By Pacific NW Magazine writer Tyrone Beason
Burlesque performer Ms. Briq House considers herself an advocate for sensuality and intimacy, and in the politically charged revue “Dear White People” she uses those concepts to explore identity, self-affirmation and social justice. (Johnny Andrews/The Seattle Times)
(Photo: Johnny Andrews/The Seattle Times)
'They Don't Want to Include Women Like Me.' Sex Workers Say They're Being Left Out of the #MeToo Movement
The 36-year-old Baltimore resident disclosed on Facebook and on her blog in October that she had experienced sexual violence. But rather than receiving an outpouring of support, Hill said she’s gotten messages saying that she deserved to be sexually assaulted — because she has worked in the sex industry for 20 years.
Ms. Briq House—a burlesque performer, sex work advocate, professional cuddler, stripper, educator, and entertainer—wants you to see the light. Raised by her grandparents as a Southern Baptist Christian, House was an active member of the church as a youth. She worshiped. She spread the word. But, at twenty-five, she sought a divorce from her then-husband (with whom she remains in amicable contact), and that is when, “We saw people’s true colors,” she says.
Sexy, entertaining, and powerful, The Sunday Night Shuga Shaq is the only POC Burlesque show in Seattle and it does not disappoint. I wish I was a better writer so I could emulate the sexiness and elegance of this monthly performance but, unfortunately, you will have to read my written equivalent of a moose performing burlesque.
You’ve likely heard the saying, “Prostitution is the world’s oldest profession.” And yet, despite this truth, our society has always looked down on sex workers and many still assume that all sex workers do their jobs out of desperation or because they were forced into it.
Briq House, a Seattle-based sex worker and the communications director for the Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP), a national group that advocates for sex workers' rights, laughed when I asked if she thought it would work.