Happy New Year Everyone!
Lets make 2023 great!
It has been quite an exciting year full of activism and progress toward the full realization of sex worker rights. Just on the horizon: starting January 1st, 2023, California will be enacting SB357. Through the hard-earned effort of sex workers over many years, SB357 will prevent police profiling of women, especially Trans Women of Color, as prostitutes. Police will no longer be able to target sex workers of all genders for what they wear or what neighborhood they are standing in. Global activism persists as strippers in Los Angeles are unionizing and sex workers continue to fight for full decriminalization in Canada and South Africa. Meanwhile, St James Infirmary continues to advocate and provide free quality healthcare and housing services for the most marginalized among our community.
Please consider donating to SJI’s herstoric program, the Taimon Booton Navigation Center (TBNC). TBNC is the first ever Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming shelter to provide services by and for TGNC people and sex workers experiencing homelessness. There is a wishlist of items needed, but as always, donations of $money$ are always appreciated. If donating via check or Venmo (@stjamesinfirmary), please indicate that it is for “TBNC”.
For more information reach out to [email protected]
Rest In Power
Ivory Nicole Smith
Ivory was a Site Supervisor at Taimon Booton Navigation Center, a shelter for TGNC people and sex workers. She previously worked as a Program Associate at the Transgender District where she helped organize events to promote the visibility and brilliance of the Trans community. Born and raised in the Tenderloin in San Francisco, Ivory supported the unhoused and most vulnerable people in her city and built community strength both in her career and her day-to-day. Her smile and love for her community will continue to shine in our memories of her.
AKA Scarlot Harlot
The mother of the sex worker movement. She coined the term "sex worker" to build solidarity and to bring respect to the profession. She was a tireless activist and advocate, our community's archivist, and brilliant artist and writer. She co-led the Sex Worker Film and Art Festival that always brought sex workers near and far to our fabulous city. She loved her mom and loved her many mentees and unrepentant whores of our community. She brought warmth and light everywhere she went while maintaining a fierce fight for decriminalization of prostitution and advocacy for the most marginalized. Thank you Carol, for supporting St James Infirmary. Thank you for everything you did to further the cause for civil rights for sex workers.
Check out BAYSWAN for her archives and links to her writings and videos http://www.bayswan.org
In 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) published the Consolidated guidelines on HIV, viral hepatitis and STI prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care for key populations. They provide guidance for public health and rights-based responses to HIV, viral hepatitis, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) for key populations. The guidelines can be used by sex worker and other key population-led organizations to advocate for rights and evidence-based HIV, STI, and hepatitis programs, and by managers, policymakers, donors, and others to inform rights and evidence-based HIV, STI, and hepatitis policies and programming.
This Smart Guide summarizes and discusses the guidelines’ key recommendations for sex workers in plain English. The Smart Guide can be used as a tool when advocating for rights-based services. It is available now in English and will soon be available in Spanish, French, Russian, Chinese and Arabic.
Community Support Line for Sex Workers Seeks Volunteers
SWOP Behind Bars is seeking volunteers for their Community Support Line especially for people located on the West-coast.
If you are a sex worker in need of support check out the link for online chat functions or
call 1-877-776-2004 ext. 1
Online Workshop Series Continues
Mindfulness and Meditation with Vadan is every Monday at 12noon
What We Believe
There are many factors which affect the working conditions and experiences for all Sex Workers including the political and economic climate, poverty and homelessness, stigmatization, violence, as well as the overwhelming intricacies of the legal, public and social systems. It is the philosophy of St. James Infirmary to build upon existing skills and strengths in order to allow individuals to determine their own goals.
- We are fundamentally against the criminalizing of Sex Workers—regardless of our different perspectives on decriminalization or legalization, the collective view of the St. James Infirmary is that incarceration of our community further marginalizes and disenfranchised us, which creates barriers to capacity building, and exacerbates a public health crisis.
- We believe in revolution through healthcare. We challenge the conventional healthcare model that divides patients and providers and fosters unhealthy power dynamics. Our peer-based model creates a safe, trusted, and honest environment in which to provide services, and empowers our community to define our own well-being.
- We are founded on the principles of harm reduction—St. James Infirmary supports Sex Workers being treated with dignity and respect, in every aspect of their lives
- We increase access to primary healthcare and social services for Sex Workers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
- We formalize communication and collaboration among individuals and agencies who serve Sex Workers to better serve our community.
- We promote peer-based public health initiatives on behalf of Sex Workers, which may be used as a model for improving occupational health and safety standards and developing comprehensive medical and social services for Sex Workers around the world.
From Our Blog
SF Launches First Navigation Center to Serve Homeless Transgender People
By Nuala Bishari in SF Public Press 3/4/2022 Joaquin Remora moved to California with $1,000 in his pocket, no job and two back-to-back evictions under his belt. The move was a lifesaver. “I was like, ‘I’m either going to come out as transgender, or kill myself,’” he said. “San Francisco was the only place that I could […]Read More
In recent weeks, workers at St. James Infirmary listened closely to the high-pitched declaration of “emergency” for the Tenderloin, coming from centers of power in San Francisco. We agree that there is indeed a state of emergency in the Tenderloin, SoMa, across San Francisco, and far beyond: the overdose epidemic, the prevalence of untreated addiction, […]Read More
St James Infirmary: 22 year old organization serving the sex worker community during its most challenging year, re-structures its leadership
After a tumultuous year of change and loss due to Covid, economic crisis, an overdose epidemic, and more, the St James Infirmary has solidified their dedication to the sex worker community and to themselves. The 22 year old organization was founded by several sex worker activists and healthcare advocates, including the recently dearly departed San […]Read More
Village Sun Article About Margo
San Fran honors Margo St. James as N.Y. pols, feminists debate decriminalizing prostitutionRead More
Press Release: “Prostitution: A Plethora of Ps”
Prostitution: A Plethora of Ps By Margo St. James Published as an Editorial in the San Francisco Examiner, November 16, 1995 There are many P words when it comes to Prostitution. Prohibition is a Prerequisite of course, for Popular Participation. Please Peruse Players in this Popular Pastime. Besides the Principal Person, the Prostitute: Proffered in […]Read More
Press Release: Save the Date, A Celebration of Margo St. James’ Life
For Immediate Release 23 February 2021 SAVE THE DATE – A Celebration of Margo St. James’ Life Scheduled for May 1, 2021 Founder of COYOTE (Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics): Witness History On January 11, 2021, Margo St. James, founder of the first prostitutes’ rights organization in the United States, died in her hometown […]Read More
Margo St. James Bio
23 FEBRUARY 2021 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACT: KATE MARQUEZ/ [email protected] SAVE THE DATE REMEMBERING MARGO ST. JAMES, FOUNDER OF COYOTE (CALL OFF YOUR OLD TIRED ETHICS) WITNESS HISTORY, 1 MAY 2021 – 11:00 AM, PACIFIC TIME REGISTER AT www.stjamesinfirmary.org Everybody knew about Margo, who was culturally influential at the national level and a local celebrity […]Read More
A Wonderful NY Times Article About Margo!
Margo St. James, Advocate for Sex Workers, Dies at 83 Katharine Q. Seelye. “Margo St. James, Advocate for Sex Workers, Dies at 83”. New York Times, January 20th 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/20/us/margo-st-james-dead.html 2021-01-20Read More
San Francisco’s Own Legendary Margo St. James Dies
Margo St. James, founder of COYOTE (Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics), has died. Born in Bellingham, Washington on September 12, 1937, St. James moved to San Francisco on St. Patrick’s Day in 1958, securing a room above the El Matador on Broadway. She would later join the beatnik scene, hanging out in jazz clubs […]Read More
Margo St. James
With profound sadness, the St. James Infirmary announces the death of the most storied among our founders, Margo St. James. The St. James Infirmary is a part of Margo’s legacy. So too are her deeds and words that exposed hypocrisy with extraordinary wit. Much can be said of Margo, but her own words offer the […]Read More