It was a little over half a decade ago that I read at one of Audacia Ray’s intimate Red Umbrella Diaries events on the Lower East Side. Since then this sex worker storytelling series founder – whose resume also includes stints as a bodyworker, escort, and executive editor of $pread magazine – has become one of the foremost voices of sex work advocacy through her Red Umbrella Project (RedUP), harnessing the media to de-stigmatize the oldest profession in the world. Now, after waging battle against violence and for the public health of those in a long-marginalized industry, she’s executive produced The Red Umbrella Diaries – a feature based on a Joe’s Pub performance from some standout Diaries alums – that’s having its New York City premiere at DOC NYC.
So what’s the journey been like from the Happy Ending Lounge to here? Filmmaker spoke with Ray about her crusade to not just change the conversation around sex work – but to put it firmly back in the hands of working girls and boys (and trans-girls and trans-boys).
To read my interview visit Filmmaker magazine.