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Thursday, August 26, 2010

R. I. P. $pread!

I am sorry to pass on this sad news from $pread, the magazine by and about sex workers:

Hello $pread fans. We regret to inform you that, while we expect to publish 5.4, the Crime and Punishment Issue and 6.1, the Race Issue (guest-edited by a fabulous collective of sex workers of color) by January, $pread will close its glittery doors soon after the dawn of the New Year. Once the remaining two issues have been posted, we will fulfill subscriptions for those of you who are owed them with the option of back issues, or, if you're feeling generous, a waiver to help us with closing costs. We apologize for those of you who have only recently come to know us, and to all our longtime supporters. After all these years, five all-volunteer years to be exact, we have come to the conclusion that an all-volunteer magazine is simply unsustainable in the current publishing climate. Short of a donation of $30,000, we will be unable to sustain the magazine past January.

For those of you with a hankering for $pread merchandise and back issues, make sure to go to the $pread Shop (www.spreadmagazine.org/shop) in the next few months. Once we print the next two issues, we will donate the materials to our outreach partners as well as lay the foundation for a physical archive, complete with all the $pread memories of yore, blemishes and all.

We hope that you will look forward to a $pread retrospective in book form, featuring highlights of our five years of publishing. We will also package a '$pread Scrapbook' for sex worker advocates looking for tips and tricks on publishing a magazine by and for people working in the sex industry. We are producing these materials in the hopes that our model will help motivate the continued movement for social justice among our many and varied communities, in the same way Danzine inspired our own publication. We also close our doors in the comfort of knowing that right now, around the world, sex worker-run and sex worker-supportive media such as ConStellation (http://www.chezstella.org/) in Montreal, Flower in Beijing, and Red Light District Chicago (http://www.redlightdistrictchicago.com/) are holding forth on the issues that matter to our communities.

$pread was motivated by the motto “Illuminating the Sex Industry.” We submit these five years of blood, sweat, and tears to you as a testament to this founding sentiment. May the struggle to end the stigma, discrimination, and violence perpetrated against our communities end in justice, and may the flashy strobe light of sex worker rights never go out, but illuminate the sex industry for the world to see.

I can proudly say that I've subscribed to $pread for the majority of its existence, and don't doubt that it's helped inspire other projects that are ongoing.

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