This excellent article is my first repost. Ms de Leon makes many valid and thought-provoking points.
When I was writing my novel Uptown Thief in 2011, I got a sex worker activist to read it. I was writing about sex workers and their fight for justice. I wanted to get my portrayals right, so I had an activist from that community read the book. I got a ton of notes and had to retool my entire plot.
At the time, I wasn’t familiar with the term “sensitivity reader.” I simply had both paid and unpaid readers from groups I was writing about who gave me feedback.
Uptown Thief came out in 2016, and was followed by The Boss in 2017. When sex workers read, review, or comment on my work, most of the feedback affirms that my portrayals ring true. You know what I call that? Integrity. Respect. A job well-done. A work ethic.
And I didn’t just vet the sex worker details. I vetted the…
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