- "We believe that all sex workers have a right to self-determination; to choose how we make a living and what we do with our bodies. We aim to build community and destigmatize sex work by providing a forum for the diverse voices of individuals working in the sex industry."
Hello $pread fans. We regret to inform you that, while we expect to publish 5.4, the Crime and Punishment Issue and 6.1, the Race Issue (guest-edited by a fabulous collective of sex workers of color) by January, $pread will close its glittery doors soon after the dawn of the New Year.
Once the remaining two issues have been posted, we will fulfill subscriptions for those of you who are owed them with the option of back issues, or, if you’re feeling generous, a waiver to help us with closing costs. We apologize for those of you who have only recently come to know us, and to all our longtime supporters. After all these years, five all-volunteer years to be exact, we have come to the conclusion that an all-volunteer magazine is simply unsustainable in the current publishing climate. Short of a donation of $30,000, we will be unable to sustain the magazine past January.
For those of you with a hankering for $pread merchandise and back issues, make sure to go to the $pread Shop (www.spreadmagazine.org/shop) in the next few months. For those of you who do not currently have a subscription, please purchase the next two issues individually. Once we print the next two issues, we will donate the materials to our outreach partners as well as lay the foundation for a physical archive, complete with all the $pread memories of yore, blemishes and all.
We hope that you will look forward to a $pread retrospective in book form, featuring highlights of our five years of publishing. We will also package a ‘$pread Scrapbook’ for sex worker advocates looking for tips and tricks on publishing a magazine by and for people working in the sex industry. We are producing these materials in the hopes that our model will help motivate the continued movement for social justice among our many and varied communities, in the same way Danzine inspired our own publication. We also close our doors in the comfort of knowing that right now, around the world, sex worker-run and sex worker-supportive media such as ConStellation (www.chezstella.org) in Montreal, Flower in Beijing, and Red Light District Chicago (www.redlightdistrictchicago.com) are holding forth on the issues that matter to our communities.
$pread was motivated by the motto “Illuminating the Sex Industry.” We submit these five years of blood, sweat, and tears to you as a testament to this founding sentiment. May the struggle to end the stigma, discrimination, and violence perpetrated against our communities end in justice, and may the flashy strobe light of sex worker rights never go out, but illuminate the sex industry for the world to see.
While the offers of money to continue publishing are tempting, we want to make it loud and clear, $pread is dead. We want to apologize for quoting the $30K figure offhand. We simply don't have the volunteer commitment, transition time, or infrastructure to support a continuation of the magazine beyond January. Even if there was $100K made available to us, we are unable to guarantee the survival of the magazine. Given this uncertainty, we prefer to go out on a high note with Issue 6.1, the Race Issue, slated for completion in January.
Once again, we encourage others to pick up where we left off. We will package a '$pread Scrapbook' for those looking for tips and tricks on publishing a magazine by and for people working in the sex industry. We did a lot wrong over the years, and learned a lot while doing it, but the the gist of $pread remains unchanged: $pread's commitment to an open dialogue by and for current and former sex workers, including the good and the ugly of our work, and illuminating the sex industry for the world to see. We hope that any future publication will take this goal to heart. Only with unabashed critique, both of our industry and our communities, including the sometimes exploitative fees, the racist hiring practices and the racist, ageist, and sizeist payment differentials, will we come together as one community and achieve justice.
For those of you with a hankering for $pread merchandise and back issues, make sure to go to the $pread Shop (www.spreadmagazine.org/shop) in the next few months. Once we print the next two issues, we will donate the materials to our outreach partners as well as lay the foundation for a physical archive, complete with all the $pread memories of yore, blemishes and all.