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Saturday, August 8, 2015

TANGERINE - THE MOVIE

Here's a clip - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEVuXWEBAP8  I heard about this movie on Pacifica Radio.  The one Kamala Harris is threatening to shut down after they targeted them for audit I think because my ex-husband, who I never speak to anymore by the way, is on their board.  So trust me Kamala - you won.  http://www.dailycal.org/2015/01/08/california-attorney-general-launchesaudit-national-radio-network-headquartered-berkeley/

Kenneth Konz - the targeting of a public radio station with an audit forces them to try and only air things during the audit that will "appease the God's" so to speak so they don't lose their funding.  I find it interesting that this whole audit process started about 2007-2008 - right about the same time the sex trafficking movement got entirely hijacked by people who also want to make so sure that people like myself don't get one minute of air time - they will put all these resources behind them to make sure a few voices are silenced.  Or has anyone else noticed that Pacifica radio will NOT speak about sex trafficking on US soil since the audit started besides myself?  http://www.cpb.org/oig/reports/2012-09-21-Report-1208-Pacifica.pdf

You won Kamala because after moving down here so I could do some shows on their station - you hit them with that audit and threatened their operating budget.  So he's told everyone I'm not even allowed on as a caller on their shows - let alone a show on domestic sex trafficking while they're in danger of being shut down.  He's a "good little boy" who knows when to keep his mouth shut.  He's got a year longer clean than I do so he's seen this take-over of the recovery field by Big Pharma, professional treatment centers, and the prison-industrial complex that wants to build bigger jails,

ESPECIALLY in California by the border where they can indefinitely hold illegal aliens in the jails for processing so they can hire them out for $1.00 an hour as cheap slave labor.  Heck they've even got them fooled into thinking they don't have the same rights as Americans while on US soil - and they don't have to even pay for their medical care.  Then when they riot too much - they just shut down that jail and build a brand new shiny one.

Not powered on solar power mind you - but electric.  I asked him how on earth he's able to work as a drug counselor in this field knowing what he knows but keeping his mouth shut - and well his cancer a few years ago answered that question for me.  He couldn't even call his daughter on her birthday on March 6th because "he can't cope" with her brain tumor situation.  That's how he's not handling things very well if you ask me.  Because it has to go somewhere.  In his case I guess it was cancer.  Just like I saw Bob Stone die of cancer and Bob Barrett now has diabetes so bad he's living in a nursing home.  While me?  I went that route, learned my lesson after a stroke almost took me out, and I'm getting stronger and healthier every month.  Then again I'm not backing down.

We had put together a film crew comprised of Hollywood people to do a documentary on what's going on right now with sex trafficking in the USA - and they all got threatened off the project.  So I told myself what I usually do is that "if you want it done at all - do it yourself" so I was thinking I'm going to have to make this film.

But how?  I do have a pretty good video camera, and an iphone.  There was this woman in Florida who said she was going to give us all the film equipment we needed free of charge - but the minute I asked for the equipment she disappeared.  So that must have been a ruse.  Either that or she got threatened off also.  Who knows.

But then I heard that "Tangerine" was filmed on an iphone on an interview that was actually allowed on Pacifica Radio last week.  Of course I had to see the quality of this - especially since they said they used "real" people in the film, not hired actors really.  So I clicked on the trailer and was blown away.  I felt like I was watching the birth of a new film maker - like a new Woody Allen or a new Tarantino.  I also felt like I was witnessing a new star - Mya Taylor.


She is sexy, beautiful, funny and charismatic.  I also felt like I was watching the birth of a new star - like the first time I saw John Travolta or Marilyn Monroe and the screen just lit up for them also as it does for Mya.  And yes the screen just lights up for her.  She has "star quality".

Sean Baker, the film maker, spoke on the interview on Pacifica Radio about how he went hanging around the Gay & Lesbian Center in Hollywood where he met Mya.  She introduced him around and helped him develop the story line from what he said.  It got me to thinking I haven't gone down there since I have moved back to Los Angeles.  Sex Workers Anonymous used to have a different meeting down there than our meeting in Tarzana or Beverly Hills or Santa Monica.

The reasons was because the needs are different.  When we ran the meeting down by the center back in the 1990's - it was because many just couldn't find work.  This was also why many transgenders weren't getting tested for HIV.  They didn't look like Caitlin Jenner believe me in the 1990's but more like Renee Richards - or a guy in a dress.  For that reason, they told me they didn't want to go to the health centers for HIV testing because they're be stared at, laughed at, etc.  So again with the help of them Mayor Bradley, GLASS, the CDC, UCLA, etc. we were able to set up a satellite testing center in W. Hollywood staffed only by other ex-sex workers who were also transgender.



This outreach served two purposes.  It got the transgender sex workers that Mya Taylor is portraying out of the house, tested, and educated about HIV/AID's AND  it provided those who were found to be positive, or who just wanted out of sex work, a job that paid the bills and also made them feel connected and useful.

It's projects like this that I've been trying to reach people like Michael Weinstein at the AHF about re-building only to be blown off.  That's why I wrote the Ryan White people a letter letting them know he's been ignoring someone who was part of bringing the HIV infection rates down from almost 8 0 percent in sex workers in Los Angeles in the 1980's to down below 6 percent within one year when I've been trying to make contact with him to discuss how his current policies are completely ignoring the most vulnerable and the most infected right now - truly causing a health crisis brewing now.  http://www.dallasvoice.com/county-approves-distribution-ryan-white-funding-including-ahf-10193325.html

It seems they registered their disapproval by denying him $3.8 million dollars in grant funding this year.  But did that get me a phone call?  Nope - it appears he's just finding another way around this for his agenda that has nothing to do with protecting the public from HIV, nor protecting the sex industry from it either.  I'm sure he'll find a way around them for whatever his plans are.

In the meantime I thought if we can film a film that looks this good on an iphone - maybe we can go back into that part of Hollywood, talk to some real transgenders about what their world is REALLY like, and maybe use that as a way to further promote "Tangerine".  Plus I thought it would be great to have Mya be the hostess and narrator to take us on  a journey into the "real" world of the transgender living down in that part of town today where Tangerine was filmed.  I mean do they have pimps even?  What do they need down there the most today?  Jobs, drug treatment, free medical care - what?

So I looked up Mya on twitter.  She's a doll and got ahold of me the next morning.  Of course she loved the idea but she's in N. Dakota now.  I'd have to fly her out here, put her up, pay her expenses of course to bring her to Los Angeles to do another "reality show" about transgenders.  She was all for the idea - but asked me if I had the money to bring her back to Los Angeles.

No I don't - but maybe there's money in the marketing fund for the film.  So I told her I'd get ahold of Sean and see what he thought about the idea.  To date, it's been about a week now, Sean hasn't answered my emails or facebook requests to speak to him about the idea.

So we move on.  I had to do some medical things for my daughter so I can't do anything until next week.  But I do have some signs with our hotline phone number on them.  I'm planning on going down to the center next week and see if they'll post some signs for Sex Workers Anonymous, and maybe give me a meeting space.

Mya did tell me this - in her opinion the movie is not their daily reality.  For one thing, they don't have pimps, nor a real "pimping" or "trafficking" problem down in that part of town with the transgenders .  I know the pimp culture really looks down on anyone who would pimp a transgender.  On Pimpin 101 radio they even said "real pimps don't pimp transgenders" so their culture doesn't approve of it.

But what Mya said is most needed is jobs.  She said that's why they're mostly doing sex work is because of not finding companies who will hire them.  Well - we know some companies who will.  But it does raise a good question.

The same as I saw with Christy Mack.  She said she would "not quit porn" after the attack.  I say "who would hire her?"  I even posed that question to two companies that actually offer scholarships to trafficking victims.  I asked them if they would hire a known porn star to work for them.  They declined to answer and stopped speaking to me - which is an answer.  No they won't.

So I am working on some reports on cities about what they're doing about sex trafficking - and will be including a report on who will hire sex workers, porn stars, and transgenders as well to this report.  The question however becomes "how do I find out if they really will?"   Of course everyone will "say" they will - but will they in reality.  I know many companies who do hire people with criminal records for prostitution - will hire them - but they don't want it shouted from the rooftops they do.  It's considered "bad publicity' to say you hire ex-prostitutes.

We've got a long way to go.  Back in the 1930's one didn't hire an alcoholic because he was considered to be "of weak moral character".  By calling alcoholism a "disease" now companies have to hire one or they're considered discriminating against the sick.   Now we're not going to get the sex industry declared a disease.  These people who want to say that it's "okay" for those who were "forced" are actually making it harder for us to leave unless we come up with some victim story.

Do you know how bad it's become?  I've answered our hotline since 1987.  Starting about a year ago - women who call me now start out the conversation with trying to explain to me they were "not a trafficking victim" like they're not only apologizing to me - but feeling me out to see if I'm going to reject them because they weren't.  I mean they're leading with this.  When I ask why - they tell me that "well everyone else I spoke to has said they won't help me unless I was".

Now that's a crime.  To me it's like telling a woman she's not considered a "rape victim" unless her rapist had a gun or a knife pointed at her.  The rape people have had to work hard at getting people to understand how it can be still rape without a weapon, and even if the woman consents because she doesn't want her children in the next room harmed.  This is the same for us.

Anyway - I've got an iphone so no excuses after watching "Tangerine".  I will be posting more videos to our channel soon.  Now if I can just figure out how to work this camera app - we'll be fine!  I guess Sean Baker is interested in making a movie about the transgender community that can get us all laughing at them - but not talk to me about a film that will actually help any of them find work other than the streets.

But he didn't make the film about transgenders or even to help them so why would he call me back about this project I'm thinking of?  He was very clear what the movie was about in an interview he gave for "Paper" here where he said  "I was just trying to tell a story about Los Angeles, really".

Sean - you did.  You "gained the trust of them" as you also say to get their cooperation for your film project.  A project that does not reflect their daily lives according to Mya at all.  But it does make your career bigger and better to talk to everyone about how you made it on a low budget and an iphone.  But then when I come calling to ask for some help to make a short reality piece about them needing someone to hire them for jobs that actually HELPS this community - I don't even get a return phone call.  While Mya is off in N. Dakota and has moved past that corner - and the new wave is still out there struggling without help.  Sure - she'd "love to help - as long as someone can pay me for it".  Good girl.  You may have moved off the corner - but your game button is still on.  In Sex Workers Anonymous we call it "post-prostitution syndrome" where one is still a hooker just not charging by the hour any longer.  Sure she said she'd "love to help the community" - as long as someone paid her for it.  

Oh yes Sean - you definitely showed us a film about Los Angeles.  Just maybe not the one you were expecting but definitely what I've seen 1,000,000 times over.  Exploit us, use us for films, hire us for entertainment at your parties - but when it comes to helping us and giving something back for what you took, and for making a film that people think is their reality that makes them even more "unhireable" - you can't be bothered.  

(copyright 2015 J. Williams all rights reserved)

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