Backpage.com LLC
PO Box 192307
Dallas, TX 75219 USA

July 19th, 2015

Dear Jim Larkin and Mike Lacey,

On behalf of the Sex Worker’s Outreach Project, the Board of Directors of SWOP USA along with Local Chapter Representatives, we would like to express appreciation for your determination and commitment to preserving the ‘Adult’ area on your classified advertising board, Backpage.com.

We are especially grateful of your most recent display of potency when you provided #freespeech as a way for us to pay for ads when MasterCard and Visa abruptly halted processing our credit card payments. 

By doing that, you notably diverted a situation that could have caused sudden and harsh economic burdens for the communities we advocate for. This also gave our community an opportunity to learn how to use alternative payment methods, like Bitcoin, to prepare for any future difficulties that may come up.

Backpage has made quite a difference for many of us in things like our safety and autonomy.  Here are a few things people in our community have said about this;

“I put up an ad when I needed spare money, I didn’t feel pressured to work or see people who rubbed me the wrong way to pay off the ad cost, and I didn’t feel stigmatized” said Anne, a female escort.

“Advertising my legal fetish on bp has taken me from working on the streets, where on the streets, crack and losing my children go hand in hand.” said an anonymous sex worker.

“Many communities use Backpage as a means of establishing contact safely with clients” said Conner, a social service provider who often works with individuals engaged in sex work.

Again we want to applaud and recognize your resilience and unyielding position to protect the freedom to have and to advertise in the ‘Adult’ area and we, SWOP USA with our Sister Chapters, will continue to support you in the persistent battle for freedom of speech.

Sincerely,

The Board of Directors and Local Chapter Representatives
of the Sex Workers Outreach Project, USA

www.swopusa.org
Sex Workers Outreach Project USA
340 S LEMON AVE #7566    WALNUT CA 91789

SWOP USA is a registered 501(c)3–Donations are tax deductible