Today Scarlet Alliance pays our respects to Carol Leigh (1951 – 2022). A brave, bold and pioneering sex worker, activist, artist, author and performer whose contributions to our movement we will forever be indebted to.
Over the course of her life Carol was a staunch advocate for the rights and self-determination of sex workers, a phrase she coined in the late 1970s. She recognised, as does every sex worker, that we are the experts in our own lives, and dedicated much of her time here with us to resisting and educating those who dare to silence us.
A founding member of the Sex Workers Outreach Project and also of ACT UP (an HIV and AIDs activist organisation) she was a prominent proponent of much needed law reform and for the societal and cultural change that is necessary for our community to thrive.
We stand on her shoulders, and pay tribute to all she gave to our movement through her live performances, writing, filmmaking and art. May she rest in power.