The Atlantic’s CityLab: How D.C. Finally Stopped Punishing Sex Workers for Carrying Condoms

CityLab: Washington, DC

The Atlantic’s CityLab is publishing a series I reported while on book tour, on sex work and policing in America. My second story covers policing and discrimination in Washington, DC:

In some District of Columbia neighborhoods, the Metropolitan police pass out business cards decorated with a rainbow-hued row of condoms. “Individuals are allowed to carry as many condoms as they want,” the text reads. “There is no ‘three condom rule.'”

“People can’t believe it,” says Darby Hickey, a sex worker rights and trans rights activist in D.C., who is currently working for a member of the D.C. Council. “They take photos of the cards,” she tells me. “And they’re like, ‘you can’t believe what I just got from the police, check this out’ and they text it or they tweet it – trans workers, sex workers, people who get profiled by the police.”

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