We read about the struggles of transwomen of color being disproportionately targeted by police for solicitation all the time, and, with more visibility, we hope, comes greater awareness and activism against the practice. We hear, too, the stories of transwomen who actually do perform sex work to sustain themselves in the face of workplace discrimination, unemployment, and transition costs.
Less visible are stories from the other side, of transmen engaging in sex work in the face of similar discrimination, which is why it’s so important that Milo Scanlon shared his experience in an essay for The Toast. It isn’t an empowering, sex positive narrative of responsible, ethical queer sex work. But it is a brave, important, gut-wrenching story of exchanging sex for money and drugs in the midst of a crack addiction to numb the pain of pre-transition gender dysphoria. And it’s no less powerful for it.
Gender identity and sex work intersected strangely. Though my crack dealer sometimes misgendered me, he also referred to me playfully as his “boyfriend,” putting his arm around me as I sat on his lap, hoping he would shotgun me a hit. I probably “passed” as male, with my shaved head, bound chest, hairy legs, and skinny physique, leaving no body fat for feminine curves. However, naked from the waist down, letting some guy stick his dick inside me, I didn’t feel particularly masculine. I didn’t feel particularly anything, besides bored, in pain, and craving my next high.
You can read his story in its entirety here.