In November 2017, I concluded the USA as my adopted home needed to be something of the past – 5 months later; SESTA|FOSTA is law, Backpage is seized with the owner going to prison on facilitating prostitution charges (no mention of sex trafficking in his charges), Craigslist deleted their adult sections, several other sites no longer allow providers from the USA, providers are being harassed when trying to enter the USA, Switter (a social site created as an alternative to Twitter, for and by sex workers on a pro free speech server) was booted off CloudFare, said pro free speech server, on account of FOSTA|SESTA.
Consequently, I operate from Montreal, Quebec now – still, I will never be naive enough to think myself unaffected by this law. A law which in spirit is something I, an intersectional Black feminist, would have proudly stood with… Till you read the fine prints concluding it is purposefully worded to accommodate an inquisition on all providers who uses the internet as a mean to promote their business. The World Wide Web is the new Salem; welcome to 2018!
Moreover, if you think this era of despotism is being ushered in by Donald Trump with his MAGA campaign, you are being bamboozled. He is but the physical representation of what the USA currently stands for. He was elected because he is the one advocating their ideal the loudest. Hilary Rodham Clinton in the office would not have changed a thing. After all, Bernie Sanders voted for SESTA|FOSTA. This is the making of a country into an authoritarian regime.
As a Black Queer female immigrant from a non-English speaking country (Haiti), the realization that this country was no longer for me was an easy thing to accept, despite all the wonderful friends I have made from 11 years in the USA – colleagues, clients, etc – it wasn’t hard to let go of my life there when the price was my freedom.
Nevertheless, I had done it before when I left my home country, Haiti, to escape the oppression I was subjected to for being a bisexual woman marching for Women’s Rights while advocating sexual education to prevent teenage pregnancies and STDs’ transmission. I went to the USA at the time with my eyes full of dreams; the land of freedom where you could be anything you wanted to be… except POTUS. Conversely, one might argue anyone with the right amount of money can be POTUS nowadays. I built a life I loved for my daughter and myself in the USA, until it started crumbling.
Now, I have started over in Canada; the new Domme on the scene. After 8 years as a professional Dominatrix, I am having to learn everything to do with the pro BDSM scene in a new country, dusting off French – a language I have not spoken in 10 years, financially investing in protecting my brand while finding alternative ways of earning an income, I am just grateful that I was in a position to let go of a country that is becoming increasingly more toxic.
Likewise, it is a pleasure to get challenged within one’s craft. BDSM and sex work is not a way to make some quick cash, it is a passion which merged my sexuality and finance to allow me to say I wake up looking forward to my work day because I love what I do. No I hate Mondays in my world!
Comparatively, it chagrined me to know my sisters in the USA will no longer be afforded the same privilege. Regardless of where you live, take the time to speak on this; online, in person, to providers. If you are a lobbyist, let us know you stand with us.
Times are changing, we must stay vigilant, adapt and militate.
Beware of the American Dream!