how I spent my morning ruin the friendly relationship that we have?
It’s something that I think about a lot. In some ways it feels mildly similar to my experience coming out as queer (happy pride month!). I’m lucky that my parents and close relatives will accept me no matter what. It might mean some awkward conversations but no disowning, getting kicked out of the house, etc. (I am so eternally grateful – happy father’s day too!) But there are plenty of people who don’t have that kind of support network. And at what point do you talk about this personal part of your life with co-workers or people you are somewhat obligated to get along peacefully with while having none of the ties that can help smooth things over with friends or family? Point: it isn’t private, it’s not a big deal, no one else’s opinion about your life really matters, and by talking about it you can normalize it. Counterpoint: but you do worry because even though you know that it’s totally ok to be queer, not everyone is there yet. People are murdered for their sexuality. Similarly, you know that it’s totally ok to choose to have an abortion, but domestic terrorists have killed in the name of “life”.
I am proud to be pro-choice and to be a clinic escort, and I’m proud of the person I am all around. Being honest about who you are can feel really risky; it doesn’t diminish that sense of pride. I believe that we can chip away at the faulty assumptions of the “norm,” whether those assumptions are in regards to sexuality or the idea that reproductive freedom is a taboo subject, not to be discussed in front of delicate company. I also believe fully that everyone has to choose what that looks like for themselves, and that there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of in being selective in who you trust. In the spirit of choice, we get to choose who we trust with what information and cannot judge others, or ourselves, for making those decisions.
Louisville Clinic Escorts is currently raising money for our Legal Defense Fund. We will be having a concert fundraiser June 25 at 6PM in Louisville, KY. The venue will be announced 24 hours before the fundraiser’s start time on this blog and at the event link below. Donations can be made in person at this event. The fundraiser will feature music by two local bands, a tap takeover at the venue, and a local restaurant selling food. Event information can be found here: http://www.bit.ly/LCEfundraiser
Additionally, donations can be made via PayPal. Just send your donations to firstname.lastname@example.org (Louisville Clinic Escorts is not a 501c3)