Date of Submission

Spring 2022

Academic Program


Project Advisor 1

Allison McKim

Abstract/Artist's Statement

The purpose of this study is to explore ways in which feminist and sociological theory can be expanded by looking at the experiences of transgender women who are engaged in sex work specifically with an eye for transfeminist and anarchist political theory. Based on qualitative interviews with five transfeminine sex workers, I found that transfeminine sex workers, while facing substantial obstacles such as criminalization, transmisogyny, and poverty, are capable of building communities and forging new meanings in their lives. Within sex work are opportunities by which to reimagine labor and its role in our lives, with the possibility of abolishing work all together to be found in embracing play and fun. There is also solidarity and political resistance at the core of sex worker communities, as criminalization and the failures of capitalism necessitate radical care between workers. This leads to a fundamental questioning of the state’s existence and challenges to its legitimacy. Transfeminine sex workers also have an interest in pleasure for themselves and their customers, and I argue that there is political significance to the love and care between transgender women on both sides of the transaction in sex work. I argue that visible transfeminine sexuality that rejects stigma and fetishism is a powerful tool against transmisogyny and that to embrace one’s body as it exists is a revolutionary feminist act. Ultimately I find that sociology needs to take transfeminist theory of gender and sexuality and anarchist theory of the state and labor more seriously in its analysis.

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Open Access

Creative Commons License

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