This exhibition explores the history of queer sex work culture, and its intimate ties to art and activism. Coined by bisexual activist, Carol Leigh, aka. The Scarlot Harlot in 1978, ‘sex work’ is broadly defined as exchanging sex or erotic services for gain and connotes personal agency and politicized action. More than a portrait of life at the margins, what emerges in this exhibit is a demonstration of queer and transgender sex workers’ deep community building, creative organizing, self-empowerment, identity/desire affirmation and healing and the use of pornography as a deft tool for queer and trans liberation.
Warhol’s film Chelsea Girls is a commercial success, offering an unedited glimpse into the daily lives of several Factory Superstars. Later it is considered an influential forerunner of reality TV.