It’s 2020 and a Murdoch-owned newspaper is trying to shame a trans politician for her sex worker past. Despicable
Elisa Crespo, a trans candidate for New York City Council, has received an outpouring of support form the LGBT+ community after a “hatchet piece” on her sex work past.
Running for New York City Council’s District 15 in the Bronx, trans woman Crespo is hoping to fill the seat vacated by Ritchie Torres, who last month became the first openly gay Afro-Latino congressman in the US. If elected, Crespo would become New York’s the first openly trans city council member.
But on Sunday (29 November) a derogatory “hatchet piece” was published about Crespo by the New York Post on her candidacy and history as a sex worker.
Crespo has been open about her time as a sex worker, and how her experience shaped her politics today. She previously told Gay City News: “I had a really rough, challenging, testing adolescence, and sex working landed me in trouble with the law.
“That changed my way of thinking, my politics, and the course of my life in general… because I realised I had to do something and I changed my life for the better.”
But the New York Post treated Crespo’s past as a scandalous revelation, describing her as “an ex-prostitute who was busted in a police sting”.
The LGBT+ community in politics and beyond jumped to Crespo’s defence and slammed the tabloid publication’s “hatchet piece”.
Congressman-elect Torres wrote on Twitter: “Across the country, LGBTQ candidates have come under siege for being who we are. I speak from first-hand experience: the voters of the Bronx won’t be swayed by appeals to bigotry.
“Both the New York Post and the scoundrels behind the hatchet piece should be ashamed of themselves. Word of advice: transphobia is not only bad morals. It’s bad politics.”
Both the @nypost and the scoundrels behind the hatchet piece should be ashamed of themselves. Word of advice: transphobia is not only bad morals. It's bad politics.
— Ritchie Torres (@RitchieTorres) November 29, 2020
Emilia Decaudin, a trans lesbian and district leader in Queens, also wrote on Twitter: “Not sure I expected anything better from the New York Post… Sex work is work, and many BIPOC TGNC folks do sex work because they can’t find work elsewhere, not because of some moral failing.
“I’m proud to support Elisa and inspired by how she is handling this.”
Not sure I expected anything better from the New York Post… Sex work is work, and many BIPOC TGNC folks do sex work because they can’t find work elsewhere, not because of some moral failing. I’m proud to support Elisa and inspired by how she is handling this. https://t.co/eXftmwDqs7
— Emilia Decaudin ?️⚧️? (@EmiliaDecaudin) November 29, 2020
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Trans attorney Alejandra Caraballo added: “Today’s New York Post headline about Elisa Crespo is disgusting and vile.
“It’s a smear piece only befitting a gutter. Elisa Crespo is one of the fiercest advocates I know and will make a fantastic CM. We support our trans women of color and work to uplift them. Shame on the Post.”
In response, Crespo told Gay City News that she is “incredibly humbled by the outpouring of support”, and added: “While this was a very triggering and overwhelming moment for me, I’m battle-tested and have gone through far more difficult things in life.
“If anything, this has given me more fuel to fight for my community. Moreover, it shows exactly why my voice is needed in the council.”