The Whore Next Door: The Dangerous Doxxing Trojan Horse

Wearing a condom every time you have sex is “easier said than done,” retired porn performer Sofia Delgado told Fox News as she rubbed her pregnant belly while standing inside the California State Capitol last Wednesday.

Delgado is HIV-positive. After working in the adult-film industry for just three months, she is now a paid advocate for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation — the L.A. nonprofit that has been described as “dubious,” “litigious,” and even “a bully” by legislators and the press — in a never-ending attack on pornography and the people who make it.

Delgado can't say for sure how she contracted the virus, but she is keen to blame her brief career as an adult actress.

Those who are living with HIV shouldn't be shamed, shunned, or ridiculed, but they also shouldn't be used as pawns in attacks on an already marginalized workforce.

AHF's crusade against the adult industry has been raging for almost seven years, more than a year longer than I have been performing in porn. They have pushed different ballot measures and multiple bills in the Assembly, and have filed a slew of complaints with the state Board of Occupational Health and Safety, all with the intent of mandating condoms and other protective gear — including goggles and dental dams — in California-made porn. Now AHF's latest effort, the Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act, will be decided on by voters in November.

Last week, more than 30 active adult industry professionals traveled to Sacramento to speak before the State Legislature about the act. Active adult performers raised concerns about privacy and the risk of harassment from stalkers and bigots, while AHF insisted that argument was nothing more than a “scare tactic” by “fanatics.”

My heart truly goes out to Delgado, but it's unfair how the organization she works with would like to turn the adult industry into a scapegoat.

To date, porn has successfully self-regulated workplace safety. A combination of regular testing, barriers, and Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) drugs like Truvada — the powerful medication used to both prevent HIV transmissions and reduce viral loads in HIV-positive people, which AHF Executive Director Michael Weinstein has referred to as a “party drug” — has, in the last decade, led to zero HIV transmissions on sets that comply with the Performer Availability Screening Services (PASS) system, a creation of the Free Speech Coalition.

But safer sex isn't really the issue with this “Safer Sex” ballot initiative.

If passed, the ballot initiative would incentivize harassment of adult industry workers. It would allow any private citizen to sue an adult worker for not using a condom in a film or live show, and reap 25 percent of any settlement — a convenient fundraising tool for Weinstein's litigious organization that could financially devastate hundreds of small business owners the adult industry supports, many of them LGBTQ-identified.

“I'm a transgender woman of color, and I've found solace in the adult industry,” multiple-award-winning performer and producer Venus Lux told legislators during her allotted one minute of public comment on Wednesday. “This industry has saved me from homelessness.”

LGBTQ performers are particularly concerned about language in the measure's lawsuit component that would take each lawsuit directly into the discovery stage, where legal names and home addresses become part of the official legal proceedings, and make such information available to anyone savvy enough to file a public records request.

Voters and legislators may not realize how terrifying a prospect this is for transgender sex workers, who already face disproportionately high rates of violence and murder.

“This initiative would enable these bigots who hate us for what we do as adult industry workers, but also for who we are,” said Stefani Special, another transgender performer who spoke at the hearing.

California must not create a law that would aid and incentivize those who wish adult workers and other minorities harm. One of the largest HIV prevention organizations in the world is spending millions to do just that. It is unconscionable and shows how out-of-touch and careless the proponents of this initiative are when it comes to the health and safety of sex workers.

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