My First Pandemic Disabled Experience w/ TallAsianChick

Photo: Tall Asian Chick
Remember when COVID hit and a lot of people lost their jobs? I am one of them, but my loss led to an amazing experience as a self-identifying disabled sex worker. WHAT!? DISABLED SEX WORKERS EXIST!? Yes, however the United States doesn’t like disabled people nor sex workers so this was a risk that I was willing to take due to my living situation. If you aren’t disabled, then you are probably unaware of the working limitations of the disabled population of America. I cannot have a job due to the fact that I rely heavily on Medi-Cal and SSI benefits. I live in San Francisco, California and it’s not a cheap city to live in. Rent for a tiny room: a bedroom, kitchen, living room, and sometimes a private bath can cost up to $800/month, all in one room. I only get $785 a month; The $5 is for luxury. Living is not an option for low-income disabled sex workers in a continuously gentrified city. I am privileged enough to not be one of many unhoused disabled people in the city and all around the world. However, there is a constant fear that I can be.

The only way for me to make money was to start doing sex work; this is called survival sex work . Survival sex work is sex work based on purely monetizable and survival because it is that sex worker’s only option. “Why don’t you get a real job?” First of all, sex work is literally the oldest profession. Second, please understand that if I work, I will lose my full health benefits and potentially die. Lastly, we live in a toxic society where sex workers are deemed dirty, shameful, and a “last resort.” In reality, it’s so much more than that; it was liberating.

My experience with sex work has been life-changing. I learned that people will pay for ethical porn and additionally, I realized that Onlyfans was/is so much more important than I thought and it had to do with my authentic personality. A lot of sex workers use different names, do not show their faces online, and are mostly, anonymously characterized depending on the sex worker. Not all sex workers are the same. I can technically call myself a sex worker when I educate people about sex or giving anatomically sexual advice. People were giving me money to show them my body, but also most of them just wanted to talk. I had a client who just wanted to vent to me and paid to do so.

Now, it’s gone. A close family member came across my Onlyfans and threatened to kick me out if I do not delete my account within day 1 of a 30-day warning. Furthermore, if I ever created another account, this beloved family member would never feel comfortable visiting me, wherever I ended up. This is what happens when Catholicism, ableism, Filipino culture, intergenerational trauma, historical trauma, and sexual trauma all ruminate within the span of 5 years; the last two being hell for me. Two 5150s, gaslighting, not believing me when I said 1 out of my 4 brothers molested me when I was less than 5 years old, and a rape in January 2020 by a partner while I was drunk. My brain protects me by suppressing my memories. People often forget that mental illnesses are also disabilities. Sometimes, they can even be more debilitating than my mystery brain cells started dying in 2015. Trauma, in and of itself, is so crippling. I have found that I am who I am, not because of my traumas, but how I dealt and am currently dealing with them now. I acknowledge my trauma, just like the rest of my mental illnesses and disabilities, they are part of me and they may never go away and I have to accept that.

I have​ found things when I was so lost and low that have shaped me into the person who I am proud of today. I believe and learn from my mistakes and continuous growth. I try to learn something new everyday, even if it’s just a fact. Most of us are/were all pre-disabled; now Becoming disabled is not something to fear, however, the current people in power should be held accountable for this fear. The American government and financial institutions need to do better by the marginalized and disenfranchised populations. Billionaires shouldn’t exist and I should not have to suffer just because I am disabled. I did not choose this, yet I have accepted it. Accept me, America, or do you want to do this the hard way? I’m a goddamn martyr for my communities.
Post by: Ilah Kristel / Sex Therapist
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