Sex work used to be this exciting escape fueling me with power and ownership of my body and my life, but when it became about survival, the glamour faded. I lost my income and devoted my life to virtual sex work to stay afloat. I felt like if I didn’t work every hour of every day, then I would fail and become homeless. As a nonbinary person, I paraded as a fantasy female and carved away pieces of myself. I couldn’t say no anymore, I couldn’t pick and choose who I spoke to or what I did with my body. I was so burnt out that I convinced myself I had covid; only taking care of myself when my mental health created physical symptoms that were actually a nervous breakdown.
I learned my boundaries, I learned to ask for help and take care of myself. I had to teach and reteach myself that I could have limits and that this lifestyle wasn’t sustainable in the way I was doing it.
We Are All Cam Girls Now, is a reference to the world of zoom, but also to the millions of sex workers who are trying to survive just like everyone else.
About the Artist
I am a queer sculptor, jewelry designer, stop motion animator and graduate from Columbia College Chicago with a degree in poetry. Though I hailed from Washington State, I grew up living all over the world and was mainly raised in Scotland. I interned with Awakenings, Chicago, which focuses around the stories of sexual violence survivors in their lit mag and gallery. My work focuses around sex work, trauma, identity, gender and sexuality which I bring to light through my stop motion films and sculpture.
© Gillian Marwood