MICROPOLIS: Transgender Training / Sex Work Survival Tips

Tuesday, August 06, 2013 - 04:00 AM

Daisey Lopez at Tiger Schulmann's (Arun Venugopal/WNYC)

New York City -- universal beacon for gays and lesbians, right? Maybe, but ask some people how safe they feel on the streets, and they'll say, not very. Especially transgender women of color, who speak of constant harassment, threats and actual violence

In this latest episode of Micropolis, we spend time with Daisey Lopez, a transgender woman in Queens who's learned to kick her assailants' collective asses. 

Then we hear from Sempai Elena, THE self-defense instructor for New York sex workers. Here's 3 tips she gives her students, in the event they're in a car with a dangerous or violent john:

  1. Keep the window cracked a little, early on, in case you need to kick it out
  2. Even more dramatic is the back roll: "If you put your back up against the passenger door and started kicking [the john] with both feet, especially for these girls who are wearing heels: kick kick kick kick kick, open the door and back roll out. It seems very dramatic, but it can work."
  3. When a quick escape isn't an option: "Can you gouge out an eye, can you crush a trachea? If somebody’s trying to choke you there’s not a lot of room for negotiation, because you’re going to become unconscious very, very quickly. So you have to bypass that fear and extricate yourself from that situation."

Listen to the Micropolis segment, above.


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Comments [6]

Marcie Chase Thompson from Bronx,New York

I was impressed by listening to this broadcast. I think that this network of should be repeated and broth to ganythe community Leadersip focus groups.
Contact me for organizing a group of transwomen for self defense traning that engage in street sex work in the Bronx. My information is as follows. Tel 917 569 6485.I know Daisey Lopez well enough to be the trainer for this venture. Can we organize this! PLease I too can use a few
defense techniques for self defense myself. Wonderful! Wonderful! Lets defend ourselves against our attackers!

Sep. 05 2013 05:56 AM
Arun from NYC

Bob from NJ, that would be Smalltown Boy by Bronski Beat.

Aug. 10 2013 08:27 AM
Bob from NJ

Interesting story, and it is a perspective I'd never thought of before, which is, I suppose what good journalism should do. As an aside, does anybody know what the song used on the fade out at about 6:49 or so was? It sounds like something from the 80's, and it is bugging me to pin down what it was.

Aug. 06 2013 08:43 PM
Adam from NJ

This is such a tremendous series.

Aug. 06 2013 10:38 AM
Not a prostitute from UWS

Um...thanks for the tips.

Aug. 06 2013 10:24 AM

Elena Waldman is performing such an invaluable service for the women of NY. Her expertise, passion, and candor are all part of the lifeline she creates for people otherwise disenfranchised and without support. There should be more people like her in this world.

Aug. 06 2013 08:52 AM

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