A gay male sex worker has spoken up about his role in the sex industry as the campaign continues for various Australian states to loosen up their prostitution laws.
“The world would be a really sad place without sex workers,” says 29-year-old Christian Vega. “For a lot of people, sex workers are their only form of sexual expression. There’s nothing wrong with those people.”
He adds that sex work helps him supplement the small income he makes doing a job in the community sector that he’s passionate about.
In NSW alone, there are an estimated 10,000 sex workers, with a fair percentage of them working in the queer community. In most parts of Australia, private sex work is legal, but some states ban brothel work and most of them ban street work.
Experts in the sex industry say decriminalising various forms of sex work leads to safer working conditions as workers feel able to contact the police with their concerns. Anti-discrimination laws would also benefit the often stigmatised profession.
“We as a community have a choice,” says Vega. “Do we make these people’s lives harder than they already are, or do we support them as part of our community?”