Last updated on: 1/31/2008 | Author:

Carol Leigh Biography

Co-Founder of the Bay Area Sex Workers Advocacy Network (BAYSWAN)
Pro to the question "Should Prostitution Be Legal?"

“Decriminalization is not at all a solution to every injustice that exists in the sex industry; it is a starting point. If prostitution were not an underground activity it would allow us to much more effectively address the serious problems of forced prostitution and juvenile prostitution and the other abuses which are part of an industry that operates completely in the shadows. …[T]here are many who… want other options and they should be given alternatives and assistance. And then there are also those who organize for their rights and are not quitting at the moment and they should be afforded options, their rights, and self-determination as well. Whatever ills are attendant to prostitution, criminalization of prostitutes exacerbates the abuse.”

NPR’s Justice Talking, Mar. 4, 2002

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Co-Founder, Bay Area Sex Workers Advocacy Network (BAYSWAN)
  • Spokesperson, Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics (COYOTE)
  • Member, San Francisco Board of Supervisor’s Task Force on Prostitution
  • Member, Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP)
  • Founder and Co-Director, San Francisco Sex Worker Film and Arts Festival
  • Former Producer and Actress, Tucson Western International Television (TWIT)
  • Former prostitute
  • Webmistress, Prostitutes’ Education Network (PENET)
  • Member, Coalition on Prostitution
  • Activist, Citizens For Medical Justice
  • Founding Member, AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP)
  • Attended M.A. program in Creative Writing, Boston University
  • Also known as the “Scarlot Harlot.”