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Panel discussion on Utah’s sex industry to include LGBTQ and women’s rights

The Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault (located at 284 W. 400 North, Salt Lake City) is hosting a panel discussion on the sex industry in Utah on Thursday, Nov. 16, 6-8 p.m. The event will be tabled by Planned Parenthood of Utah, and panelists will include five Utah sex workers (Kyli Rodriguez-Cayro, Nicole Emma, Bella Arsenic, Alexandria Dodge and Heidi Robinson) who work in different areas of the sex industry, including: phone sex, stripping, body massage, pornography, escorting/sugar-babying; as well as will sex workers’ role in women’s rights and LGBTQ rights, and how sex work is intrinsically tied to the disability community.

The panel was organized by Kyli Rodriguez-Cayro — a writer, mental health advocate, community organizer, and sex work activist based in Salt Lake City. The panel will be moderated by Psarah Johnson, an esteemed community organizer and activist.

“We are pleased to host this important conversation,” says Turner Bitton, UCASA executive director, in a press release. “Our coalition is a safe space for everyone. We value the importance of personal narratives, shared experiences, and personal growth that come from conversations about complex and deeply personal issues such as this.”

“Sex is already a stigmatized topic in Utah, but a lot of people lose their cool or completely shut down if you talk about sex work or porn,” explains Rodriguez-Cayro. “But the reality is, sex workers exist. We are here in Utah, and this multi billion-dollar sex industry isn’t going anywhere. So, why not have an open dialogue to clear up myths and stigmas surrounding our jobs?”

After the guiding questions, attendees will 30 to 45 minutes to ask questions, and satisfy their curiosities about this taboo career.

“Many people assume if you are a sex worker, you are a victim—which couldn’t be further the truth. We are normal people with families, lives outside their work, and most importantly, we have body autonomy,” Rodriguez-Cayro says. “Sex workers deserve rights, industry protections and respect.”

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