Names & Origins
Hey, how do you say your name?
I used to say it mattered more how you spelled it (hey, internet) but for the record it’s:
/məˈlɪsə/ /ʒi.ʁa/ /ɡɹænt/
(or, regular melissa, soft g gira, hard g grant)
Are you an activist/advocate/organizer?
Once upon a time, I’d say that was accurate, though mostly I didn’t know to call what I was doing “organizing.” I thought I was just pissing people off.
I know a lot of people think if you write about politics (especially gender and sexuality) and give off even a scent of opinion or personal experience that you must be an activist. I’m not an activist. I’m not engaged in any advocacy campaigns, and I don’t work for any organization. Some people consider their writing a form of activism, but I wouldn’t dignify what I do as a writer with that title (and I’ll ask for a correction if you do).
If you’re looking for a title, I’m a writer. That’s the one thing I’ve done most with my life.
I’m a journalist or producer working on a story about sex work. Can I interview you?
No. This explains why.
Check my past stories first; there’s a good chance I’ve covered some of your questions already and I’m happy to have you quote directly from my own work (obviously).
Please don’t ask me questions you could get a better answer to if you were to pose them to a sex worker rights advocate. Which I am not.
I’m a journalist or producer curious about covering your work. Can I interview you?
If you’d like to book me to provide commentary on your show, or to discuss my work, or if you’re interested in doing a profile or a podcast or something else new you are making that doesn’t even have an internet media shorthand yet, check out some of the other interviews I’ve done, and then yes, go ahead and email me.
I’m a journalist or producer, and I don’t really have specific questions, I’m just wondering if I can pick your brain…
If you want to pick my brain about sex work, you should buy my book (it’s more available than I am, and more affordable).
If it’s a question on another topic – I cover sexual politics, technology, and human rights – go ahead. The more specific the question, the better. But I may tell you that my brain is not currently available.
I’m a student working on a story or project. Can I interview you?
If you’re a student journalist, see the above first. If that does not disqualify you, please email me a query along with your course syllabus, if relevant, and your deadline.
I’m an X, and I was wondering if you know any sex workers who Y…
There are more and more sex workers producing their own media today, and that’s where I prioritize lending my efforts.
For non-sex workers who want to make documentaries or other media projects involving sex workers, I’d recommend starting with these resources (and certainly before writing me or anyone else asking for additional assistance):
- Maggie’s, a sex workers’ organization in Toronto, has published these guidelines on ethics and participation.
- Scarlet Alliance, a sex workers’ organization in Australia, shares this case study of harm journalists can cause to sex workers.
- VAMP, a sex workers’ collective in India, challenged a damaging documentary by making their own video response.
- Tits and Sass, a sex workers’ blog, offers this advice to journalists in particular.
- Red Umbrella Project, an organization in New York run by and for people with experience in the sex trades, chose a documentary crew on their own to make a film about their community storytelling work.
I want to get into sex work, can you…
Can I hire you?
To write a story, or give a talk?
Awesome. That’s my job. Write me here: firstname.lastname@example.org.