There are people who believe that all the values expressed and rhetoric declaimed in places like the building to the left – the Swedish parliament in Stockholm – represent the reality of the country itself. There are Swedish government spokespeople who claim there are no voluntary sex workers, and no clients, and no sex venues or prostitution or trafficking in all of Sweden. But do you really believe that a law banning the purchase of sex could achieve all of that? It is just highly improbable, as it is when other governments claim there is no homosexuality here (sometimes said about Somalia, Zimbabwe, Uganda) or the veil has no place in our country (said by some about France, Belgium). Of course there are gay people and women wearing headscarves in those places – but it is convenient for mainstream politicians to pretend otherwise.
Sweden is one of the big-time gay-rights-friendly spots in the world: RFSL (Riksförbundet för homosexuellas, bisexuellas och transpersoners rättigheter – Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights) dates back to 1950 and receives government funding. So it is significant that RFSL supported and encouraged Sweden’s sex worker organisation Rose Alliance to participate in Stockholm’s Pride Parade this year. The argument is: Just as other sexual identities and orientations are marginalised and deprived of rights, so are sex workers. Obvious: sexual autonomy, the right to do what you want with your own body. Money is not a defining element.
The following video clips from JubBacon show the Rose Alliance float. You can read about this in Swedish from sex worker Greta Garbo and on Makthavare. PS: No one was attacked, threatened or shamed. Some of those along the route were surprised into silence, others cheered.
Yes, I am a member of Rose Alliance.
–Laura Agustín, the Naked Anthropologist