About

Melissa Gira Grant

I’m a contributing writer for Pacific Standard and the Village Voice. My feature reporting has been published in the Guardian, BuzzFeed, VICE, and The Nation, and my commentary has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Slate, Salon, and Jezebel, among other publications.

My latest book is Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work (Verso, 2014). Katrina Forrester at The London Review of Books wrote, “Underneath Grant’s strategically inclusive argument lurks a harder political critique of the transformation of politics and economics since the 1970s.” Laura Kipnis, author of Against Love, said “Gira Grant weaves her way through sanctimony and hypocrisy with wit, eloquence, insight, and a dose of necessary outrage.” Upon publication, a reporter for the Telegraph said, “Melissa Gira Grant can be quite scary” and Chris Hayes, host of MSNBC’s All In, said I was “a must-read.” Autostraddle selected Playing the Whore as one of the top ten queer and feminist books of 2014, and the Baltimore City Paper, calling it “a tightly written and impressively argued treatise,” named it one of their top ten non-fiction books of the year.

From 2016 to 2017, I was a visiting scholar at The Center for Place, Culture and Politics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

My other books include Take This Book: A History of the People’s Library at Occupy Wall Street, in 2011 through my own media label Glass Houses, and Coming & Crying (Glass Houses, 2010), an anthology of true stories about sex (co-edited with Meaghan O’Connell).

My autofiction story “Before Departure,” a collaboration with photographer Fette Sans and published by Abe’s Penny, was acquired by the Museum of Modern Art Library in 2013 and by the Brooklyn Art Museum in 2014 for their permanent collections.

I have also been a contributing editor at Jacobin and a staff writer at Valleywag.

When I am not writing and reporting, I speak widely on sexuality, gender, rights, and justice to audiences worldwide, at institutions such as Duke University, Yale University, the New School, the Open Society Foundations, the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, Eyebeam Art + Technology Center, and the UC Berkeley Labor Center, and at events including South by Southwest Interactive (USA), re:publica (Germany), NEXT (Denmark), the Oakland Book Festival (USA), the Brooklyn Book Festival (USA), Bristol Festival of Ideas (UK), and the International AIDS Conference (Mexico).

In addition to working as a writer and journalist, I’m proud to have been a member of the Exotic Dancers’ Union (SEIU Local 790), a staff member at St. James Infirmary (the only occupational health and safety clinic in the United States run for and by sex workers), and worked to advance gender justice with the Third Wave Foundation.

Write me: mgg@melissagiragrant.com