Kehlani is all about de-stigmatizing sex work, especially in the age of the coronavirus.
Now that many folk are resorting to social distancing and quarantining, OnlyFans accounts have been popping up left and right so that people can get paid for their erotic labor. Considering unemployment rates are at a shocking high, it’s no surprise that people are taking on alternative ways to make money.
Even before the coronavirus pandemic, people have used sex work either as a form of survival or because they genuinely enjoy the work. Unfortunately, some forms of sex work have been criminalized such as street-level prostitution, and many activists around the country are working to decriminalize such forms of labor.
Kehlani explained this when introducing her music video for “Can I”:
“CAN I out now! directed by me (Hyphy Williams) & @ssdaigui,” she wrote on Instagram. “Support sex workers!!!! ESPECIALLY BLACK TRANS SEX WORKERS. the most vulnerable. sex workers deserve proper pay, protection, and to exist in their careers without consistent shame & violence.”
Kehlani then included a statement from writer and activist Da’Shaun L. Harrison, which reads:
“Sex work is a political term that covers and embraces: street-level prostitution, erotic dancing, camera work, adult film, agency escorting, sensual massages, dominatrix work, and all other occupations through which one sells their sexual(-ized) services to clients.”
The statement continued:
“It is a legitimate form of labor that must be decriminalized so as to function as a safe form of work for all sex workers. It is often the lives and livelihoods of those who do street-level work that is impacted by criminalizing policies and cultural stigmatization. Overwhelmingly, those folks are Black trans women, Black cisgender women, and other Black queer and trans people—including youth. Black people—as well as Indigenous people and other people of color—deserve to be able to perform sex work without any limitations or stigmas attached, and this means that everyone must commit to learning from sex workers about sex work and sex workers’ needs.”
You can check out the erotic music video for Kehlani’s “Can I” below, which includes appearances from Lily Isabella, Tori Duncan, Aaliyah Ei, Zamara Fullilove, Draya Logan, Farryl Christina Lawson, Nikol, Julia Nejman, Riley Nixon, Amiyah Love and Zi’ Queeca Strobel.