As the founding volunteer director for Thistle Farms I have long ago bought into the myth that beggars can't be choosers. As a professional beggar and priest for more than 20 years, I now understand beggars have to be choosy.
I am sick and tired of having to explain that, yeah, I do all that and I support women's rights. Yeah, I do feel empowered. I put on my lipstick not as an expression of femininity but as a queer femme. Don't take that agency away from me.
This past December, I returned to Kolkata for the first time since 2004, this time with my husband, Kiran. Here is our story -- Kiran's photographs, my words -- of poverty, inspirational people, and, ultimately, hope.
This is certainly an important question and one that bears directly on the impact of the accelerating sex trade. But 202 subjects recruited in the local paper by an activist with an ax to grind doesn't seem to be good science.
Having just gotten back from a trip abroad where the news was dominated by the story of a politician facing severe consequences for his sexual misconduct, I opened up the pages of the American news to find... well, pretty much the same thing.