In the summer of 2018, after more than a decade of housing instability, Nona Conner was facing homelessness again. She’d been evicted from the apartment she was staying in. Anxious to find another place to live, she restarted her old GoFundMe, titled “Black Transwoman Housing Crisis,” to get the money together.

She was relieved when there were enough donations for a security deposit and one month’s rent. It took her three months to raise it all. In the meantime, she’d been sleeping on friends’ couches, renting hotel rooms, and spending as much time as possible at her job at Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS), a grassroots organization where she works with queer, trans and gender nonconforming people of color to access jobs and job skills during the day.

Before working at CASS, steady employment evaded Nona’s grasp nearly as much as steady housing. Born and raised in Southeast Washington, D.C., Nona was 15 when she ran away from a physically, verbally and emotionally abusive home. She went downtown to K Street and started selling sex to make ends meet.

“I tried getting several jobs. I would call there, sounding like a woman, and introduce myself as Bri — I went by Bri before I legally changed my name to Nona — but then I’d get there in person and they’d see that the name on my resume and the way that I looked didn’t match up with what was on my ID,” Nona said. “They’d go on with the interview for one or two minutes, say they’d give me a call. But I knew what they meant.”

 

Read the full article: 

Decriminalizing Sex Work Is a Matter of Survival by Jordan N. DeLoach

March 2nd, 2019