Sex worker Nikki Thomas talks about normalizing her profession in the light of Ontario’s court ruling Nikki Thomas has a distinctly rosy view of her job, even though she needs elaborate safety protocols at the Toronto apartment where she works with a fellow prostitute. This week’s Ontario appeal court ruling legalizing brothels left many sex workers feeling empowered and triumphant, Ms. Thomas among them. As the executive director of the Sex Professionals of Canada, the case thrust her into the spotlight as the modern voice and face of the sex trade — as she experiences it. The loquacious and well-educated woman might be seen as Canada’s Happy Hooker and she says we had better get used to it. In the glow of the court victory, she chatted with the National Post’s Adrian Humphreys about prostitution moving out of the shadows. Here is some of that conversation:
“Legal reform is just the first step and it would be incredibly wonderful to get rid of the laws that put us in danger, but that is not going to do much about the social stigma sex workers face. We do absolutely believe it is a legitimate profession and, in a lot of ways, no different from any other legal profession that provides a service to a client.
In order for that part of the battle to be won we have to stress the fact that we are pretty much just like any other Canadian — we work regular hours, we have families and just try to get by and pay the bills like anybody else.” (Photo: Farley Tarn/www.farleytarn.com)
The landmark decision means sex workers will be able to hire drivers, bodyguards and support staff and work indoors in organized brothels or “bawdy houses,” while “exploitation” by pimps remains illegal.
However, openly soliciting customers on the street remains prohibited with the judges deeming that “a reasonable limit on the right to freedom of expression.” (Photo: ANOEK DE GROOT/AFP/Getty Images/Files)